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Blue to Pink: Our Societal Stigma

Navigating through society’s rules about gender appropriateness.

New Year’s Eve, my wife and I were enjoying a glass of champagne and the snacks that I had made that night. When out of nowhere she turns to me and asks, “so what parts of my maleness do you miss?” That question hit me in the funny bone and I started laughing so hard I almost fell of the kitchen stool I was sitting on. She thought it was funny that I found the question so hysterical, it made her laugh too. Now I know I will get feedback for my use of the word “maleness” however it’s a word given to us by society. I did not invent it. I only use it in reference to the conversation we had.

“NEVERTHELESS HERE I AM THINKING ABOUT HOW LIFE WAS THEN COMPARED TO NOW.”

How strange is it that one funny little question can send your mind on a journey? On a day-to-day basis “dead name” does not cross my mind. I am married to a wonderful woman for what feels like an eternity. I must say that I try to stay away from thinking about my wife when she was living as my husband. Only when faced with an old picture or memory do I think about our old lives. It’s not something that I intend to do, it just happens organically. Nevertheless here I am thinking about how life was then compared to now.

The joke in our house was always that I was the man of the family. Even extended family members would make rude comments to our kids about my wife lacking in the “manliness” department. When living in her old skin, my wife was not at all masculine. So is there anything I miss about “him?” My answer is always no. She is the same person that I fell in love with all those years ago. I loved that she was an artist, sensitive, intelligent, in touch with her feelings, and empathetic. She is nonjudgmental and open to all walks of life. Not to mention strong enough to be in love with a complicated nut-job, such as myself.

“…SOCIETY GIVES US THESE RULES BASED ON THE GENITALIA THAT WE ARE BORN WITH.”

It is crazy when you stop to think about it, but society gives us these rules based on the genitalia that we are born with. You have a vagina, you will love the color pink, to wear dresses, and playing with dolls. You have a penis, you will love the color blue, playing in the mud, big trucks, and cap guns. Imagine the possibilities of letting children determine for themselves their likes and dislikes? How much easier it would be for transgender and gay kids to come out? For all kids to just be themselves and be proud of whatever that is. Instead, when they are born we buy what society deems appropriate for that child’s genitalia.
What would our world look like if we didn’t subscribe to society’s rules of pink and blue? If we let little girls play with trucks and little boys play with dolls? That might just make a better well-rounded generation of little people. If my father had taught me how to change the oil in my own car, think of all the money I could have saved at the auto mechanic. Or if mothers taught their sons their way around the kitchen what good partners they would make in later years. I have always told my daughters from when they were very young that they could do anything, learn anything, and be anything that they wanted to. Even if it was viewed as something that men did. My greatest wish for them was simply, to be happy with themselves no matter what road they traveled down in life.

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