Since I was very young, I always felt less like a girl than the ones around me. I was always liked to wear sneakers, and sometimes I'd shop in the boys section for my shoes. But I always shopped in the girls section for clothes. Pink and purple were my favorite colors for a really long time. My go-to outfit was jeans, a t-shirt, a hoodie, and sneakers. Every Halloween, I dressed up as something where I could carry some type of weapon. Yet, I still loved getting dressed up for special occasions in fancy dresses and getting my nails and hair done with my mom.
I never felt like a boy; I just felt not 100% feminine. As silly as it sounds, I really wondered if maybe I was gay. It's not that I never got any attention from boys, but I always felt like I lacked something - that boys would like me better if I acted or dressed more feminine. And that made me feel so uncomfortable. Because dressing the way I dress is what makes me comfortable.
From age five to fifteen, I was a gymnast. A sport that most people consider very feminine. I loved gymnastics; it felt like home, and I was good at it. But in high school, I played softball and I was also on the wrestling team. Being one of the only two girls on the wrestling team was extremely uncomfortable at times. My coaches didn't know how to treat us and neither did my teammates. I understand it's a very physical sport, but I'm here to learn it so don't be weird about it? I was afraid of what people would think of me when I joined the team; a lot of the girls that wrestle are super masculine. But, everyone thought it was so extraordinary and cool that I wrestled, so that worked out well.
It took me twenty years for me to realize that how I dress and the way I act don't have anything to do with my gender or sexuality. Sometimes I feel bad because I know my family wants me to dress differently or do different things, but that's really not their concern because I'm still taking care of me. These superficial parts of me are an expression of myself. I don't need to always put on a full face of makeup, have my hair curled, or wear heels and dresses to be a woman. I can do both. I can rock a dress but I can also rock an oversized hoodie. And I love that. I can channel masculine and feminine energy as much as I want without regard to what other people think.
I can be me without explanation. It doesn't matter who I'm attracted to, what I do, how I act. If I'm comfortable with myself, it's not my fault for how other people react to me being me.