From the great blog Hypotaxis, an entry about growing up as an androgynous lesbian.
It was not easy growing up dyke. I didn’t always love my identity, and I certainly didn’t always love my body.
Sometimes, to be perfectly frank, my body frightened me – but that’s a condition of girlhood, of womanhood. Society makes female bodies out to be strange, exotic objects to be manipulated, manufactured, reproduced and coveted, and so, those of us in possession of female bodies sometimes have a hard time sorting it all out. I know I did. When I was young, I had a hard time figuring out how I could have romantic attachments to women, hate dresses, adore fishing and STILL be a girl. According to culturally constructed gender imperatives, I was “defective.”
Luckily, I was surrounded by women – female family members, female friends, and female professors – who assured me I was perfect as I was. This network of women was essential – rather than encouraging me to reject my female body, to reject my womanhood, these women encouraged me to embrace being a female who simply did not conform to the gender norms I’d been subjected to since birth; these women encouraged me to love being a woman, to be proud of being a woman.