When did male become synonymous with strong?
When did female mean delicate.
When I was young, I was called a tomboy and was told my anger confirmed that I was.
“If it wasn’t true, you wouldn’t be bothered by it.”
Cartoons portrayed female characters as sweet and gentle,
if we were lucky, there would be a Ranger clad in pink.
As a child, I began to form an idea that “girly” was normal.
Males were portrayed as powerful, knowledgable, and assertive. I spent a large chunk of my adolescence believing I wanted to be a guy because I wanted to be strong, fast, and smart. I liked hanging out with the guys because I felt alive running around the blacktop and tackling people in a game of tag.
I grew up speaking my mind and pursuing what I want.. the problem is I believed my actions were due to my ability to “be one of the guys.”
I perceived determined, funny, cool, and awe-inspiring to be male traits.
So there I was. A little 6 year old girl running around with dirt on my face and scabs on my knees, refusing to wear a skirt because it was “gross.”
Throughout elementary and middle school, I sat idly by as my friends made fun of girls with trash like, “slut, ho, bitch, easy..” and I even laughed. Because I saw myself as one of the guys. I refused a whole part of my identity because I was ashamed of it. I was ashamed of being a girl. Being a girl meant liking pink and being soft-spoken and a demure little princess.
I struggled with myself until I realized, I did not need to be male to be worth something.
I joined the wrestling team not knowing what to expect and … I turned out to be pretty decent. I finally found something that I was good at, something I could take pride in. Something that made me feel.. powerful. Capable.
And I was told I couldn’t do it - because I’m a girl.
That’s when I realized I am more than my sex.
Strong does not mean male.
Being a female does not mean I must be weak.
Female does not mean helpless.
Female does not mean I can’t wrestle, and female does not mean I can’t kick your ass.
Female does not mean I must swallow my words.
My whole life, I’ve formed my identity around the belief that I wanted to be a guy.
I thought being a guy meant being brave. I guess it took me a while to realize that I just needed the courage to fall outside the dotted line.
I am more than my female anatomy.
I am my steadfast mind, my pounding lionheart, my cosmic dreams.
I am more than “that Asian girl.”
I am my struggles and my heartaches.
I am my success and my triumphs.
I will be whoever the fuck I choose to be because my identity is something I refuse to let my chromosomes decide.