Readers’ Commentaries Regarding the person who’s questioning about being “gender fluid” (August 29):
Reader #1 – “I was born in the ‘60s and before I was old enough to think about gender, I knew I wanted to do boy things and play with the boys.
“I wanted to skate like a boy, dress like a boy, skateboard, play baseball, and race my bike with the boys.
“I cried at age five when my room was painted pink, but at the same time I had a crush on Fred. I had no interest in playing “house” with the girls.
“I’m the only girl, second born, with three brothers. I was called a ‘tomboy’ at a very young age, and kept my hair short like “Scout” from To Kill A Mockingbird.
“I rebelled at anything that boys were allowed to do but were not allowed for a girl.
“I fought my school to be allowed into the car shop or carpentry shop. I kept up the tomboy in me although I’d started dating boys in Grade 9.
“I was forced to wear only skirts and dresses at my first job in retail (the 70’s) and the girl I worked with introduced me to nail polish and makeup when I was 17.
“I went all through high school without a dab of makeup or a haircut. I ended up enjoying fashion but in my down time, I still dress boyishly.
“I call myself a female in touch with my masculine side.
“I still enjoy male-dominated things and activities, like my car or anything with a motor or mechanical gadgets. I had all my own tools and took a carpentry course.
“I married in my 20’s and had three beautiful children.
“My point: I hear all this talk about gender fluidity and confusion about it.
“I was never confused, I always knew I liked boys.
“I was attractive in my youth and met women that found me attractive, but loved them only as friends, because I’m straight.
“I have a lot of gay friends, male and female, and we discuss these things.
“It’s possible to be a female and to be attracted to men, yet enjoy doing male-dominated things.
“My two beautiful, feminine daughters who excelled at sports and rock climb with me to this day, were both a little tomboyish but not to my level.
“If there’s a man out there that gets women, it’s my son.
“Once in school they were showing male-dominated activities and common responsibilities, as well as those for women. He said that his mom did all of them.”
Reader #2 – “Someone can struggle with gender identity and expression at any age and especially if they’re young, the amount of self-awareness it takes to ask these questions and then reach out for help is a mark of maturity.
“I want to tell the questioning letter-writer that they’re not alone and they should be commended in their journey.
“First, look up 2SLGBTQ+ resources in your area to connect with other people who might have the same questions as you.
“Seek professionals skilled in supporting people through issues with gender identity and expression. A supportive community can mean a world of difference whether online or in real life.
“Having real people rather than an Internet search engine to navigate these is crucial. One-on-one or group counselling could help support you through depression.
(I do recommend doing an Internet search to first determine how well-versed your counsellor is in gender issues).”
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who wants to ask her best friend to be a sperm donor but doesn’t want him to act as a “father” to the child she’d conceive (Sept. 4):
Reader – “As a retired psychologist who practiced at a fertility clinic for over 25 years, I have some familiarity with these issues.
“A child born through this treatment will likely have many questions, including who was the donor.
“Also there will be potential questions for the donor about their decision, interests and abilities, and family background.
“He/she may wish to meet the donor if contact has been lost.
“And the growing child might eventually wish for some sort of ongoing relationship with the donor even if not a typical parent-child relationship.
“Secrecy and anonymity in this field are being replaced by increasing openness.
“The potential recipient and donor need to talk together about these future possibilities before any firm decision is made.”
Tip of the day:
Increased awareness of gender identity and diversity hopefully leads to more self-acceptance.