“I’m an invert.” “I wanted to be called Andrew.” “Will it ever be okay for boys to dress up as princesses?” “But, no matter what, we’re all human.” The gender talk session at the LGBT center on November 20, 2012, consisted of numerous memorable quotes and topics, all of which sadly cannot be discussed in this blog post. However, the two that stood out to be the most was the topic of being an invert and the discussion of “I am who I am.”
I’ll start with the label of being an invert. In society’s eyes, there is a clear line that separates a man’s masculinity from a woman’s femininity. Men are tough, aggressive, and protectors while women are soft, passive and the ones in need of protecting. To follow that trend, boys are given muscular action figures to play with (because dolls are too feminine of a name) while girls are given sexualized Barbies. But when the roles are reversed and these “feminine” characteristics are given to a male they deviate from “normal.” They are now labeled an invert. If you are bi-gender, you’re an invert. If you’re a boy that likes to dress his action figures in dresses and pretend to be a girl, you’re an invert, and lastly, if you’re a girl who wants to be called by a boy’s name, then again, you’re an invert. While being an invert, it’s hard to find acceptance, sometimes from those who are most important to you, and it is that, not what society says, that makes living painful.
Regardless of the pain, the most important part of life is to continue being who you are. One performer spoke about dressing up as a boy in baggy clothes and doing boy “stuff” like playing sports in the dirt. (Because of course, girls can’t play in dirt since it’s a sin for their clothes to get dirty.) She spoke about wanting to be called Andrew and never saw herself as a woman, but she never saw herself as a man either. She was even running around shirtless like Tarzan, but she never labeled herself as straight, gay, bi, lesbian, or queer. Why all the complexity for one simple matter. It was simply who she was. That applied to all the other performers. Waking up every morning feeling like a male some days and a female like other days, or even wanting a detachable penis is irrelevant to who we are. We are each unique individuals, all different from one another. So, my question is, why is it difficult for society to see past the “normal” and realize that each person is, “weird”, and more importantly, themselves?
*The opening quotes used were taken from anonymous poems and prose recited at the performance.