So I was reading Mommy with a Penis this afternoon. Hutchins posted a story about his son Bash walking in dressed in in a princess gown and sparkly shoes. Well, when it rains, it pours in PJ's world, because just last week, I was reading an article by my Human Behavior professor, that was written for the Advocate about Gay parents and gender-bending children.
Both of these stories got me thinking about a dress. My dress. The dress I wore up until the age of probably 6 or 7. I would really like you to think that my dress looked like the one pictured. Alas it did not. Oh my dress was green and white, floral of pattern, but it was not this well cut or stylish. No mine had a big full skirt, and poofy sleeves. I can't honestly tell you where the dress came from, or how it came to be mine, but it was. It was the dress I would pull out anytime I wanted to feel pretty, run around in my mom's heals, wear a few pieces from my earring collection (a whole other story) or be...wait for it...CATWOMAN. Yes, this little gender-bender had a fascination with Catwoman and somehow, in my mind, I thought that this dress and a black mask created a look very similar to hers (Ahh the power of imagination).
I remember one time, some friends came over and I felt like it was a CATWOMAN moment. To my horror, my black mask was missing. No sweat, being a creative child, I improvised with the folllowing perfectly acceptable substitution...
Yes...it is a Yogi Bear mask...and yes, it looks nothing like CATWOMAN...but...neither did my dress, so it worked in my world. I'm pretty sure I got in trouble that day...I remember getting in trouble anyway and I think it had something to do with my dress...again.
The funny thing about my parents was that I had a dress and a box of earring WHICH THEY OBVIOUSLY GAVE ME (dur), yet, they weren't real happy about either. They didn't take them away (although at some point I stoppped wearing them and they were no longer around) but they really didn't like it. And you know what, I'm pretty sure I knew it.
I loved dresses and heals and pretty things. I wanted girls toys, a sister to play with and I constantly told my mother I wanted to be a girl. Looking back, I knew that my parents hated every moment of it. I wasn't the child they expected. And in some ways, I wasn't the child they wanted.
I love telling the story of my dress. My audience usually gets a laugh and so do I as I remember with hysterics walking out in a green floral dress and Yogi Bear mask. I love that we; Arlene Lev, Hutchins and I are talking about it. Hutchins is my new hero. I love his patience and support of his son. I know without a doubt that his son will grow up to be whomever he is supposed to be...dress or no dress...and that he will think back to those moments and laugh/cry/be jealous of his size, who knows, but he won't think about the fact that his parents were embarassed by his actions and probably didn't like him.
Fast forward. I am a guy. I love being a guy. I'm a jeans and t-shirt wearing gay man who loves fixing his house, working in the yard, driving his jeep, lifting weights, etc. I don't want to be a girl (sure I have my girly moments...HELLO) and I dont' wear dresses anymore (that period where I was the drag hostess of a burlesque show aside). My dad and I have a great relationship (mom passed when I was 13) and I genuinely like the person I've become.
I'm also really excited. I'm really excited to be working on my Masters of Social Work and working to become a therpist. I look forward to the day when parents bring their children to me, concerned about the child's gender-bending and I get to help the parents become more comfortable, not the kid (he/she is probably already there).
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