I first realized that something about me was different when I was in high school. I was wearing plaid boxers and oversized hoodie while I drank straight from the carton of OJ in the kitchen. My dad, who'd never do such a disgusting thing said, "Honey?"
I said, "Sorry, dad, I know you hate it when I do that, I'll stop."
"No, no. Did I raise you to be a boy? Did I do OK?"
The funny part is that my dad is no man's man. He'll change a tire, but I think he'd rather die than shoot a deer, or for that matter, eat unreheated leftover pizza. In my years of digging through his stuff, I'd never found so much as a Vargas print, let alone a Playboy. When I was a little girl, he bought me plenty of My Little Pony toys and pink hair holders.
"No dad, this is just how I came out. Sorry about the orange juice."
Shortly after that, I gave the girl thing a try. I bought tight jeans, cute shirts, and plenty of make up. Every morning I got up and put on my drag, thinking that word. Drag. I gave away all my old clothes, my boxer shorts and oversized pants.
Then the trouble started. "Where you going?" "You're legs look nice in them heels!" "Let me buy you dinner!" "Let me buy you clothes!"
I was 17. I was scared by all this attention, and I didn't feel pretty. I felt like a fraud. I'm heterosexual, but I certainly didn't find these men attractive. The tipping point came when I was in a library, reaching for a book. I was wearing high heels and a skirt, and man said very audibly to his female friend,
"Look at that! Disgusting!"
She laughed merrily. I'd wanted to fit in, but men either wanted to fuck me or found me disgusting, girls assumed I was stupid, then became cruel when I got A's. So I swung back around. I gave myself a mangled pixie, wore a suit jacket instead of a tight coat, and went back to loose pants and shirts.
Now men yelled, "Hey faggot get out of my way!" Or they cruised me, then left when I answered in a high pitched voice. Girls either hit on me, or made a disgusted face if I approached them about anything but the time.
I enjoyed passing. Men never harassed me, and if I didn't want to wait in line at the ATM after dark, I'd pull my hood over my face as I approached. Bartenders ID'd me and then pointedly looked at the F in the lower left corner. I was free to move as the threat, rather than the threatened. It was intoxicating.
I didn't know why I was this way. Then I read an article about gender queer people. I didn't want a penis, but I wasn't exactly a woman either. I suddenly had a label. Then I read more about the movement. No one, it seemed, was like me. A boi who didn't want to sleep with women or gay men. I wanted to go to meetings, but was warned by a lesbian friend that I wouldn't be accepted, it was gays only.
Once again, I couldn't find my box. The gender queers didn't want me because I had sex with men, the girls thought I was a sexual threat, and straight men wrote me off as a fag or a dyke. I met men by treating them the way they had treated me when I was a woman, that is, I was blatant and aggressive. It worked.
I am outside of everything. I keep telling my husband that soon everyone will be like me, that someday my kind will rule the world, with our mix of masculine logic and feminine intuition. Since I have never met another like me, that is just horse shit I repeat to keep myself from feeling so Other I could die (or go back to drag.)