Friday, July 24, 2015

Growing Up Without a Choice

I’m 45, from small town Texas, and when I was younger there wasn’t a choice in what you were or who you could become. Girls were girls, and boys were boys, that was it, no other options. In my family, there were even fewer choices than what others had. My life was limited by the following parameters. I would make A+’s in school. I would wear a dress to church. If I wanted to go to college I would study something “respectable”, not art or writing. No talking at the dinner table. Act like a lady. Don’t lift weights because girls don’t lift. And I would do as I was told or else. I felt alone, lost, abandoned because the restrictions I was forced to live by felt wrong.

As soon as I was old enough to have any say in my life, I stopped going to church because I wasn’t going to wear a dress. As for college, I received my degree in business and went on to study engineering for my masters, but I write fiction books and make book covers for a living, so I have branched out in some ways. I did get all A’s in school because I didn’t have any other choices at the time. Now, I curse like a sailor, drink beer from a bottle, and act like myself instead of trying to be a perfect lady. I also lift weights and love it because everyone can lift.

Having no choice in life put me in an odd place where I hated myself, I hated my life, I hated everything. I never fit. I don’t get women and when I was younger I didn’t get girls. It’s not that I don’t like them, I don’t understand them. I’m not feminine and I have no desire to be. I don’t want to be a man either. I’m me. I don’t want to be a guy or a girly-girl, I want the chance to be me and not boxed in to what society expects because of my cis female appearance.

Maybe if I’d had choices growing up I would have lived differently, or maybe not, but it would have been my choice. Few people outside of my close circle of friends get what I’m talking about. Stop putting me in the box of woman, girl, lady—they don’t fit. I’m tired of being grouped with all ladies when marketed to just because I’m seen on paper as a woman. I’m sick of being spoken down to by politicians. I’m done with people assuming what I want to wear or hear, or watch, or talk about…But really, none of that matters. People who are stuck in their binary world with no options and no ability to even see outside of their perfectly square boxes will just dismiss me as another complaining bitch. They have no thoughts outside of what they are told to believe so I have no time for them.

This is for those of you who crave the freedom to be yourself. It takes courage to step outside of the box. Maybe you were born with cis female parts and don’t feel female but really don’t want to transition. You don’t have to. You need to be you. You will never be happy if you try to please others. It takes too much energy to live pleasing other people. I tried it for years and it wore me out. I can’t be what other people want me to be, only myself. I will never be what my father wants or fit into the narrow box the family I grew up with put me in. I’m me, and I’m not ever going to be someone else.

Choose your path. People given options might be like “whatever” but for others who weren’t given any options in life, break out. Stop living your life based on what other people choose for you. Embrace your queerness and be yourself, because in the end, living for others will only lead to disappointment.