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You are: GAMBIT

Gambit-04

Cuz, I mean, well... duh. While I have a long-standing joke with lemonpiefirefly and a few others that I am, in fact, Iron Man, let's face it. I'm not quite as clean-shaven as Tony Stark, so to speak. My conscience, like his, was only grown as an adult, but it allowed me far more leniency in my younger years than Tony's did. Also, I'm not quite that smart and I am a Francophile, so while I will always be Iron Man to Beck (though she does have a soft spot for Gambit, too, so...), Gambit suits me just fine.

Now, the reason this post is flocked, if I may. Scratch that. I'm unlocking it because I don't care who knows this. I'm happy and proud to be who I am so frankly any judgmental haters out there can go fuck themselves. I will instead screen comments to avoid violating the privacy of others. Let me know if it's okay to share your thoughts or not if you add your voice here. And now back to the show: yesterday, Zachary Quinto came out. I told him on Twitter that who he loves is of no consequence to me, but that he was and that that applied to every other human on earth, too. I don't care who anyone loves. I only care about them. That is true. What is also true is that I am a heterosexual female. However, I can relate to issues surrounding this announcement. Why? Because my gender doesn't perfectly line up with my sex. Never has, likely never will.

Now, I'm pretty sure everyone here understands that sexual orientation, sex, and gender are three different things, but let me clarify any muddy waters. I'm heterosexual. I'm female. I have never questioned these things. I am not sexually attracted to persons of my own sex, nor do I desire to have a penis (how very odd that must be...*shudder*).

That said (and this is hard to put into words - not because I am in any way upset by it but because words are so limiting sometimes), when I took that test, I answered the first question as male, like I always do when given the choice.* It never enters my mind to pick the female box on any "what superhero are you?" kind of test. That's just crazytown. Why would I do that? I ask you: who would want to be a girl superhero? Or a girl anything else, for that matter?

I always (ALWAYS) role played Luke Skywalker as a kid, never the only Star Wars girl. Why the fuck would I want to be Leia?

I visualized myself as a knight in shining armor saving princesses a lot, but I never once pretended to be a princess. Who would?

The first movie that I fell asleep dreaming of that night was E.T. Know what? Yeah, I was Elliot. Who else would I be?

I am mystified by other answers to these types of questions every day.  My old boss's wife wore skirts a lot on, like, normal work days. I do not understand this. I cannot fathom why anyone would wear a skirt unless they had to. Her two daughters wear dresses often. I am confused by this. Why are they in dresses if they aren't going to a funeral, the theater, or some other formal occasion? Why do they even own more than one or maybe two? I mean, since I'm not a church-goer (and even if I was, I likely wouldn't wear dresses there), I have occasion to wear a dress every few years. Children, I would think, would need one, um...never? What in HOLY HELL is wrong with them? I'm serious. This is how I think. I cannot wrap my brain around this phenomenon because I simply cannot relate to it. At. All.

I own dresses. I wear them. I even like one or two of them, and I adore my one true gown. But I would never, ever wear one for shits and giggles. Dresses are for the theater, weddings, and funerals. Only. I have always felt this way, and I suspect I always will. (Actually, that's not entirely true, because as a child I felt they were never, ever, ever, ever acceptable.**)

This is a minor thing, I know. It's only clothes. As I told my mother over and over again as a child when she tried to put one of those things on me, God doesn't care how we dress. (There is no sensible rebuttal for this, by the way. I was four, but I was right.) But it shows my point, which is that when push comes to shove, I can be a girl. But that isn't me, and that goes far deeper than clothing.

In my mind's eye, when I played "make believe" as a kid, I wasn't a chick. Ever. I was always a guy. I pretended to be Superman a lot. Never Wonder Woman. Ever.

In every way except biology, I was a little boy. Now that I am old enough to understand that, well, that happens (yes, even if you are straight and don't want a sex change - again gender isn't sex or sexual orientation), I can say that easily. I also understand that I stayed this way for a very long time, and then I had a painful mental adolescence in my twenties. (Yes, in my twenties.) And finally, now, in my mid-thirties, I am comfortable enough to cosplay as a female character. 2010 was a first for that, you know. As a child, I was a soldier every year by choice. I wouldn't hear of anything else once I was old enough to really have input on such things. And to do Baby Bowler this year? Not a girl child, but a woman? I honestly ever thought I'd see the day, despite the fact that I realized that women are fucking awesome when I buried my nephew.***

And so I find myself shifting a bit in my gender identity. I do believe that happens. I've had some long private online talks with an LJ friend about this, and the truth is that I believe gender, like most things, is a grey area in life. I was mostly a little boy (no, not a tomboy-ish girl, but someone who only identified as a boy) for most of my childhood, but now I'm probably a boyish insecure teenage girl. These things happen.

Know what, though?

I wouldn't hold your breath waiting on me to cosplay Black Cat.

Cuz, um...this teenage girl still wants to be Gambit, thanks.

And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I've got a big smile on my face right now, and it's a real one. When I thought the world was black and white, I didn't understand why I didn't fit the categories I was "supposed" to, but once I realized it's all grey, well...lo and behold, it does get better, as they say.

Rock on, Ragin' Cajun.

---

*I took the test a second time and made the "female" choice just for fun, and I came up as Mystique. Sure, like Leia and Gertie and other girls in my examples above, Mystique is actually pretty damn cool and she certainly does fit me personality-wise, but...yeah. Still shaking my head a bit. Not so much. I'd have never picked "girl" by choice, so while Mystique does jive with my, um, actually...let's just leave it at "does fit me personality-wise," k? *evil grin*

**I seriously am boggled at seeing little girls in dresses who aren't kicking, screaming, punching, crying, and, yes, biting to get out of them - that's what I did. Every. Damn. Sunday. I hated wearing dresses so much as a child that I would pretend to be sick every week when my mom tried to make me get up for church. I'd pretend to sleep late so I'd make us too late to go. I'd lose my dress shoes on purpose. It wasn't that I hated church (though I would grow to quickly) or my mother (that would happen also). It was the dresses. Plain and simple. I loathed them. But it was non-negotiable with my mother that I would wear them. And so, when none of my ploys worked, I would be forced into them, crying and usually after a spanking, and I. Hated. It. I hated it with every fiber of my being, and soon church and my own mother would be associated with pain and suffering and hypocrasy, as I was told to paste a smile on my face in spite of my misery. Please, parents, I beg you not to do this to your child. Let them be who they are. There are ways you can teach gender roles (if you deem them appropriate) without torture. Please don't do things like this. I understand the motivation, but there's sticking to your guns and there's torture. Mind the line in the sand, please, because it just flat sucks to mindlessly impose your will on another, and your child will hate you for it if you do. Now, you're not a good parent if your child doesn't hate you sometimes, but to force your will on a creature who has no voice at all is just pathetic. Don't do it. Please.

***Seriously, women rock. I'm proud to be one. And little Christian's death and funeral, terrible as it was, is a large part of why. It's a long story, but suffice to say that in most families, let's face it, the women tend both the dead and the living. I learned that when my mother and I took care of everything for Christian and then I listened to the other women who attended the funeral talk about their lives. All of them were older than me and had seen so much more hardship than one death. Yet all of them still had to get dinner on the table that night, so to speak. They cowgirled up, because in the fifties, your husband wasn't going to feed your other baby just because you lost one in a miscarriage or the two men in class A's showed up on the porch.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jackwabbit
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Action Man? G.I. Joe? What's that? Bwahahahaaaa! Yeah, I loved G.I. Joe, Transformers, etc, etc, etc. But, like I suspect was the case for you, my "tomboyish-ness" went far deeper than just playing with "boy" toys and not liking "girl" clothes. I truly thought of myself as a boy mentally. I knew I wasn't, and I never wanted to change myself physically, but in my mind, even now, when I think back on my childhood, I realize that I hear "when I was a little boy" in my head if I'm honest.

Some years ago, I noticed that I always started stories of my youth with "when I was little" or "when I was about seven" or "when I was a little kid" and never, ever did I say "when I was a little girl." So I tried it out. It felt wrong. It still does. It's simply not the truth as I know it.

I find it sad how many of us that don't quite fit the mold have strong negative associations with school or church or what have you simply based on the fact that we were forced into clothes that made us feel uncomfortable. I mean, really. What harm is there in letting a female wear trousers? Or in allowing a male child to wear a dress, for that matter? I hope one day we can accept both. The "tomboy," at least, is leaps and bounds ahead of the "effeminate" male in terms of acceptance, but one day I hope none of this will matter and we will let school be about school and not gender. That day is a long way off, I know, but I can hope, right?

Now, as for those trousers (and yes, I know the UK vernacular pretty well, my friend), I also am most comfortable that way. It's a moot point for me now days, as I wear scrubs most of the time and they are pretty damn gender neutral (you'd never catch me in those trendy ones), but right now I'm wearing camouflage shorts and a grey t-shirt with a LEGO man on it. This, or something similar, is my usual wardrobe outside of work. Now, every once in a while, I actually enjoy dressing up, but that's because it means I'm going to the theater or the Moulin Rouge or some other amazing place, and that's nice. Otherwise? Blech.

I am 100% comfortable with who I am, and I'm so grateful not to be young anymore. I'm so happy to be able to live as I see fit and not be under the boot of others and their expectations of me. I wouldn't mind having youth, but youth is truly wasted on the young. Sigh...

By the way, I'm screening comments here now because I made this post public. I don't care who knows this and I'm happy to put it out there just in case it might help someone else.
(Deleted comment)
jackwabbit
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Action Man
I know who he is! :) Oh! I wonder if I can find that website that has all the UK G.I. Joe comics online again...hm...I don't think I bookmarked it, but...let me dig a bit.
lolmac
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
Well, my first reaction is "Hey, that's cool." Mostly, what I think is "cool" is the notion of a friend of mine taking a good long stride forward in recognising/understanding a part of the self that can be dreadfully slippery.

The terminology I would use for you is that you're butch -- that is, that you like and are comfortable with the kind of stuff that our society usually assigns to the males. Possibly it's strong enough that you could be called genderqueer, although that's a very fuzzy term (but then, it's a fuzzy subject). I didn't see anything in your post indicating that you're what I'd call gender dysphoric (the medical condition that results in transsexuality).

And you can feel free to wave away the terminology, unless you feel inclined to play with it. When I came out, I spent weeks chewing over words such as "lesbian" and "bisexual", trying to get a handle on them, trying to get past the social weight of the labels and actually make some progress in understanding myself. It took a long time. (I didn't come out, even to myself, until I was 29.)

BTW, I was and am both a tomboy and a femme -- I like dresses and I often choose to wear them. Even when, say, climbing trees. Or mountains. As a kid, I tended to play the ass-kicking female character; although the ass-kicking part always seemed to be the defining trait, with the 'female' element far less important. If anything, I tended to regard the specifics of actual maleness as a lot of awkward problems that I was very glad not to have. (Come to think of it, I still do.)

Admittedly, I was never forced to wear dresses; nor was I forced to wear pants. I would have hated being forced to attend church, regardless of the clothing involved -- different barriers, different issues.

Feel free to unscreen this comment; nothing secret here.
jackwabbit
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
I have one friend who identifies as genderqueer, so I am familiar with this type of thing, and you're right - both in that the terminology can get very confusing and that I don't go quite that far into the realm of "masculine" stuff. I would agree, for the most part, that I am a butch woman, but not in the full on look like a man way that is most often associated with that word. I haven't been confused for a male in many, many years, though I often was as a child and occasionally was until high school.

These days, I would say that I merely dress very plainly/geeky girl (but not sexy geeky girl - though I must confess I rather like how my Happy Bunny tee fits - again, this has happened in the past few years only - and I'm starting to realize that I've got the body for slave Leia, so...you never know *grin*) and honestly, this isn't a big deal to me. I don't think of this as any sort of coming out. It's just my observations of my experience. After I typed this post, I nearly deleted it because I didn't want it to be taken as more than it is, but frankly I spent a lot of time typing it and that would be such a waste, so here we are. Also, I posted it because it's my statement to the world to get over this whole "put everyone into very few categories" thing it likes to do. You nailed it when you said this aspect of self can be dreadfully slippery. It's not black and white, and if one person who is grey sees this and is somehow helped by it, then I've done well today.

Seriously, though, I don't feel like a need a label at all. I'm just me.

I think it's awesome that you could (and do) go both ways with the femme and tomboy parts of you. I leaned one way young and now walk the line/have crossed to the other side, depending on the day. I've learned it's not so bad doing that. I used to avoid the femme side like the plague, but I do enjoy being girly sometimes now. Like learning the make-up thing. It didn't kill me! And it looked good! Who knew?!?

And yes, ass-kicking is much more important that the boy/girl thing. And the actual male anatomy thing? Oh, hells no. No, no, no thank you. I can't even imagine having that.

As for coercion, well, yeah. I had a problem with church as soon as I was old enough to think*, and when you added the dress thing to it, well...anathema. I don't think I would have been half so much of a brat if I hadn't had to endure that.
jackwabbit
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
*On the church thing, this was me at four years old.

"What about the dinosaurs?"

"How long is a day to God?"

"God doesn't judge me, why do you?"

"Fossils don't lie."

"Do you think God has so much of a sense of humor that he made us discover carbon dating just to screw with us? Okay, then maybe he's okay after all. Cuz, you know, that's funny."

Etc, etc, etc. *beams* I know I was a pain in the ass, but, um...I still stand by these questions. I was obsessed with dinos as a kid. I loved rocks, too. So...yeah. I stumped the Sunday School teachers all the time.

And when I was about fourteen and sitting in church one day being preached at about the Great Commission (it's in Matthew - go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel, etc, etc), my brain suddenly went, "How rude is that?!?" and I immediately stopped believing in missionary work (now, granted they do a lot of other amazing work, like medical and educational stuff, but imposing your beliefs on others isn't okay with me).

I was on Bible Quiz teams for years. I can quote that book backward and forward. I've read the entire thing several times. And I love it when Christians try to argue with me. So. Much.

I did it for the competition aspect (and I was good, too) - never for the meaning. I learned young that one could show one face but have another. So I earned ribbons and trophies and traveled to competitions all over and was called "such a good girl" constantly for my dedication to the good book while doing everything I spoke against on my own time. Oh, the irony. I also did it to get out of the actual service because practice was at the same time and anything was better than the sermon. And I am so glad I did now. Like I said, the knowledge is so very useful.

It was somewhat hard for me to completely leave that stuff behind, because I was raised on the "God has a big billy club and he's going to beat me with it if I say he doesn't exist" idea, but I must confess I didn't struggle much or for long.

Thank FSM. ;)

Seriously, the way I describe my upbringing is a tongue in cheek "I was raised in a religious home, and it took me a long time to overcome that." I mean it, too. *shudder*
lolmac
Apr. 10th, 2013 12:28 pm (UTC)
Your recent post sent me back to re-read this one. Here's another song for you:

http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/WORDGOD.HTML

(The woman who wrote it, Cat Faber, was actually a protegee of mine waaaay back in college.)
jackwabbit
Apr. 11th, 2013 07:51 am (UTC)
That is amazing. Love it. Thanks for sharing it and your protegee.
jackwabbit
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
A funny thought I just had:

Is it ironic that I have no problem with nudity (I've been to and would again go to nude beaches as one of the nudes), but yet don't like clothes that make it obvious I'm female?

Huh.

Paradox, much?

I love me.
sonria
Oct. 20th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Ummmm...no?

You're you, and honestly that's about the extent of what matters. At least for me.

FWIW, I'm very female (much more than I sometimes seem) and I hate skirts with a passion.
jackwabbit
Oct. 21st, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I can still be a paradox and be me. ;)

"I knew this girl made of memories and phrases, lived her whole life and both chapters and stages. Danced til the dawn, wished all her worries away."

"She has worn a wealth of costumes, hula skirt to wedding gown."

(Jimmy Buffett, Lone Palm and Hula Girl at Heart, respectively, and yeah...so much truth there.)
roboticonograph
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
Ain't no thing. Right? ;)
jackwabbit
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
Absolutely, Tony. Absolutely. ;)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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