Everything I had been holding back for years suddenly came bubbling up to the surface. All the years of silently putting up with the the heart-piercing, debasing verbal assaults from guys like this. I was done. Before I knew it I found myself across the street, face to face with the guy in the polo shirt.
It would be easy to mistake these kids as a bunch of adorable young girls––running, playing and having fun like kids everywhere do at camp. But for many of them, Camp You Are You is one of the few places they feel comfortable enough to experiment and express unconventional gender presentations.
My family fantasy centered around me, a feminist dude partner, and two adopted daughters that I could call Mary and Margot after my favorite lady monarchs. Our home would ooze estrogen and empowered ladyhood.
Writing under my initials for a very long time has allowed me to observe the way people relate to a writer on the basis of perceived gender, because people seem to have an urgent, desperate need to slot each other into gender categories.
Especially now, when ambiguously gendered names are actually extremely common and names that were historically masculine are commonly used by women and girls, names and salutations are even more of a minefield than they were before.