Aug 2018 - Nothing's Binary Part 1: Performing Maleness

from by Kimwei

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I have a female body, but I spent much of my childhood presenting myself as male. I watched boys intently, learned what they did. I performed being male, and would do anything to be accepted as a boy.

TRANSCRIPTION: PERFORMING MALENESS

When I was 10 I finally made the football team. I hated football; I was bad at it, but as I understood it being a boy required playing football, and getting onto the team would finally confirm my identity as a boy.

At the start of the first practice “Master Smith” was called out, “Master Davies”, all the other boys and finally me “Miss McCarthy”. I was shocked. I couldn’t understand it. Surely playing football made me a boy. I’d been expecting to hear “Master McCarthy.”

It was then I realised that gender is not about activity. Gender isn’t about how we look, or what we do. It’s about our personal internal sense of gender: our gender identity.

How many people, transgender or not, perform their gender every day? How many boys did what I did, and cut out crying or being excited, just to be accepted as male? And what would you do differently if all expectations to do with gender fell away?

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from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon, released January 30, 2017

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all rights reserved

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