Does Your Social Construct Make Me Look Female?

Another wonderful post from Jamie at ‘A Boy and Her Dog’.

A Boy and Her Dog

A boy and his dog, circa 1900. The dog does look a little like Gracie. A boy and his dog, circa 1890. The dog does look a little like Gracie.

When I look at my body, I do not see a female body or a male body. I see my body. In my own little world I am myself. I am Jamieish, boyish, butch, transgender, and quite comfortable.

I have made myself in my own image. I wish more people could see me this way. Strangers, even those who initially “Sir” me, eventually read me as a masculine woman or a butch lesbian. How they see me is their truth, not mine.

Nobody knows what a non-binary person looks like. My face, voice, and body shape contradict my clothes, haircut, and demeanor. I don’t easily pass as either female or male. In a binary game of rock-paper-scissors, the social construct of sex crushes the social construct of gender. I am pigeonholed into female.

When I’m out…

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Say my name

I remember being ill when I was a kid, maybe five or six years old. I had a fever, and to see if I was delirious my mum asked me, “What’s your name?”

I thought about it. I started to panic. “What is my name?” I cried. She told me all three of my names, my first name, my middle name, and my surname. I still remember the relief as I heard them, as I recognised them, and realised that I had known them all along. “Oh,” I said. “I knew that.”

Tonight my phone rang, and someone I didn’t know called me by those same three names, but this time it was the opposite of a relief. I froze. I was aware of myself sitting there doing nothing, my mouth open, not responding. I didn’t know what to say.

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