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Seeing Gender

iskierka's picture

I've gone through waves of extremes, being surrounded by only ciswomen or being the only girl in the area. When I went to a Catholic school intended for girls, I was still too young to understand the fluidity of gender, and thus thought I was weird because, heavens forbid, I hated wearing those silly plaid skirts. When high school broke, I was finally in a co-ed environment, and I had friends from across the spectrum of sexuality, but with three new cousins under my belt, I was the only girl out of five for my grandmother and mother to dote on, and I was hit by an avalanche of 'why can't you be more girly'. But as the years went on, and more and more of my friends came out, I came to realize more of what Kathy Ackerman meant when she opened her essay with the desire to be a pirate. It was unfair to limit oneself to ideas of should and could instead of what lead to inner happiness, instead of exploring ourselves to find what lies within. Pushing ourselves one way or another because someone else says so only leads to inner turmoil.