The myths of sexual identity anderasing stereotypes

By Maria Chambers
January 31, 2002

When I was a little girl (not that I’m so very old now) I would go over my cousin’s house and we would watch Saturday morning cartoons. I distinctly remember my cousin Michelle yelling at me because I refused to watch “Care Bears” with her, but “Transformers” was on at the same time and right after that was “Thundercats.” So, my cousin Michael and I would go in the basement and watch the “cool shows” instead of the “girly shows.”

I was always hanging out with the guys. (It’s no wonder why I identify myself the way I do). It wasn’t that I didn’t like “Care Bears,” it’s just that I found different cartoons to be more appealing.

I didn’t learn how to ride a two-wheeler until I was almost seven. I tried to learn when I was younger but I kept falling and getting hurt. My parents would discourage me without even knowing it because every time I fell and started to cry they would say, “Suck it up!” or, “You’re not supposed to cry.”

Emotions were something you were never allowed to show in my family and now they wonder why I don’t smile around them. So I was a strong little girl; I was a “tough guy.”

I’m still a tough guy, I’m just older, and a little bit taller. Sometimes I feel like my parents raised me as their son.

I have two younger sisters and both played with dolls and Barbies, but I played with GI Joe and matchbox cars. They yelled at me for that too, so I changed and played with “girl toys.” After that I vowed not to change for anyone but myself.

When I was about four, I remember that I used to absolutely love Tina Turner. I told my mom that when I grew up I was going to marry her. My mom told me that girls can’t marry girls, and when I asked her why she looked at me like I should have known better and said, “They just can’t.”

To this day I am determined to prove her wrong. The funny thing is that she was completely and utterly shocked when I said, “Mom, I’m dating someone.” It was like a scene from the musical, “Rent.”

She said, “What’s his name?” My response was, “Carly.” Now my mom is cool with the way I have chosen to live my life, but she still asks, “What’s his name?” when I tell her there’s someone new in my life.

I don’t blame my mother for anything, I’m proud of who I am. I just want to vanquish those silly stereotypes about gay and lesbian people. Sure, I played with toy cars and GI Joe, but I played with dolls and I played house like every other girl.

So far my life has been about proving people wrong. I don’t try to prove people wrong, nor do I do what I do just to say that I’m right. These are the facts. I’ve been attracted to girls since as long as I can remember and I believe that even if I didn’t play with toys designed for ‘boys’ I’d still be the person I am today.

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Maria Chambers

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