I couldn’t resist posting this video by Andrea Gibson, the author of Swingset. Some of her words could have come right out of my mouth (had I been such a fine poet, that is):
“It’s not that I thought I’d grow up to be a man; I just never thought that I’d grow up to be a woman either. From what I could tell neither of those categories fit me, but believe me, I knew from a very young age never to say “Hey dad, this Adam or Eve thing isn’t working for me; I mean, what about all the kinds of people in between?”
“No, I’m not gay. No, I’m not straight, and I’m sure as hell not bisexual, damn it!”
She rocks. My transcription, after the jump.
When I was a kid I would sometimes secretly call myself Andrew. Would tug at the crotch of my pants the way only pubescent boys do, ran around pounding on my bare chest like Tarzan. It’s not that I thought I’d grow up to be a man; I just never thought that I’d grow up to be a woman either. From what I could tell neither of those categories fit me, but believe me, I knew from a very young age never to say “Hey dad, this Adam or Eve thing isn’t working for me; I mean, what about all the kinds of people in between?”
In the third grade, Lynnette Lyons asked me where all my Barbies were, lied and told her I’d got in trouble so my mom took ‘em away. I didn’t dare say “Barbies suck, Lynnette! And for that matter, Tommy, so does GI Joe.”
I wanna grow into something none of us has ever seen before, and gender is just one of the ways we’re boxed in and labeled, before we’re ever able to speak who we dream we are, who we believe we’ll become, like drumbeats ever changing their rhythm. I am living today as someone I had not yet become yesterday, and tonight I will borrow only pieces of who I was today to carry with me to tomorrow.
No, I’m not gay. No, I’m not straight, and I’m sure as hell not bisexual, damn it! I am whatever I am when I am it, loving whoever you are when the stars shine and whoever you’ll be when the sun rises. Yes, I like girls. Yes, I like boys.
Yes, I like boys who like boys; I like girls who wear toys and girls who don’t; girls who don’t call themselves girls; crew cuts or curls and that really bad hair phase in between. I like steam rising from the body of a one-night stand; I like holding hands for three months before kissing; I like wishing your body was Saturn, my body thousand rings wrapped around you. You wanted to be a Buddhist nun once; last night you held my cervix between your fingers. I thank gods I don’t believe in for your changing. Tell me we’ll be naming our children “Beautiful” and nothing else.
Tell Barbie she can go now. Tell GI Joe to put his gun down and find a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a girl-boy-friend; fuck it, y’all, GI Joe just needs a friend. I mean, he’s plastic and not even the kind of plastic that bends. I want to bend in a thousand directions like the sun does, like love does, like time stopped so the hands of the clock could hold each other; and we held each other like I held these words for too many years on the tip of my tongue.
I am my mother’s daughter. I am midnight sun. You can find me on the moon waxing and waning, my heart full of petals, every single one begging “love me, love me, love me, whoever I am, whoever I become. Love me, love me, love me.”
–Poem by Andrea Gibson