It must be Sunday [Darleen Click]
The WaPo is running yet another insufferable piece of self-absorption to demonstrate how cool they are, unlike you insular, heteronormative rubes in the sticks.
When you don’t look like a typical girl — or feel like an average boy — there are few more confusing places than the gym.
Yet, even in an ostensibly liberal, open-minded city such as Washington, gender policing abounds. The gym is the place where people work out to become more like the skinny, toned women or perfectly muscular men in advertisements. Women do cardio to shed unwanted pounds, and men pick up free weights to groan and stare in the mirror at their reflections — frantically working to become ideal models of their respective genders.
I identify as “genderqueer” — blurring the line between man and woman. For example, I love my masculinity, and trying to get big at the gym is just one of my avenues for expressing it. I appreciate my femininity, too, particularly my ability to access vulnerability and express emotions freely. Calling myself genderqueer is about gender fluidity, not necessarily about sexual orientation. It’s about expressing a more authentic self. Existing in the gray area, I feel less confined by false notions of how I “ought” to be. […]
I was the kid who longed to be in the Boy Scouts just as much as any other boy in my class. I had already come up with lots of ideas about how to build the fastest, coolest pinewood derby car, and I desperately wanted to earn a Wilderness Survival badge. But instead I had to practice cooking and learn dance routines in the Girl Scouts. In all of the pictures from those days, I am wearing a serious frown. […]
Sitting on my bench, I see myself reflected in the crotch-scratching jocks around me. I’ve learned to adapt to this masculine culture that encourages me to take up as much space as I can in order to assert my existence. The degree to which I unabashedly take my time as I perform my fourth set of skull crushers warns others to back off my territory.
It is a strange experience for someone socialized as a girl — taught to always ask for permission, to say “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me.” Here, in this sacred zone, I shed 25 years of indoctrination. My “pleases” and “thank yous” turn into “this is mine” and “move over.”
Strangely, enforcing “please” and “thank you” with my grandsons is no different than what I expected from my daughters.
We all transgress gender norms. For some of us it is in big ways — boys wearing fabulous pink dresses or someone transitioning to a gender different from the one a doctor assigned at birth. For others, transgression can be modest: the man who takes pride in being a great cook or the woman who changes the oil in her husband’s car.
Wow, who knew Chef Gordon Ramsey was a gender transgressor!
Ms. Cory is transcending sexual stereotypes, how?