Growing up, I remember having a lot of friends. We did everything together, from playing sports outside of school down to every last second including colouring together at “free-time” in kindergarten. We were pretty much inseparable, until one day, probably in grade 3, the girls in my class seemingly decided that the boys and the girls have to be separate. The girls stopped hanging out with the boys and they all did different things. Instead of playing grounders on the playground together the girls wanted to play on the swings or play hopscotch. The boys being boys didn’t really care. They never liked how some of the girls couldn’t keep up with them anyway, however, I cared. I wanted to be able to play with all my friends. I didn’t want to have to pick who I had to play with. I also didn’t think that each group could only play “boys games” or “girls games”, I didn’t see why there should be a difference since I liked to do a whole range of things.
As time went on I felt more and more pressured to pick a side. The girls made fun of me for playing with the boys and the boys were upset when I didn’t want to play with them. This went on until one day at recess I was on the swings with the girls and one of them said: “Why do you even hang out with us? You only like boy’s things, so why don’t you just go with them? You pretty much are a boy anyway.”. At that moment, I probably should have been upset. Just because I liked the same things the boys did it did not make me a one. But I wasn’t upset because after I thought about it I realized that she was right. Not about me being a boy, obviously, but about the fact I really did only like what was considered “boy things”. I preferred to play tag, grounders and kickball at recess, and finally, I realized I that actually really hated hopscotch and jump rope. So, I walked away, joined the boys, and I never looked back. They became my best friends and the people I spent all my time with all the way through until the end of high school where we parted ways.
That day, and all of the days after that I did not perform like my gender. I ran against the norm then and I still kind of do to this day. I was name called the “tomboy” for everything I did. But I never paid those people any mind. After all, what’s wrong with being a tomboy?