Let’s get one fact out of the way. My twin girls are two. They haven’t absorbed the rigid gender roles assigned to the rest of us. On the flip side, they also can’t grasp their parent’s vision of gender as fluid, as something to explore. So please realize that this post is seen through my rainbow-colored glasses.
My girls are stunningly beautiful. I say that not with a father’s pride, but with a slight annoyance. I am not kidding when I say we have a hard time moving around in a crowd of people due to the number of folks who stop us to tell us how beautiful our children are. Fortunately, they now act like two-year-olds, so it’s gotten a little better. Folks don’t get in the way of a child screaming at glass-shattering pitch because you wouldn’t let her have the candy bar she snatched from the shelf at the grocery store. P.S. You might want to check the next chocolate you buy “ it might have a little nibble taken out of it.
Roomba is our femme. She has long dark curly hair, brown skin, and dark brown eyes. She’s outgoing and flirtatious, and she’s the one pegged as a girl by strangers.
Scooba, on the other hand, looks butch. She has short curly light brown to copper hair, huge puppy brown eyes, and light skin. She’s outgoing, headstrong, and can be a bit of a daredevil. She doesn’t walk so much as she struts. She’s the one pegged as a boy most of the time by strangers.
Not that we help them in any way at all.
We refuse to participate in the gender stereotyping of our children. They have a complete mix of clothes from t-shirts and jeans to dresses and skirts. They even have a couple of sets of toddler-sized men’s soccer jerseys due to dad’s love of the beautiful game.
You’d think that dressing them in a variety of “boys and “girls clothes wouldn’t be that radical a move with girls. Everyone’s heard of tomboys, which both of my daughters clearly already are. My partner’s usual outfit of a t-shirt and jeans doesn’t cause anyone to bat an eye outside the house. Yet people damn near jump out of their skin with apologies when they mistake Scooba for a boy. I chuckle about it. Can you imagine if we had a boy? Oh wait, you don’t have to.
We’re letting them decide for themselves what gender they want to be, and if it changes from day to day, so be it. Most days, mom lets them decide what clothes they want to wear. In a lot of ways we’re lucky to be in the SF Bay Area. They spend time with LGBTQ families. They’re somewhat sheltered from the influence of media, for now. It’ll be interesting to see how they grow into their genders. They’re my girls “until they tell me otherwise.