#9: No more unrealistic expectations – both from myself and everybody else.
Nobody, including myself, is forcing me to meet unrealistic expectations anymore. The most prominent one would have to be the constant pressure to be as chatty as a girl (UGH! – Sorry ladies, but this just isn’t my thing). I just can’t do that. I’m not biologically wired to.
#8: No more being judged/criticized for having “masculine” interests.
I’ve always had more “masculine” interests. I developed an interest in cars when I was little, always liked to play outside, and all that other typical guy stuff. It was also apparent in my choice of toys to play with. I always preferred to play with cars, trucks, Legos, action figures, and all those other toys that boys typically play with. My mom always tried to get me to play with toys that girls typically like to play with. I tried them and they were okay but I always seemed to gravitate towards the typically boys’ toys. My mom was not so fond of the fact that I was interested in cars. She always pressured me into having more ‘feminine’ interests. It was annoying. Why couldn’t I just be interested into whatever I wanted without having to hear “you’re a girl, you’re supposed to be interested in this” and “this stuff is for boys”? Why do we have to fit into rigid gender norms? Why can’t we like whatever we want? Why do people have to force us to be in a box? Anyways, I’m glad I don’t have to put up with the stress of being judged for having traditionally masculine interests.
“Finally, I can do manly stuff – like throwing a tomahawk – without being reprimanded!”
#7: No more being pressured into acting and looking more “feminine”.
No longer will I have to hear my mom or other female friends (and relatives) tell me that I should act more like a girl. No longer will I have to be pressured into acting more like like a lady. I’m not biologically able to do that, nor do I have the interest in doing that. In addition, I’ll no longer have hear “you should put on some makeup, you’ll look so much better”, or “why don’t you want to put any makeup on?”.
#6: No more being forced to socialize with the girls.
At last, I can hangout with the guys (and without feeling awkward too). I can finally talk about and listen to stuff I can actually relate to. No more listening to superficial chatter about stuff I can’t relate to (no offense, ladies). No longer will have to sit or stand there feeling and looking awkward. There’s no more pressure to keep up with their far more superior verbal wit as well. (Although, I did learn a lot about females from listening to their conversations and generally being around them.)
#4: No more pressure to have a more feminine hair style.
When I was little, I wanted my hair short – just like the boys. When I turned 15, I finally cut my hair short. When I finally cut my hair, I felt so happy. I was so glad that I didn’t have to deal with the high maintenance of having long hair. I also liked that my head felt cooler (especially during the summer). But, just like with #3, the pressure to conform to gender stereotypes came along with cutting my hair. My mom was okay the first time, but when the second time came around, she was pretty unhappy. I’m guessing she thought it was just a ‘phase’ (me being a teenager at the time and all) the first time I did it. Like with #3, we would have arguments about this every time I got my hair cut. It was so annoying! Every time I would get a haircut, coming back home and facing my mom would be such a drag. It was such a stressful event. In fact, I would take up to a year to get my next one just because of this. Even worse, people who knew me (family and friends) would as me if I was going to let my hair grow back! In addition, they would say stuff like “you cut your hair?”. Now, I can get one about every six months. People are no longer making a big fuss about my hair. But most of all, I’m not under pressure to conform to a more feminine hair style anymore!
I can finally look like any of these guys without having the “fashion police” stalking me!
#3: No more being pressured into wearing more “feminine” clothes.
I’m coming from a Latino family, where there’s a lot of rigidity towards gender roles (at least by the adults). Even though my dad (when he was still with us) was okay with me defying gender norms, my mom was totally against it. She always pressured me into into conforming to gender ‘norms’ and sometimes we’d have arguments about it. They were extremely annoying and stressful! These arguments didn’t happen until I was 16 since I had more independence to do whatever I wanted to. One of those things, was buying guys’ clothes. I was longing to wear guys’ clothes since I was little, so I was very excited when I could finally buy my own clothes. My mom treated this like this was some kind of emergency – like if I had just violated one of those fashion “codes” (or whatever they’re called). Outside the home wasn’t any better. Everyone was trying to get me to wear more feminine clothing. It was so annoying! Fortunately, when I came out, the arguments ended and the pressure disappeared. When I declared myself male, I got rid of every piece of feminine clothing items I had laying around. Before that (and to my mom’s disgust at the time), I got rid of most of my girl clothes, and replaced them with guys clothes (this happened when I was about 18). I kept just a few girl clothing items (the more masculine looking ones) just in case I was forced to fall victim to conformity (from “peer pressure”). Fortunately, this only happened a few times. Now, I can be free to wear whatever I want without any fuss or judgement whatsoever.