Let me be clear. How I feel is in no relation to how anyone else might feel. I’m no bastion of the queer movement and though my experiences may be shared, they’re not universal.
I don’t want to be a girl anymore. I guess when I say I don’t want to be a girl, I mean I don’t want to be gendered a girl by others. I don’t want the constant barrage of things that come with that. I don’t want to transition, I’m only really mildly dysphoric with my body but I don’t want this body.
I want to come back and be born as a boy.
I’ve never been at peace with the socialising of girls and have often been ostracised for it. I’ve always joked that I thought more like a boy but I’ve stopped joking about it. I’m still coming to terms with who I am under all of this gender indoctrination. I don’t think I’m a boy. I don’t sit neatly within the gender binary.
Today I walked down a street in a foul mood, heart broken. It was sunny and beautiful – everything I wasn’t feeling. I’ve worn my queerest, most androgynous outfit because I wanted to be left alone. This is how it is for me, now. I don’t know if I can return to the femme outfits for the vast disparity in treatment I receive.
Usually I wear jeans and shirts to work but the one day I wore a miniskirt, doors were opened for me left right and centre. Not a metaphor, unfortunately. Females are relegated to the literal, physical embodiment of these privileges – the ones that don’t afford actual furtherment.
On the street, the work place laws don’t protect me. Even at work they don’t protect me as a guy I slept with once consistently meddles with my sex life. I think I’ve finally shut that down, but it means we can’t be friends anymore because he didn’t hear “stay out of it” so I had to say it with increasing volume and harshness until he did.
On the street I’m subjected to harassment daily and I’m tired of it. I don’t want people to talk to me because of the way I look. I don’t want people judging me. It would be bad enough if they were holding signs like my life were a beauty pageant, but imagine a beauty pageant where all the judges cat called the contestants.
“Hey baby. Come home with me. You know you want to.”
“I got something for ya”
“Ciao bella. Hey! Come back! What’s your problem?”
I don’t want it. But what I want isn’t important to them. What’s important to them is how they feel when they say it and the thrill they get when they make me uncomfortable, aware.
For anyone who says “just take the compliment”, no.
It’s no compliment. It’s mind games. It’s an assertion of power. It’s meant to keep females off guard and slightly intimidated. It’s meant to provoke, to destabilise, to make someone feel like they’re being watched; judged. It’s a stranger trying to push themselves on me; their wants, their approvals, their desires.
Then, when I can’t take it anymore, I yell. I want to beat them till I have their teeth lodged between my knuckles but instead I flip them off. They laugh. They always laugh.
They like that they have triggered me. They like the reaction. They like that they have the power to push me to the brink.
So next time the words “angry feminist” threaten to slip from your lips, no. I’m not ‘just another angry feminist’. I’m a human, pushed to the limit. Tired, tired, tired of fighting to be respected. Tired of not being given space to walk down a street. Simple, simple acts of freedom. To always, always be reminded I am on display. To always be reminded that my body is there to please the eyes of men. And the cocks of men. And the minds of men.
I am so sick of it that even when I feel like dressing femme, I don’t. I don’t want what comes with that. Most of the time androgyny works to ease it. The brain power it takes to gender me leaves no time for a cat call. I often wear brightly coloured socks, too, so that when they look, they are drawn to my feet and not to my chest.
But there are always some who find a way.
Today I dressed androgynous but I dressed well. I’m wearing a crisp shirt, a strapped chest and some beautiful leopard print brogues.
This is not me dressing for you. But I suppose you know that, don’t you. This is not an invitation, but I suppose you don’t wait for invitations. The world is yours, after all, why would you? Why would you stop to ask what I want? You already know what you’re going to give me.
And no, I don’t imply that me wanting to dress a certain way to dissuade people should be done. What should be done is people not judging on looks. People minding their business. People not reducing women in the many, many ways that they do.
As today proved – this isn’t even an effective method. People will take what they feel entitled to regardless of how I dress.
And no, I’m not at all saying that any trans*, queer, whatever people dress or feel like representing themselves as their gender because they’re sick of the oppression they receive. That’s just silly. They receive a lot more oppression trying to move through the world as their non-assigned-at-birth gender. I said specifically that I’m outside the binaries, anyway. But I suppose we all are a little bit.
A queer male tried to challenge me to what I call an ‘oppression off’ when I told him he had privilege around being male, recently. The cold truth is that even queer males have more privilege than queer females. He should know that, but he chose to be an asshole about it and ignore what I was saying instead listing off all the ways he was oppressed; like that is somehow relevant.
He does not have men cat calling him constantly. He is not made to feel unsafe in this way. He wasn’t even prepared to acknowledge that, putting his own experiences first instead of acknowledging very basically that he cannot comprehend mine. He then went on to suggest that we fuck in a hot pool.
I’m tired. I’m tired of being female. I don’t want it anymore.
I don’t want it anymore.