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what is a tomboy, anyway?

let me start by saying there is nothing inherently gendered about any length of hair. now, let me share some thoughts about what chopping my hair off means to me at this time. there’s something that bothers me about how whenever i talk about being a “tomboy,” with another woman, it’s always relegated to our past. like, “oh, when i was little, i was a tomboy...” ... “me too!” ... implied is that it was only okay back then, and only okay to talk about now because we’re not that anymore. gender is now becoming a much more fluid subject and expression in our communication about it (because in REALITY, it’s always been that — fluid), and so we see phrases like “tomboy” are now not only unnecessary and constrictive but straight messed up. like why can’t we just be what we ARE without needing to be othered and labeled as such, as anything? how about just a child who is who she is? who THEY are? maybe it would have been nice to have said to that little boy on the playground who asked me if i was a boy or a girl, “i’m just me,” instead of ashamedly feeling i had failed and needed to defend my assigned gender. i have said many many many times in conversation, “i was such a tomboy when i was little.”

it now occurs to me that maybe i wouldn’t feel such a need to express that part of my childhood self in casual conversation if i expressed it more in how i presently present myself. if i felt like how i dress and wear my hair and AM in the world (which is ever changing, btw) truly, fearlessly reflected all and evermore of me. so that i didn’t have to share certain very-real-and-still-here parts of me only in who-i-was-as-a-kid stories that only feel okay to share because i’m clearly not that anymore. if i was that, i wouldn’t have to tell you. so maybe i’ll start showing more.

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