Everyone Thought I Was A Boy

I wish I looked this adorable. |

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The woman didn’t know who anyone was and the name “Emerald” is pretty gender neutral which, again, didn’t help. Remember in elementary school when there was a girls’ line and a boys’ line?

She made me stand in the boys’ line. It was mortifying. I was so humiliated I couldn’t speak up and say, “I’m a girl!” Every time we changed classes, from period to period, I would get in the boy’s line and everyone would look at me like I was pathetic.

It felt so crappy. Imagine no one being able to recognize what gender you are and not having the courage to say so? Awful.

After recess, I discretely got into the girls’ line. The substitute teacher said, “Boy, what are you doing?” I mumbled, frightened and embarrassed, “I’m a girl.” The teacher’s face completely fell, she looked as humiliated as I was. She just said, “Oh,” while the class grumbled with laughter.

When I was 10, my mom finally stopped shaving my head. The weird thing was that in high school I couldn’t wait to cut my hair short and have been doing it ever since, but that’s probably because it’s pretty clear I am a chick these days.

What I learned more than anything is not only just how much we assume about people’s gender from what they look like, but how important it is to be recognized and accepted for who you are. We’d like girls to have long hair and wear dresses and boys to have short hair and wear pants–but that’s just not everyone’s true nature.

Imagine what it’s like for someone who is transgender? If we stopped trying to put everyone’s identity into a tidy, little box and ask them who they are and who they’d like to be, instead of deciding for ourselves, we might save each other a whole lot discomfort, alienation, and embarrassment.

Has anyone ever thought you were someone you weren’t? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Sad person

    People call me a boy because I have short hair, I have it in a pixie cut and I’m not a tomboy at all. I get really upset about it, and soon I’m going to a different school. I’m so scard people will pick on me! What do I do?

  • the summer befor i started 6th grade my dad and i went to the junk yard or wht ever to turn in scrap metal be for we went to the beach and i was wearing short shorts and a tee shirt that was obviously meant for a girl and when my dad went to get the money i was in the truck and he came back and told me the guy behind the counter said “heres a sucker for your BOY” the told me that i should make my hair pretty befor we went anywhere i wanted to punch both of them in the face

  • Parker

    I cut my hair really short in the 6th grade, but it was in the middle of the school year and every one know i was a girl. But i over heard the popular people making fun of me and saying that my hair was bad before i cut it and now it is even worse. This didnt fase me because i dont really care what other people think. Except people out side of school started calling me a boy and my brother started calling me his “brother” and saying how people were making fun of me. It started getting to me and it didnt make it any better that my friends were saying that i should grow it out and i knew they thought it looked weird. My hair is some what grown out now cause its been about a year and no one calls me a boy any more, but when i think about it, it kind of bothers me.

  • Jess

    The worst I’ve ever had, despite having short hair most of my life, was when I was waiting in line at the supermarket with my brother. The lady behind us asked how long we had been going out. My brother is 6 years younger than me and he has the same eye and hair colour as well as the same nose. It’s pretty ovoius we are related.

  • Merrick

    When I was in second grade, I was a complete tomboy. Not one of those girls who says she’s a tomboy. A real, hand-me-down hawaiian shirt-wearing, cargo-shorts-sporting, tree-climbing, jurassic park lunchbox-toting tomboy. I was that girl who would pick up earth worms and terrorize the other girls by following them around with the writhing little buggers. The only reason anyone knew I was a girl was, I guess, because of my long hair. Near the end of second grade, my dad, an independent filmmaker, decided that I was to play an 8-year-old him in an autobiographical narcissism-fest movie. I was told that a wig would be to itchy and only option was to cut my long brown locks short and bleach them blonde. One five-hour salon visit later, I was the spitting image of a circa 1970 dad. I now had a blonde soccer cut (if you lived in the early 2000s, you’ll know). Going back to school was the worst experience of my life. I was actually asked on the playground if I was a boy or a girl. People with whom I had before been friendly now stared at me in silence. Once, as I was washing my hands in the bathroom, two older girls walked in and shrieked, “There’s a BOY in the girls’ bathroom!!!” I was shocked at just how ignorant and rude people could be. Of course, my hand-me-down boys’ clothes weren’t exactly helping my case, so my mom insisted upon buying me some pretty skirts and dresses in hopes of stopping the cruelty. Looking back, that probably confused my peers more than anything, but it seemed to help my self-esteem at the time. As my hair grew out, my life started to settle back down, but until I got out of that k-8 school, it never really returned to normal. I was still that weird girl. Now, as I’m approaching 11th grade (my hair is now blue), I suppose the colour and length of my hair doesn’t matter, but the fact that it did when I was younger and still does for some kids really makes me sad.

  • Becca

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around your mother shaving your head…

    • Lollipop Puppet

      I KNOW!!! I don’t understand why she would do that, especially with her kid getting harrassed at school for it!

  • basschick

    woooow why would your mom want to make you suffer? she should have known people would tease you about it. -_-

  • UrGurlJ

    Um, so did u ever find out exactly why ur mom thought it was a good idea to shave off all ur hair?? Or did she just like it that way? just wondering..

  • Eurydice

    I’ve done theater all my life, and the summer before third grade I was cast as a lost boy in Peter Pan. I was asked to cut my hair, and so my mother hacked it all off with a rusty pair of scissors by the yellow glow of the only hanging lamp in our kitchen. I distinctly remember watching my wavy locks fall to the floor. It was extremely short, almost a buzz cut. But with my short hair, I felt more freedom. I began dressing like a boy, climbing trees, and playing with trucks and legos instead of dolls and tea sets. I did all of the things I wanted to do with my brothers before but wasn’t allowed to in public because I was a girl. And when I went back to school, I walked into the bathroom after lunch to wash my hands. A first grader stood in front of the sink and looked at me with wide eyes and screamed as if she was being murdered. I was sent to the principal’s office, and it wasn’t until I was done being lectured and given a citation (a kind of demerit, if you got enough of them you were suspended), that I had the courage to speak up- I even remember what I said. “But, Mr. T, I’m a girl, honest. I’ll spit shake on it!”

    • Merrick

      I know your pain. :I

    • Parker

      i feel ur pain and im sorry for that experience, but the best part about it is watching there faces change when you tell them ur a girl

  • Sharpie-Sensei

    I don’t know if this is the same, but sometimes peoples automatically assume I’m a guy because of my name. Like once in middle school, I was called to the office because I think…I won something or another, I can’t remember, but when the principal saw me he looked stunned and was like “Oh, it’s a girl…okay.” On the prize it said MASTER Tristan -__- I was too shamed but humored at the same time. They same thing happened to my sister and I with some funeral flowers; they thought she and I were my grandfather’s nephews…not the best thing to realize at a wake…

  • Brianna

    No one has ever mistaken me for a boy, because i have very long hair. but… people tend to think that i’m emo. I dye my hair a lot, ive had it red before, and now it is brown with a lot of purple in it. i’m not emo, im not scene, im just a colourful person. I dont understand why such a label is there in the first place! everyone should just get to be themselves, because that’s the only person they can be. honestly, i feel like i have to hide the real me sometimes, because as you said, people are cruel. they don’t care about your feelings. they just stereotype you and put labels on you without a second glance. -B