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

from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon by Kimwei



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.


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?


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


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