Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Adventure of the traveling shorts

Yesterday was a big achievement for me. I put on some shorts and walked down to town, all by myself.

This may seem ridiculous to you, but to me it was a big step and quite nerve racking.

To misquote Stan Lee: With great legs comes great responsibility. And my legs really are great, so great that they seem to cause quite a drama everytime I show them in public. Infact the last time the smallest fraction of them were glimpsed in public (I'd forgotten to wear socks) a facebook fan page appeared the same evening, from none other than the people I lived with (not any more though), with the wonderful caption of 'is it a boy or a girl?'. Other comments followed such as 'disgusting' and 'I think I am going to be sick'. This resulted in me having to lie and say 'no, those aren't my ankles', to a lot of people that I had trusted, people who I had thought were my friends. I suddenly became very aware of the fact that being open and honest about myself was always going to be dangerous, that I could not extend the same blind trust that most people my age could do to the people they happened to live with. (Note: these were my second lot of flatmates, the original group had tried to smash my head in on a brick wall, shouted abuse at me at 3am in the morning while a group of guys tried to break into my room and had rotting meat left all over the entrance to my room).

You may be wondering what I had done to trigger such a negative reaction. The answer - I do not shave my legs. Okay, it is slighty more complexed that that - I identify as male/gender-queer (I'm still not quite sure where on the spectrum I fit, but as time goes by the more I feel I am most probably male).

 The offending limbs

To feel the sun on my pasty white legs is quite unusal, due to the amount of negative attention it gets. Once I had met up with my friends in town, I did notice the one odd glance but nothing was said. I did get shouted at by a group of young men outside KFC but beyond that it was a really great experience (I bought an easter egg!) Maybe by next year I will feel confident enough to turn up in shorts to a lecture. However, the whole experience did make me very aware of male priviledge, I could not imagine doing that while presenting as female. My safety net is always, that untill I speak, I appear male or atleast androgynous. If I didn't  look male and looked and dressed female - I honestly would be terrified and the abuse experienced probably ten times worse.  So to all the unshaven women out there, I take off my hat to you, you are far braver than I will ever be.

Enjoy the sun everybody!

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, those legs! How offensive! Somebody think of the children!

    Seriously though.. narrow-minded people with nothing better to do with their lives springs to mind. People are so scared of anything that goes against the grain! Well done on just going for it, proud o'ya :)