Splashing around in the mud had always been my favourite activity after it had just rained. It always excited me when it rained, since it meant that my rain boots would come out and my corduroy pants would become soaked with mud and my short bob would be caked with dirt, much to the dismay of my mother. However, when I went to school and it rained during recess, none of my female friends wanted to join in with me. It baffled me, since it was so fun! Who wouldn’t want to join in?
My male friends, however, would happily join in with me. We would play catch and tag while splashing in the mud and puddles, tracking it into the school by the cuffs our pants. Throughout the day, however, it continued to bother me. Why hadn’t my best friend joined with my fun? She had stayed completely away from me while I had played.
In hindsight, I realized she hadn’t wanted to join in because mud and dirt was for boys. Corduroy pants, short hair, and playing with mud was all for boys. I had never really complied with female stereotypes, especially as a child. All of my female friends loved to experiment with their mother’s makeup, have their hair tied up into pigtails, and would cry if a touch of mud got onto their pantyhose. However, WWE was my favourite thing to watch on television, my hair stayed short for many years, and playing in the mud will always be fun.
Nowadays, I’ve complied more into how females are perceived to be. I have around three dresses in my closet, a couple of skirts, as well as a rather impressive collection of makeup. However, my interpretation of gender identity has changed recently. My boyfriend is gender non-conforming, therefore they identify as neither male nor female. They dress as the choose, act as they choose, and don’t blink twice if people defy them. My boyfriend is my rock, and having them with me changes my perspective about the whole world. Gender is not one or two things; it can be as many things as you want it to be. Meeting them, learning about them, and in turn loving them changed my perspective of gender. My childhood doubts about how I should act as a girl changed in one instant, and I realized that I can still wear a dress and leave mud tracks with my heels.