Saturday, January 12, 2013

Girl Crazy Pie

I think it is important to give a perspective on why I began this blog. I wanted to a give a voice or my slice of the pie, one voice among the many voices of my tribe: people who are 50+. Most of the blogs that I have seen are by and for young people. There are many blogs out here and they seem to be sprouting up quickly, which I love, but all of the imagery, and content seem to be mainly about younger folks.  It's so important that we all have a voice, young and older or let me say those of us that have been on the earth longer, and have a different perspective to share.

I realized as I was surfing the GQ sites that there is a real perspective shift related to age and era. Let me try to unravel what I am trying to say. Tagging onto my first blog entry, the gender shift of consciousness began for me in several stages, beginning when I was about five years old which was in 1965. Yep, quite a long while ago. In elementary school I was clearly, to the outside world, "a tomboy" (the photo is me at 12 years old, 1972) or mistaken for a boy and on into high school in the 1970's I was seen as "androgynous" or called in a derogatory way "a butch dyke".  

In the 1970's one of my high school female friends was lovers with a person we might now identify as a transman. Her lover would bind her/his chest and being older than my school friend, he worked in the next town over and passed as a man at his job. Around that time I also had my first short-term relationship with a woman. My lover was not comfortable with her gender and would bind her chest too, and spoke of wanting to have an operation to change her gender, something she certainly couldn't afford. We would joke that we were actually two male homosexuals because we both had issues with our gender.

It was about 1978 and being a teenager I was just trying to figure out what it all meant to me. Was I trans, like my first girlfriend, because I loved women or was that just "internalized homophobia" from a "homophobic" culture (a concept that wasn't yet used in the 1970's) and should I have just embraced my attraction for women as an indication of a lesbian identity? All the while I was also still trying to suppress and understand my uncomfortableness with my own maturing female body. I had many unanswered questions about my gender, like: was my uncomfortableness with this female body a result of the misogynistic and homophobic culture that I had grown up in? Did it have to do with the fact that the Lebanese side of my family, being somewhat misogynistic, like my "sittu" (grandmother) who would poke me in the ribs to stop talking at the dinner table whenever a male relative would begin to speak? If nothing else, that experience taught me a painful lesson that a male voice was much more valuable than my young female voice. All I knew as a teenager was that I was definitely girl crazy, and whether I was comfortable with my body or not, I just had to get a girlfriend.

Pull up a chair at the table and share a piece of your genderqueerpie story.


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