You might think that I’m the sweet little baby with a naughty group of boys. Nope. I’m the little sprite all the way to the right in the baseball jacket, digging my hands in my brother’s birthday cake.
I was fresh off a short, choppy haircut that my older brother gave me. Mom caught us mid-haircut and was furious. (She also remarked that this was the only time she ever saw me sit perfectly still.)
I was happy as a littleneck clam with my new look because it fit the way I felt on the inside: I secretly believed I was a boy.
I never shared that with anyone because I knew that I’d get in trouble. In our house, that would have been unacceptable and “weird”.
Outwardly, I would play the girl act when called for: putting on one of those dreaded frilly dresses that Mom favored or at times pretending to enjoy the “baby” doll that I received as a gift.
Inwardly, I wished my name was John. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I’d like to be called that but I was wise enough to know that would not wash in our house. I remember thinking maybe Joan might be a compromise. But I never said that to anyone. Just thought it.
The whole feminization thing just didn’t fit me back then. I was not comfortable in my “female suit” and wanted to take it off or cover it up.
But at some point, I did change. Although never really “girly” in the pink-wearing stereotype sense, I noticed a shift around puberty.
My sexuality burst through in full force around thirteen and suddenly my brain was hot-wired for lanky, drug addled musicians (thank you, Sid Vicious). Mom got her “girl” at last but it was a scary girl with bad ideas. (My poor mother.)
I no longer have those “bad ideas” but I am a female with a very masculine approach to many things in life. Like a typical Gemini, I swing freely between being Hello Kitty girlish and one of the guys. I am equally comfortable at girl’s night out or at a strip club with the dudes. I like to bend my gender and defy stereotypes whenever possible.
So why am I writing this?
I wrote this after reading that people are slamming Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for allowing their daughter to live like a boy and calling her John (note: Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is a fellow Gemini).
I remember being that little girl who wanted to be called John too. And I didn’t have supportive parents nor did I live in a time or place where that would have been acceptable (60’s rural was not very free-thinking). Needless to say, that left me with a lot of confusion and feelings of shame. No child should ever have to go through that.
Gender and sexuality are tricky. At a very young age, we get assigned genders and told what that means to be a male or female. If you do not fit the role you’ve been assigned, you are subject to ridicule and judgement. We need all the education and support we can get so that people can live without fear and so that children can express themselves and discover who they are freely.
Exploring choices is an important part of a child’s development. So why force something on them because society deems it “right”? Let them figure it out and guide with love, love, love.
My path turned one way and only time will tell what direction Shiloh’s path will wind. But with loving parents like the ones she has, I have a feeling Shiloh will be just fine.
Monkey ponders the state of the world. Or his treat dish.
I love this post from my friend Pace Smith: A transgender perspective on gender…and pants.
Shelley Andres of Mystic Mentor started this cool new tarot practice over on Google Plus: Quid Pro Quid Tarot. You give a reading and get a reading. Win win for all parties! And yes – it’s FREE.
What a “perfect” woman’s body was supposed to look like over the years. So glad I didn’t live in those corset wearing times!
The irony is not lost on me: billionaire with five mansions says people should live with less.
Trolls. They can be frightening. This woman discovered her online troll was “normal”. Which is even scarier. What compels a reasonable guy to do cruel things online?
I think KFC is trying to kill us. Double Down Hot Dogs? Come on now!
Here’s a cool breathing exercise to help you eliminate stress and wind down at bedtime. No wine required.
One of my favorite reads of the week: More than Beauty: Intuitive Painting as A Path to True Beauty from Chris Zydel.
Fascinating look at the inside of an abandoned house that is frozen in time. The pictures are phenomenal!
Scissors. You don’t think much about them but use ‘em all the time, right? Check out the Fiskars factory and learn about how they keep on innovating. (PS they are located in Wisconsin! REPRESENT!)
The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of jaywalking. PS I jaywalk ALL the time!
Digging Heather Thorkelson’s Things You Shouldn’t Give A Shit About. PREACH!
Wisdom from Paige Zaferiou: Dark Stick Shit Storm! How to Extract Lessons from Hardship. This is uh-may-zing and so helpful!
Looking to get your business moving in the right direction? Tara Gentile will be opening the doors to her Quiet Power Strategy soon. And she’s got a book coming out. Squee!
Loving this look at an abandoned French chateau as it is getting renovated. Oh to be going through that place!
Memo to self: write your obituary before you die and someone else writes a sexist, horrible one like this one.
I am finally retiring my beloved Tommy Hilfiger messenger bag after eleven years of faithful service. Although I have many purses, I always came back to this one because it was so well-made, cute as can be, and full of the right sorts of pockets. I was in denial for a long time but one more rip of the inside fabric and it’s time. I will be receiving my brand new Triangle Commuter Bag from abrAsus today and will let you know how it works out. (PS I also found my much coveted Coach Rhyder Messenger bag in Metallic Bronze was on sale so snatched one of those up too! FTW!)
I have fallen in love with Evernote. It is SO useful. I just got these: Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook, Large, Ruled, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (Evernote Smart Notebooks)and Moleskine Evernote Business Notebook with Smart Stickers, Large, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25). Super slick, works with Evernote, and stickers!
Next on my list: Post-it Note Holder, Evernote Collection, Quad (NH-654-EV4). AFTER I use up all the other millions of sticky notes I have! Ha!
My cat TaoZen thinks I need this book: How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom. If I can figure out how to put that cat to work, it may have to happen.
What I’m Grateful For:
Fresh sticky notes + journals
Soundtrack for 1/31/15: Boys Keep Swinging by David Bowie – my favorite gender-bender of all time.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015
images from private collection