July 10, 2015
I finished the first part of this story describing my doubts about “being a woman”. I wasn’t sure what that even meant. My own mom wasn’t a very good example – she was completely different from all the other women I encountered. She always wore plaid and jeans, and her hair flew around randomly. Her mannerisms were masculine.
So where was I to get some kind of role model other than Johnny Depp – who, although somewhat effeminate – still was no chick? In the ass of the world, where we lived, there weren’t much rolemodels to choose from – Spanish women had very different goals than I.
But I was a bookworm. I vanished into Rubyfruit Jungle and Queen of America. I loved Molly Bolt. Although I was her more timid, introverted shadow, she and I stood defiantly in a world that seemed to know exactly what was good for us and what kind of outlook to pursue. Tank Girl (the comic book) and later on Lisbeth Salander (the girl with the dragon tattoo) also were good candidates.
As I entered the world of aviation, a plethora of new inspiration came my way – Patty Wagstaff, Jacquie B. Warda, Melissa Pemberton. These women all had one distinctive feature in common. While very obviously female – pronounced chest, thin eyebrows, broad hips – the works – all of them breached the abstract yet conspicuous division that is gender.
But it wasn’t until I saw Ruby Rose – who plays Stella Carlin in the series “Orange is the New Black” that I figured out I was not a tomboy, I was fluid in the sense of feeling male while being female. In her videoclip,* she shows the transition she made from cis-gender to gender queer. We also live in a society where gender is becoming more fluid and negotiable, and for many, that’s good news.
Not so long ago, being gay was frowned upon as if it were an abomination. Today, a good portion of Facebook is multi – colored, as per Zuckerberg’s rainbow filter option. This flag doesn’t just include gay marriage. It’s a symbol of the LGBTQ movement – Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Questioning. Before this year, I’d never thought I’d identify with that flag – let alone be involved romantically with someone who likes women as well as men.
He showed me that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter in which box you fit or don’t fit. He showed me that love doesn’t care whether you identify as a chick, or a dude, or something in between, or maybe as a furry or some other category I haven’t heard of. As long as you are yourself. Boldly so.
*Mentioned videoclip is called “Break Free” and you can watch it in my post Gender is Fluid.