This is such an exciting day, a lot of hard work has gone into this site, and we hope to make it yours. We want feedback, and suggestions, and input! What do you want to see, hear, and feel about gender? Our goal is to deconstruct the gender binary one mind at a time.
So who am I? My name is Kris Kidd and I am 42 years old. I hold a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and I have studied Gender specifically over the past year. From a very young age I knew I was not ‘female’, at least not in the way our culture expects you to be. I have never cared about the latest lipstick color or fashions, I did not enjoy Barbie, always wanted the orange racetrack! I am not drawn to typical female things, clothing, shopping, talking about boys/men, having and raising children, etc. Recently, I realized that I do not even look at ads for ‘women’ – I am not drawn to them. But if I see a football game, or an ad for men’s ‘stuff’ – lookout I am all eyes and ears. For those who know me can attest to my fashion consists of jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and crocs, I want to be comfortable after all! I grew up knowing I was not ‘male’. How could I be? I was raised in this culture as a female, I know how I am supposed to be as a ‘female’, and this has caused me much grief throughout my life.
For example, I was trained at an early age to use the women’s restroom. I know how to go in and wait my turn in line for a stall. In the women’s restroom it is ok to talk to each other, at least while waiting in line and you always let someone go ahead of you if they have to go ‘now’. Some women even keep chatting with each other while in the stall. Then wash up, make-up (if you need to), all while talking.
So some of you reading this think yeah –ok- you know how to use the women’s restroom. Here’s the deal, I hate the very first part, walking in to the restroom – the double looks – is that a woman? Does she, do I belong in here? It is a safe bet that if I am alone and there is a line, I will not wait. I cannot bare the looks of everyone who walks into the restroom. I have had people tell me that I am in the wrong restroom. I always want to scream ‘REALLY! You think at 42 I don’t know which restroom to use!” Those people I refer to as the gender police, and there are many of them out there in the world telling you where to go based on the gender you LOOK like.
Growing up when I did late 60’s/70’s, there were no Transgender people, at least none I could see. You did not see them on TV, or in stores, or really anywhere in society. My parents were somewhat progressive and had gay friends, and even knew someone who was transitioning from MTF (Male to Female). I never thought about FTM (Female to Male). Even coming out as Gay/Lesbian in the early 90’s was dangerous, and my only choice was gay/lesbian or Bi—and Bi was considered a cop out. I finally came out in 1992 to my family. I told them I was gay, my parents were good “of course you are, we have known since you were a child.” I never really ‘felt’ lesbian. The label did not fit right. I actually thought of myself more as a gay male, always falling for the straight women. Times were strange.
I did eventually find someone I loved deeply, who is a lesbian. Her story is across the page here, as Lana is my ex. We spent 11 years together as a lesbian couple. I had more identity in that relationship than I ever had on my own. I felt like I belonged there. We split six years ago, but remain family and close friends.
On my own again, I am left to sort out my gender beliefs and roles, and I find myself in a unique position to educate others. Our culture has changed so much in the past 40 years, we are now beginning to look at gender roles and challenge them. I believe now, that what my parents ‘knew’ was that I was not traditionally ‘female’, at least not in our cultures definition. I heard someone say at a conference recently, that the Women’s Liberation movement did a lot for women and their gender roles. Women started getting higher education, wearing pants, taking jobs outside of the home, and proving they had as much skill and worth as men. Some of these roles have been forced as women have become single mothers, but women have been allowed the opportunity to grow and evolve. The persons point was that maybe men need to have a similar movement. I will take that a step further and say that we all need to have a cultural movement. We need to reexamine our gender rules and roles, allowing each individual to pick and choose what is right for them. LOTS more about our culture coming in future articles.
Early in 2009 I was very lucky to take a roommate. I had known her for 11 years. In the past year, she had become a he. His girlfriend moved in also, as a result of the recession. They became my teachers and my mind was opened in a way I had not thought possible. They brought young, college ideas into my home. They spoke in ways I had never in college, questioning the cultural values and roles. And even supporting the idea of something outside the two boxes – male or female– was it true; there was finally a place that I fit? A place where it is ok to just be me, whom ever that is! I thank the universe daily for them and the gift of opening my mind and soul to be who I am.
I define myself as Transgender now. Let me say here, that means a lot of things to a lot of people. Everyone will define Transgender differently. There is even a question about getting rid of the word all together as it encompasses too much. I like the word for that very reason; it is inclusive of all who live with awareness of both the male and female inside them.
Gender Queer is another way that others will define themselves. Many my age frown at the use of queer. Many fought for years to have that word be derogatory, and they won. The younger generation is taking it back. Gender Queer is about being fluid and moving within the gender roles, whatever they may be at that time. It is also political, a statement of sorts; more on that later.
So, that’s me, at least some of me. I am excited to be here, to be doing this and I hope you gain knowledge and a passion for letting others be who they are. Traditionally, the more we know about others the less afraid we are.
Welcome to the Gender Revolution!