I’ve been musing about tradition for several posts, and I want to continue that gravy train. When I start thinking about something, I keep going until I am beyond tired of the subject. Then I think about it some more until I’m ready to drop it and never speak of it again. I’m not there yet with this topic so let’s roll!
I’ve talked about several topics that opened my eyes to the fact that what I was raised with wasn’t necessarily what I believed in. The one that really stands out, even thirty years later, is having sex for the first time. I was very much a wait-until-I-get-married gal when I was young. That was what I was raised with and it was what was pounded in my skull in my church. Sex is evil, bad, and will put your soul in eternal damnation. Until you get married and then it’s pure and holy. Angels will sing as you have sex, but only for procreation reasons!
By the time I entered college, I was what I called a TV–technical virgin. I had done everything with a man except P-I-V (or P-I-A, but that wasn’t even a possibility to me back then). It really was a matter of inches at that point, and I became less and less convinced that it mattered. To be clear, I never really believed in the Christian God with a capital G. I tried really hard, but I could never truly believe. Which made me feel crappy, obviously. i thought there was something wrong with me that I never felt that connection to God. It didn’t occur to me that maybe there was no connection to feel.
I prayed for God to change me into a boy when I was seven. Every night before I went to sleep, I prayed that I would wake up a boy. If God was that powerful, then it should be a breeze for Him, right? It never happened, obviously, and I would wake up, bitterly disappointed to still be a girl.
To be clear, it wasn’t that I felt as if I were a boy; I did not. I never have. I am not a man. I am very clear about that. However, because of all the shit I got as a young female-shaped person, mostly from older Taiwanese women (internalized misogyny is a bitch, yo), I thought the only solution was for me to be a boy instead.
“Girls don’t _____” was a recurring theme in my childhood. Fill in the blank with climb trees, play roughly, sit with your legs open, laugh loudly, and the list went on and on. It was some toxic, retro bullshit, even for the time, that I didn’t recognize was firmly not my problem.