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30 Days of Love: 16/30

Posted by Kayla Parker // February 3rd 2013 // On Campus, soundings, Stories and Voices // no comments

There are so many borders in my own life that deeply affect me. I’ll stick to writing about one I’ve been thinking about recently: thoughts on how the borders of the gender binary affect my life.

I used to go to work every day in dresses or skirts and come home to change into wide-legged baggy pants and t-shirts. As a result, I started living a sort of double life: feminine at work and masculine after it. My new friends from my new town assumed that’s just how I always presented myself, and my colleagues assumed the same. The truth is I don’t really fit perfectly into either, and it was just easier to get work-appropriate clothing that was more feminine. As a result, by the time I got home and over the weekends I just really wanted to wear baggy pants and be as far from fem as possible.

The harder truth is that my issue isn’t really solved: I just work from home now and am in school so it’s easier to be a bit more neutrals. Of course, this is still difficult as gender expression continues to be a binary in many of the communities I am a part of – and I do have to go into an office every once in a while.

Although I am not convinced that my more neutral and plain dress can be considered as my moving beyond a gender border, I continue to do and explore this. I will wear and act how I want to: super fem when I feel like it, androgynously neutral most days, and butchily masculine when I want.

I hope that my own messing with the binary might help others. I know that gender identity and expression, as well as other binaries and borders that exist in our communities, have been incredibly damaging to so many of the beautiful people I know and love and the beautiful people I would love to know.

I will remember how it affects my self and others, and work to build bridges between borders and push against binaries.



February 03, 2013. Borders.

Here is the Daily Action from Standing on the Side of Love’s website:

Daily Action:

Think about the borders in your own life, and whether they are serving you, or if you can find ways to move beyond them. And if you feel inspired, share it on social media—maybe by sharing this post on Facebook, tweeting something authentic about yourself, or uploading a photo on Instagram that conveys the borders you encounter in your day-to-day life with the hashtag #30daysoflove (or submit photos via email to our Flickr page).

Action for Families:

Brainstorm with your child: what does every person have in common with every other person? Can you come up with ten ways they are the same? 20? 100?

Featured Organization:
– Believe Out Loud

About the Author

Kayla Parker is editor of Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood. She is currently a seminarian at Yale Divinity School, and Ministerial Intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden, CT.
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