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Thursday, October 30, 2014

While Other Girls Were Princesses, I was the Hulk.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a little boy.  I mean desperately.  For my first Halloween I dressed as Darth Vader, my second, I dressed as the Hulk.  It wasn't until I was eighteen when I dressed like Scary Spice from the Spice Girls that I dressed like someone of my own gender.

My mom told me that when I was six years old I threw a penny in a fountain and made a wish. Later that day when I came out of the bathroom crying she asked why. I said it was because I wished for a penis and I didn't get one. 

I'm sure some people may have thought that it was the influence of my older brother.  We were close then and are close now, but I also have an older sister who could have influenced me.  I didn't want to be Nathan; I just wanted to be his little brother.  As soon as I had a choice in my hairstyle I wore it short.  I hated dresses.  I wore Spiderman Underoos and peed standing up.

I tried out for the football team in 5th grade and was devastated when I was told that girls couldn't play. When people thought I was a boy it made me happy.  My parents didn't discourage it either.  

I didn't realize how progressive my parents were until I went through some of the photo albums my mom had archived from 1979-1984.  In the majority of the pictures I am in public and not wearing a shirt.  Nobody noticed because everyone thought I was a boy. To this day I still don't like wearing a shirt, but obviously I don't do it in public. 

I liked getting dirty, riding my bike and hanging out with the boys in the neighborhood.  And on numerous occasions I was the only girl invited to boy's birthday parties. 

 I have wondered what this would have meant if I were a child today.  Everything I did back then would have been considered transgender or at least consistent with gender identity disorder.   If my parents had chosen to give me this label I would have believed it and who knows where I would be today.

For the first 8 years of my life I wanted to be a boy. I identified myself as a boy. It seemed that the writing was on the wall.  Yet, my parents did something that many parents don't do today. 

They didn't do anything.  They didn't talk to our doctor.  They didn't freak out and turn to the Internet.  They didn't have nightmares about how their child was going to cope growing up as a transgender or a lesbian. They just let me be who I wanted to be.  

As I grew I started to like wearing dresses once in a while. I liked wearing my hair in braids so I wore it long.  My parents didn't take a sigh of relief.  They just let me be.

When I was thirteen the boys I used to hang around with suddenly became awkward in my presence.  By the time I started high school I looked like a young woman, and I was fine with it.  I began having crushes on the boys that I used to run shirtless through the woods with.   

Through it all my parents never influenced who I was suppose to be or who I was going to be. 

I grew into a woman who married a man and together have four sons.  Yesterday my oldest son asked me if he could take ballet.  Before I started Googleing my concerns about his sexuality, I just sat back and thought, just let it be.

Does it matter either way?  Children need to find their own way without their parents influencing their decisions.  Today we want to help and end up putting a label our kids early on. My child is transgender, my son is a jock, my daughter is a princess.   Why not just let them be themselves with out a label?

The only problem I face today is that I still prefer to be around men.  This has caused problems because women often think that I'm coming on to their husbands, then get mad at their husbands, and then I find myself at a party on the "girl side".  When really all I want is to return to a happy time when hanging out with the boys didn't have any connotations attached to it.  

As parents today,  we rush to label our children. In some cases the label may be correct, and in some it may not be.  But labels stick and before branding your child for life, just let them be.  

I'm grateful to have parents who didn't jump to conclusions to who they thought I was or should be.  They loved me enough to provide a solid foundation to let me discover who I was.  Whether it was a Hulk, a princess or both. 


  1. I remember hanging out at my friend Amy's house and trying to figure out how to pee standing up. I was very jealous I could not. I also normally hang on the boy side, less drama. Maybe this is why we get along so well?

  2. That must be it! I can pee in the woods pretty well too/

  3. We are quite the same but I was never able to desperately want to be a boy. Just to be around them and hang out without any malice is fine with me. Moms Reality Bite

  4. Tonight I'm so sleepy, I found your post through a friend's Facebook recommendation, and I actually only looked at the pictures. However, I am following you so that I can read soon!! I also have 4 boys, and scanning this gives me hope. See, my youngest is still just a 1 year old. It looks like your youngest is officially a pre-schooler?? Maybe? See, if I'd read more, I would know. Anyway. Is your house as messy as mine? Okay, that's neither here nor there, but since I've been working more (teaching and blogging), mine is so embarrassing. ....But I have hope, because it looks like you are having a good time with your successful job and your blog. I'm so sleep deprived. Has that gotten any better yet? Just lie to me.