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I Love Being Female Today

No female is better than another. Women try different things in response to sexism and male domination, and these efforts should not be compared or judged. I fought and “escaped” sexism by playing basketball and being a good athlete. When I did that, I felt powerful, strong, capable, in charge, and not really female.

I was born in an Italian Catholic working-class family, as a twin. When my brother and I were born, I was healthy and in good shape; he barely survived and was sick most of his childhood. My parents were terrified about his survival and treated him like girls are usually treated—as if he were fragile and would die if he exerted himself too much. I was left completely alone, in much the same way that boys usually are. I think I was a good athlete because I was left so alone and wasn’t messed with like most females are around their physical strength and abilities.

I was a “tomboy” and spent every free moment playing basketball or some other sport or watching sports on television. I felt different—like I wasn’t a girl. The messages I got were that nothing about me was right. My shoulders were too big. I was too fat. My clothes weren’t right. I didn’t sit right, walk right, laugh right, eat right. According to my mom, I looked and acted too much like a boy. Inside I felt like a boy, and loved that. It was my way of escaping how bad I felt as a girl. I often wonder now had I known of the transgender identity when I was growing up if I would have identified that way.

These days I sob about not knowing how great it was to be a girl. I love being female today. Back then I was left so alone and was so brutally attacked for who I was as a girl, how could I have loved it, without discharge?

Jeanette Armentano

Portland, Oregon, USA

(Present Time 184, July 2016)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00