Posted by: Rainbow411 / GSHRadio on 04/18/2017
BY GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ APRIL 18 2017 5:25 AM EDT
Photo: Video Screenshot
They were playing one of those magical self-generating kids’ games, where the rules are fuzzy, the atmosphere electric. I was, as usual, walking between pockets of people. I do not know what trickster-god possessed me on that day. Before I could stop myself I’d crossed the threshold.
“Hey, can I play too?”
Katie, the leader, didn’t hesitate: “No. Only girls can play this game.”
I sputtered, “But ... Steven’s not a girl!”
Katie’s expression, the mixture of amusement and surprise as she stopped short and gazed over, is forever fixed in my memory.
“Oh, yeah!” she said, “I forgot!”
I stood bewildered, frozen, as the group giggled away from me back into their secret realm. I was trapped in Boy World, where every game (sometimes, it seemed, every interaction) needed to come down to being a winner or a loser — “neither” didn’t exist. Competition causes me psychic pain which, at that age, I did not yet have the tools to handle. Here was Steven freely walking the mysterious Girl World that I was forever barred from, and I had just witnessed a girl have to re-realize Steven was a boy. Mythologically speaking, this impenetrable, confounding, aching moment, at 7 years old, was precisely when I decided to pretend to be cisgender.