What does that mean… “I should have been a man…”?
Kelli L
21

I don’t really know what it means. Most of my life, I took a ribbing for my distinct personality. There is no doubt that social/cultural norms contributed to my feelings — I was not allowed to do as much as my brothers; or, I was expected to do things that went against my personal preferences.

Simply, I was a mud-n-trucks girl, preferring outdoor activities. So what, right? But I got made fun of for it. I had to go inside to clean up and put a dress on before dinner time. My mother would cut my hair super-short; I don’t know if my two sisters had that happen, or if their girly demeanor made it less important. One of my sisters called me Johnny after haircut days. (That same sister suggested that my super-short haircut of today is a “rebellion.” Against what, I never asked.) I guess I could ask. But you see my haircut now — because I just don’t care to spend time, money, effort on it — it is utterly unimportant.

I am cis in identity, but personally identify with the typically male spectrum of behavior (I don’t even know if that is the right language; I don’t study it, I am just me): I don’t “shop,” I “hunt” for items; I want to solve problems, not just hear and sympathize; practicality is of far more value than aesthetics.

All that said, I think those values or tendencies are genderless. Look at the MBTI; I am one configuration of sixteen.

As I consider my life from so many angles, I find that I may want to write about this. I don’t think I will be coming out with some new label, or configuration of labels, just an open look at what makes me, me!

Stay tuned. I have enjoyed some conversation with others, too, Ms. Washington mostly. I never considered my experience worth thinking too deeply about, (as long as I was not bitter) but I begin to think that adding to the dialogue might just point up the spectrum of identity and sexuality that exists — I’m not abnormal, I’m just me!

And I don’t think I will be necessarily opening any minds. I don’t care to whine, or shout from a soapbox. I just want to stand tall enough to see…and err on the side of mercy, if I err.

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