When I was a boy, I used to wear my grandfather’s t-shirts as dresses. My family called them togas. My grandfather once caught me stuffing with shoulder padsâ€” his 5-year-old grandson on a step stool, makeshift breasts reflected in the vanity mirror.
My friend and I discussed femininity and the conception of its fragility. She questioned why I’ve become fixated on gender. How can I not? Our culture is obsessed with it, with upholding the dichotomy, with ensuring that masculine prevails over feminine. The vulnerability of femininity is beautiful. I have a problem when it is considered a weakness, a fault.
Â Consider the grammatical gender of Romance languages, the domination of masculine nouns. In Spanish, a group of girls is las niÃ±as. A group of boys and girls is los niÃ±os. Why are the girls unhonored? Â How often have we said, Hey, guys… to a group of women?
It’s okay to be gay. Just don’t be a flamer.
When gender lines are blurred, men become fags & women are dykes. A lesbian was jumped and beaten on campus grounds during my first year of college. When the attackers realized she was a woman, they fled. They wanted to hurt a fag.
Is androgyny relevant in 2010? I think so. As long as it makes people uncomfortable in their inability to decipher it. Androgyny reminds me that gender is a mask, which I find relievingâ€” to know that it is worn, a performance. Â I don’t consider androgyny an ideal, but when a polarity is imposed on us at birth, throughout upbringing, how can I not respect a man wearing lip gloss and heels? The strength it takes to be vulnerable.