Sunday, January 09, 2005

about a boy..

i'm still in dhaka.. only 3 days left of my vacation. i'm definitely feeling a little sad about leaving.

but that's not what this entry is about. this entry is about a boy. i.e. me. i'm a boy. here in dhaka that is. never mind my vagina and my boobs and my general feminine nature. here in dhaka, and pretty much everywhere in bangladesh, i'm a boy.

from the moment i stepped foot on my country's soil, i've had to endure comments about the length of my hair, the lack of jewelery on my body, the lack of girly clothes in my suitcase and my general boyish disposition. uncles and aunts didn't recognize me from behind because they thought they were looking at a boy. my father tells me to grow my hair long, because i look like a boy. my mother chides me for sarcastically calling my bag a man purse. never mind the plethora of people on the streets and in shops that stare at me with the most confused looks on their faces trying to match the short hair and clothing with the protruding chest. even my sister while out shopping with me, often points out things that she thinks i should buy that are girly, or frilly, or sparkly. they think i do this on purpose. they think i go out of my way not to be girly, when in absolute fact, i never was girly to begin with. it's not about being a lesbian, or being butch or being averse to all things pink. it's me. it's all me. and at the age of damn near 32, if i can't be me, then what the fuck am i living for?

this afternoon, my niece, bless her heart, who is the girliest of all girls, and so adorably so, exchanged the following words with me:

niece: don't forget what we're supposed to do tomorrow!
me: umm... i forgot already! what was it again?
niece: you forgot? oh no..
me: i'm just kidding girl, i'm taking you to mango cafe after school, right?
niece: yes! oh, and could you do me a favor? when you get to my school, please please please don't come inside, just send the driver in.
me: why would i do that? do you think i'm going to embarass you in front of your friends?
niece: yes.. please, don't come inside, i'll be really embarassed.. please!
me: now, wait a minute, what exactly would you be embarassed about? i'm a pretty cool cat, wouldn't you say?
niece: yes, but you look like a boy!
me: ....

it's time to have a serious little chat with my niece about the dynamics and varieties of gender methinks. she's pretty smart, i think she'll understand.