Drumming Amazon

Drumming Amazon
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Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alixx Dobkin's "The Emperor's New Gender"

Excellently written article which kept me going when all this insanity was starting to really take off, before we had blogs stating these opposing points of view, that Alixx finally brought up in her truthfilled and well thought out article.

minstrel blood
"The Emperor's New Gender"
by alix dobkin, originally published in off our backs
April 2000

"...disappointment takes out its knife..." Butch resisting the pressure to change gender – Elana Dykewomon
You know that glazed look certain born-again Christians get in their eyes when they're not listening? Or how voices of loud mouthed Republican politicians and TV pundits get even louder to out shout the opposition? To foreclose debate defends the fainthearted against attack, even when no attack is intended. Beloved tactic of cowards and bullies everywhere, shutting down discussion stymies challenges to the firmly held, vulnerable doctrine of the True Believer. Thus does insecurity unite with bluster to frustrate education's advance.

This brings to mind an incident occurring twenty years ago in Europe. At a concert in Zurich I identified myself as Jewish, whereupon a small group of women got up and left the theater. Why? They didn't say, but we can guess.

My deal with myself was that if I agreed to tour Germany and Switzerland it would be on condition that I declare my Jewishness at every show. Otherwise I could not have endured setting foot on those killing fields. But I was as unprepared for the shockingly defensive reaction that statement would provoke in my audience ad they were to hear it. Naively assuming that German Dykes were as used to discussing sensitive race issues as we USA veterans were, it never occurred to me how personally they would take this (seemingly) simple declaration. If I hadn't immediately calmed my audience with friendly assurances they would have shut down and shut me out, and by the time I reached Switzerland I understood that going public as a Jew required the following instant affirmations:

1) that I did not believe in God
2) that I did not necessarily support Israel's every action, and
3) that I did not blame any of them for the holocaust

These three disclaimers usually relaxed most of the crowd enough so that they could sit through my show without excessive distress. Passionate English and German post concert dialogues proved wrenchingly difficult, but they moved everyone forward, and we were all glad to have stuck with it.

I hadn't thought about that old story for many years until Elana Dykewomon told me of a similar experience at a reading only weeks ago of San Francisco Jewish Lesbian writers. When she spoke the name of her new poem (Butch resisting the pressure to change gender) a group of transgendered individuals and their supporters got to their feet and left the theater. Had they stayed they might have learned what this award winning writer and long time survivor of Lesbian community struggles (since before some of them were born) had to say, proving that closed minds are not limited to anti-Semites.

Like my Swiss departees, this bunch also refused to listen. Too bad, they lose. Experiences such as these and others have prompted this extensive preface to my (next) column on transgender, particularly FTM (female to male). I am well aware of how volatile an issue it is in our community and how personal it can feel.

Jim Fouratt, long time activist, writer, independent thinker and faery has lately taken quite the trashing for his forthright critique of Genderpac's "ruthless and aggressive attack in the gay and lesbian community based on gender bias..." Jim and I agree that, "once again men are defining who and what women are."

That's our opinion and we are entitled to it without being called "nazi," "fascist" and the like, as we each have in the past when overstepping the party line on gender. Therefore, in the hoops of contributing more light than heat to the discussion, let it be known that I am aware that:

1) transgender issues present complex and difficult terrain loaded with quicksand and stumbling blocks which I approach respectfully and with an open mind.
2) Over the past decade I've accumulated masses of information and engaged in much study, reflection, thoughtful discussion and process with a variety of people representing diverse perspectives.
3) In conversations with transgendered individuals and their supporters, some of whom I like and some not, I am aware of their pain and try not to add to it.
4) Everyone needs a community where they feel respected and safe.
5) There is more to learn.

Further credentials are available upon request.

Now here is the question to my Queer/LGBT community, particularly young butch Lesbians who are considering "changing" genders: Is thoughtful, open discussion possible without personal attacks and hurt feelings?

"A thousand years from now... the archaeologists who dig up their bones will know that they were women"
– The Whole Woman, Germaine Greer
"FTM" means women, usually young, who undergo hormone injections, sometimes breast reduction ("top") surgery in their pursuit of "maleness." Reservations about this procedure, when voiced at all, are frequently answered with hostility and charges of "discrimination," discouraging even further candid exploration of the "transgender" vogue and it's meteoric rise to the top of the "queer" order.

Transgender presence and issues dominated the 1999 "Creating Change" Conference. Notable and new, to me at least, was the spectacle of matronly gents dressing up as their mothers, aunties and schoolmarms in dowdy conservative outfits, cheerlessly dispensing disapproval over all. More unsettling though, were the sheer numbers of FTM's everywhere in evidence, their flight from womanhood conspicuously endorsed by the oddly invisible gay men and Lesbians running the show and bent on "inclusion."

When at the end of a butch/FTM panel I asked how constructed "males" felt about the lifelong commitment to the medical establishment and their utter dependence on doctors and drug companies for their identities, the only response was a noticeable chill in the room. If I was FTM I wouldn't want to think about that either.

Germaine Greer notes, in The Whole Woman, that, "Born women are all too aware of a disharmony between who they are and what their gender role requires of them." Everywhere at the conference young FTM's defied gender roles and "performed" "masculinities." But say, isn't "masculine" a construct preserving male rule? And isn't being/creating our own individual version of a woman what lesbians have always been about? So why would a Lesbian embodying infinite female potential ever think she needs to be - or actually could be - a man? Impatience for male power and privilege combined with monumental lack of faith in the future of women could explain it. But "woman" is much bigger and expansive than a stunted masculinist vision of female possibility.

Can you conceive a population more exquisitely groomed to "change gender" than the generation informed by deconstructionist Queer Studies? In the blur of "Gender," represented as little more than a "social construct," injustice might easily be confused with inconvenience. To girls confronting their powerlessness, scant attention paid to "gender's" political roots and historic consequences leaves "masculinities" looking good, and personal adjustment through technology even better. Hey, why not jump at the chance to escape "gender distress" - the universal female condition forever afflicting "the second sex"? How instantly gratifying, how perfectly consumer friendly. This postmodern all-American quick fix comes complete with academic sanction.

In today's "LGBT" hierarchy the last may indeed be first, but beneath the surface of lock-step acceptance lies an unspoken universe of discomfort. Doubts and qualms fill the closets of newly silent Lesbians and gay men now afraid of being labeled "bigoted." Rather than injure feelings or appear oppressive toward a sexual minority, many remain silent, unwilling to deviate "...from the politically correct gender rhetoric (which) subjects one to being called and dismissed as transphobic," as long time gay activist and independent thinker, Jim Fouratt, writes.

To my eyes and ears, young butch dykes walking the FTM path look and despite vocal alteration, sound , quite like the young butch Dykes many of us have been and known for decades. However, these days we hear mostly their echoes and see only their backs as the flee womanhood. But they are our line, and by rejecting their female bodies along with our shared history, they break our hearts.

Gays and lesbians have struggled for decades to be able to name ourselves and to BE ourselves. But now, in our own community we are expected to applaud Dykes rejecting womanhood and embrace men taking it over. In our smart, brave and compassionate community, being "different" is the unifying thread holding us together in a diverse crazy quilt of which queers are justifiably proud.

But while we're at it, let's also honour our identity and history. And our women. Then maybe our girls won't be so eager to run. So lets put away the knives. Can we talk?

Who Defends Dyke Spaces/Identities? Who says no to the FTMs?

"You know, here, the bisexual and straight women leather groups, they don't have any problem at all saying "No, sorry, you're a guy," to FTMs, keeping them out. It's sad that the only women who can't say no to these guys are lesbians. To me it speaks to how weak we've become. That separatism, I'm sorry, made us week. the minute guy energy came into our spaces, we couldn't stand up to it, because our skills in dealing with it had been weakened by lack of use, and all our training to put mens needs first reasserted itself. The straight and bi girls, they have no problem saying "No" to FTMs in womens spaces. And the FTMs if they get angry, are told, "too bad." We're weak."-Taz

This is in response to a pal who stated that it's Dyke separatism that made us weak, unlike straight or bisexual women, who can stand up to an FTM and tell them they can't come into women's space, "No, sorry you're a guy" that its only the lesbians who can't say no to these guys because of separatism, that our ability to say no to men and their needs is weak because we quit dealing with men and our ability to say no to them had been weakened through lack of use...like there are TONS AND TONS of Dyke Separatist spaces to choose from these days, bookstores, Dyke bars, tons of Dyke Lands, events, conferences, women's music festivals, ect. ect. ect....NOT...most of these spaces have sadly disappeared BECAUSE they've been coopted by those women who weren't strong Dykes or Separatist oriented, with strong Female/DykeAmazon boundaries.....fuzzy logic if I've ever heard it. It's the Separatist and aware Dykes, who truly VALUE Dyke culture and women's space who have CONTINUALLY fought to keep those spaces intact!

Feisty Amazon August 25 at 12:42am I don't believe in transsexualism. I don't believe in it's premise, and it's a lie. You know I've already spoken about this. To me, it's a sham movement. Every Separatist or separatist oriented Dyke, whether Leather or Vanilla, has ALWAYS been the strongest in keeping women and dyke space, women and dyke space. To me, it's all the trans apologists in the queer women's communities and sold out dyke communities, that shouted down every Separatist oriented woman, or even Dyke that wanted Dyke and women's space to STAY Dyke and women space, that threw around the Separatist word to silence US, that has sold our community hook line and sinker to the FTM's, and MTF's.

Yes, they're incredibly 'male'. In all the ways you describe, especially the full transition ones, with the hormones, body hair, attitudes, testosterone and surgeries, but MOST don't have the bottom surgery, because it really doesn't work. So no, they aren't REAL men. They may not be sissies, but they're not intact 'men'. Any more than one can convince me that MTF's are really 'women'. They've had male experiences, male attitudes, and male privileges(especially the autogynophilic ones, who choose to transition later in life, and start with crossdressing, and incredible narcissism. It's all about him, wanting to imitate his wife/girlfriend, borrow her clothes, then want to be a her...in a sexual way) The young effeminate MTF ones from early childhood/teenage who transition, date men, they're different, just like the intersex, but the autogynophilic ones had REAL MALE POWER, from CEO's, to professional male sports athletes, to military men, to executives, men used to being in power, married to a woman, AS a man, initially, so with that male privilege and assumption of male privilege and ways of being, they run roughshod over the young transsexual MTF's, the intersex, the Dykes who hold up strong boundaries, and just about everyone else, much less their wives and girlfriends. It's crazy making. I've done alot of research, alot of talking, alot of networking around all this and the trans movement, with radical vanilla dykes, radical LeatherDykes, Female identified Butches who feel entirely under siege with so many Butches transitioning right and left, and pressure being put on them to transition too..making it less and less o.k to be a Butch Dyke....we should all be FTM's cuz in some folks book, just by being Butch we're trans...NO WE'RE WOMEN, and PROUD TO BE SO.

every Separatist Dyke I know has fought HARD to preserve women only space. I don't understand why your Canadian Lesbians have been so wimpy, or the current generation of so called Lesbians. Used to be that Lesbianism and Lesbian Centered space was 'no man's land'..that is: no past, present or future males. Many of us Separatist oriented Dykes still feel the same, and will fight to our dying day to preserve those mysteries and that space, us true Amazons....our Amazon space, our Amazon Sisterhood, our Amazon sexuality womon to womon.....and some are Leather Amazons.....always have been. I saw that energy just two weeks ago.

No, it's NOT Separatism that made Dykes weak, unlike the straight or bisexual women, we continue to assert OUR RIGHT to Dyke and women only and even wbw spaces, mysteries, places, it's those who would sell us out...allow their gay men to go wherever, while those same gay men have fences up to US when it comes to some of THEIR spaces....many wouldn't date an FTM, and they don't see FTM's as substitutes for a bio-male, some may see them as temporary substitutes for a moment. It's the ex bisexual and straight Femmes who aren't really Lesbian Femmes, fueled by Butch/Femme.com who are the problem. Who treat Butches as 'hes', who pressure their partners to transition so they can live basically a heterosexual lifestyle, or at least appear so, and I have felt that energy from certain types of femmes, those WITHOUT a Dyke Femme identity. And those WITH a strong DYKE Femme identity are really bemoaning not having Butches to date, that Butches and FTM's ARE NOT interchangeable parts, as they see more and more jump on the bandwagon to hormones and surgeries...and it terribly saddens them. They want a Butch Dyke, a Butch FEMALE.

You gotta go with your gut, and I gotta go with mine, and for me, it's NO MAN'S LAND, no past, present or future males will I date...and preferably only those Butch or Femme with a strong Dyke identity. I've been burned by bisexual women because ultimately their loyalty is to the man...ultimately.

But because of the trans and genderqueer movement, everything has gotten twisted on it's head..more and more women are thinking of themselves as 'queer', NOT Lesbian, NOT Dyke, and more and more Butch young women think of themselve as boys/bois/boyz, NOT as Butches, or if so, with a strong genderqueer/trans/male component, instead of the Butches I came out with and came up with, who still exist who were very PROUD to be a strong, defiant, take up their space Amazonian woman, Amazonian Dyke loving Dyke, or woman loving womon, whether they were into other Butches or other Femmes or both.....whether Leather or vanilla....which is why so many of us have dropped out of the mainstream communities, because things have gotten entirely too weird. And yet, for all their so called 'maleness' these genderqueers/transButches/ FTMS, they STILL want access to Dyke/womon only space and parties, instead of MOVING ON with their identities and living in the world as the men they claim to be.
No, it's all mixed up, and everybody thinks they can grab from column A and column B as suits them, and damn ANYBODY, especially a strong Feminist or Separatist oriented Dyke, Leather or Vanilla, who says "no, and no more. This is OUR space.....and you have chosen to leave it..." We are saying it, we are organizing, and we will be rising soon.....us Female Identified DykeAmazon Butches, and yet we've always been here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

HOME: Women's Land

I rejected femininity at a very young age, because I saw this inequality, and did everything to take up my space and to compete with boys/and/or men, and not be relegated to a 'less than' housewifey role.....classic hardcore Tomboy grow up to be Butch.

Of course I was not rewarded for such behavior by family, peers, or anybody else, until I came out as a Dyke, and found I had a place.

And that place is certainly on women's Land. I got my fill last week, shared my women's and Amazon mysteries, and felt so completely empowered and SAFE in those woods, just like I felt SAFE in the woods of Michfest, one year, when I got lost in them like 3am....in a long walk back to my tent....because I KNEW ONLY WOMEN were sleeping all around...NO MEN. If there was even one man in those woods, I would have felt that learned almost instinctual fear. My only fear was that I was lost...but I just kept going down hill..till I got to the Triangle, and there still were some women up at that late hour(about 5am by that time). At the Festival I went to last week, I did Security, to keep our space secure, and it was, walking in the woods around our campground till 1 am, feeling completely safe, with an Amazon Sister at my side....I NEVER would feel that if I was NOT on women's land!

There is NOTHING like women's land, to share our Sacred Mysteries, to open up to our deep psychic powers with one another, to shed that fear, even for a temporary period of time, and to bond very deeply with one another, in an unexplainable way, unless you've done it, away from the world of men...it is Sacred Amazon Land...our time with each other, surrounded by Mother Nature away from men..and so many of these youngsters, these 'queer girls' and 'genderqueers' and the gender confused bio females, many HAVE NEVER spent time in such intense women only space...they do not know the sacredness of that which we speak, and WHY we defend it so strongly.

I do agree: it is the ROLES and the boxes those roles put us in that are the problem...and I too feel if folks could just be themselves, without that shaming of not being in the proper "box" much of the percieved need for these surgeries would be eliminated. Get these young women to women's land, and watch them become EMPOWERED by it.....
-In Sisterhood,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Repost: My Amazon Role

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My Amazon Role: From Amazons to Amazons, Dykes to Dykes

My role is to teach young(and other) Butch/androgynous women to have PRIDE in their female bodies, minds and spirits, tap into their Amazon potential, and their full sexual and spiritual freedom AS FEMALES, and share those very powerful Mysteries with them....
-In DykeAmazon Sisterhood,
Labels: Amazon Mysteries, Amazon Spirit, Butch Pride, Female pride, Female Spiritual Power

Binding, Butch Posers, Self Hate around our Butch Breasts

In response to an old post of Dirt's, I am giving my reply. I also want to mention last week on women's land, during my Amazon ritual, I ALWAYS allow my breasts to fly free, and there is a connection between our Amazon rites, and being bare chested as the Wild Women that we are! This has taught me much self love to be in the presence of other strong and powerful and PROUD DYKEAMAZONS honoring their Female minds, bodies and spirits, and validating both ourselves and each other. THAT is the essence of true Sisterhood!

"For many years I hated my breasts, because I have unusually large breasts(probably inherited from my mother, and because I'm a big dyke too). Like Dirt said, it took me years to begin to accept them, one was getting rid of the binders(bras), even sports bras hurt to wear...so mostly, except when I'm new on a job, they fly free! As long as I don't have to missile tit them, then I'm fine with them...and on women's land, I like to pull my shirt off and wear them proudly! Women's land has been so healing for me!

So has a lover who LOVES my big breasts, and has taught me to love them because she does...and that even though I have big breasts, I'M STILL BUTCH!

That's what this is all about, teaching each other self-love about our bodies, NOT self-hatred, and it may be dependent on one Butch mentoring another in this, and certainly finding partners whether Butch, Femme or otherwise who ADD to your self-loving and NOT your self-hate!"
-In Sisterhood,

Death Knell of our Feminist Bookstores, ect.

Part Two
Part of the reason our Lesbian/Women's/Feminist/Dyke cultural spaces have disappeared is because of the economy, being starved out, because of Amazon.com(using our own name against us, what a cooptation!)and dykes buying thru commercial venues like Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles, instead of supporting our independents and lesbian/women's/feminist bookstores, AND the trans movement which has so effectively dismantled and destroyed women's and lesbian space after space....
Mama Bears, Old Wives Tales, WomonCrafts West, Boadecia's, SisterSpirit, the women's bookstore in Santa Cruz, Whiptail Lizard Lounge, Changemakers, A Room of Our Own, (gay/lesbian bookstore in Sacramento, not sure if that's the right name), community bookstore after bookstore and space has disappeared from us. Without spaces that we can call our own, there IS no community left for us....it is disjointed and jumbled, and we have nowhere's to learn and get new information or support our artists, musicians and authors. That spells the death knell of our communities......as they give in to cooptation to barely survive..just for a minute before the final blow....

Transmen: Whose Transitioning response to Dirt's blog

It surprises me how absolutely GIRLY most of these individuals are. They could NEVER be Butch,none of them have an ounce of Butchness in them, so maybe they think they'd be more Butch than us if they were a 'real man'. But all it is another form of cosmetics and cosmetic surgery for the insecure. Maybe they were victimized in their female bodies, minds or spirits, or they had a smack of androgyny and were smacked down with even that....

I've met these 20, 30 somethings and most are androgynous at best...could just as easily wear a skirt or makeup or lipstick as Butch or male drag. And most of these cuz they ARE so girly would probably end up dating gay boys too. Faghags.

The old timey FTM's were close to or Stone Butches, the most hardcore of the hardcore Butches, in the distant past, like 15-20 years ago, and they just couldn't 'make it' as women, like you said, their internalized misogyny, or continual discrimination because of their very masculine appearance as Butches that led to them getting beat up, discriminated against or unable to get work. So they transitioned and then quietly disappeared from the lesbian/gay communities. Most were into Femmes...but these days, there's an EXPECTATION that these ones have a RIGHT to be in women's/lesbian/dyke space, WHILE wanting to maintain so called 'maleness'...just confused young girls....in my book, not proud to be women, or not having the strength to REALLY oppose both sexism and lesbophobia.

My Response from Dirt's Blog: Real Lesbians do not stay partnered to TransMen/FTM's

That is really a concern of mine. I've worked so hard to convince especially nonleather lesbians to practice safe sex(most leather lesbians know about and practice safe sex with casual/nonfluid bonded partners). I've known too many to come down with Herpes or other STD's. To include gay men in the mix because FTM's want to date EVERYONE, from Gay/bi men to Lesbians, puts us in a much higher risk category.

But hey folks, it's SIMPLE. Dykes want to be with DYKES..with other FEMALES, that's why we ARE Dykes/Lesbians...and Lesbian has got to be almost a dirty word(replaced by those coopting the term Dyke, who are not, or using the term 'queer woman' for 'anything goes'.)

I remember one year when I went to my leatherwomen's group at the time, and there was one well known and loved figure in the community who was having a double mastectomy because of breast cancer, no choice in the matter and we had an event for a fundraiser for her since she had no insurance and AT THE SAME TIME, was another interloper who came to said WOMAN TO WOMAN meeting and proudly pulled up her shirt and bragged about how she had her breasts removed, and showed it off...I was so fucking disgusted, it was one reason I quit going back to this group...
fast forward several years later and this self same individual is now leading a FEMALE IDENTIFIED BUTCH group...no breasts, and no longer identifying as FTM, supposedly, but still the hormone induced voice.

Meanwhile the double breast cancer survivor is nowhere to be found, or minimally so, having struggled just to survive, and still Female as far as I know....

Comparing yourself(the MTFS) to a woman who no longer has a womb and enforced hysterectomy because of cancer or other female disease and can't get pregnant and is forced into premature menopause, or the FTM's comparing themselves to a breast cancer survivor when you CHOSE to have your breasts removed, is just so absolutely misogynist and disgusting to me that it shows just how insensitive the trans movement is to bio-female reality and Being.

Keep on keeping on! Dykes and Lesbians date FEMALES WHO ARE PROUD TO BE FEMALE, whether they be Butch, Androgynous, Femme or any other XX combination thereof...

Otherwise, just call yourself a 'queer woman' and quit coopting OUR IDENTITIES. I've said this before and I'll say this again. I've known too many Dyke Femmes who have told me they just can't find a Butch to date, or are having a very hard time, because so many are identifying as MALE, or some version thereof....and they really, really are mourning the loss...the other coopters are 'queer women' or bi/queer/pansexual femmes, NOT Dyke/Lesbian Femmes....

There is power to womon to womon love, and NOTHING will replace it, no matter how much whining you do, or attempts at cooptation. Those Dykes/Lesbians who know, KNOW the difference.

If you're dating a transman, unless you've been in relation to this individual already, you'll be mourning the loss of this individual's female parts/identity/Being/Dyke Self....if not sooner, then later....cuz well, We're Dykes, and we LUST for the authentic FEMALE whatever package it comes in, Butch, Femme, ect.
XX...no penis or induced testosterone for the purpose of changing 'sex' between us friends/lovers.
-In Sisterhood,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Amazon Role: From Amazons to Amazons, Dykes to Dykes

My role is to teach young(and other) Butch/androgynous women to have PRIDE in their female bodies, minds and spirits, tap into their Amazon potential, and their full sexual and spiritual freedom AS FEMALES, and share those very powerful Mysteries with them....
-In DykeAmazon Sisterhood,

FTM misogny and hatemail against Dirt, and the rest of us Dykes

Sounds like the Tea Partying Redneck motherfuckers against healthcare, limiting the banks and other finance companies from ANY LIMITS, or basically anything Obama does...accusing him of being socialist, nonAmerican, Hitlerian(yes there was a comparison in your above blog, bring out the Nazis every chance to shut someone up), ect. ect.

So they ARE living up to their 'male' potentials, might as well get a gun, wear a swastika or a confederate flag, jackboots ect....cuz that's what these FTM's sound like...their hatred of the Female, from their own bodies outwards ripples forth their vitriol. Da poor little oppressed males..some of us DON'T want to give ANY males that kind of power in our lives...they've been in power for 2000 years, forced their agendas on us, murdered our strong women, our Butches, our Dykes, our Priestesses, our Amazons, and our outspoken women throughout the world...and now they are trying to eliminate ANY powerful nonfeminine women by sticking some "T" in her, or convincing her she's really 'one of them'.

No past, present or future males for me, thank you very much.....

Not that all FTM's are this way, but the types responding to you sound no different than the racist, homophobic, woman hating, anti-semitic Tea Partiers, Fundamentalist rightwing, ect. ect....all of the same ilk.

And then there's that episode where an FTM murdered a woman who was on Butch/Femme.com and that all got swept under the rug. I've SEEN that aggressiveness, and it's not pretty. I don't hang around teenage boys for a reason, or males for that matter, except when making money....because of that very Dyke, Woman, Butch, and Female hating mentality. And who could hate Females more, than one who has renounced all their Femaleness and attempted to erase it from their very Being?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reply to Dirt's post on the 7 different questions of what Butches feel at a young age

I rejected dolls at age 7, dresses by age 10, never wanted to marry a man or have children and knew this by age 12, and always fought with my parents that I wasn't a 'girl', meaning feminine,frilly, ect. but knew I wasn't a boy either when they'd say that, so I'd say I was 'an alien from outer space' when they asked what I was...(being the Trekker(Star Trek fanatic) that I am).

I did play with the boys cuz the girls games were stupid, boring and housewifey....but I DID connect with particular Greek Goddesses who left the men's world to live in the woods, amongst only other women in independence and freedom...

And yes, I did always imagine myself in the men's/boys roles cuz the girls roles were helpless nitwits who couldn't defend or take care of themselves without some man's/boy's help.

I never had a big deal about the bathroom thing, cuz I didn't want to share that with boys, they were the enemy and mean to me cuz I didn't 'fit in'. Always preferred pants and androgynous clothes to anything 'girly'. Yes, I didn't like developing breasts, refused for several years to wear bras(and mostly don't anymore anyway), but was teased mercilessly by feminine girls in P.E. for not wearing them, till finally I succumbed so I could be left alone, and also pressure from my mother and grandmother to wear them.

Fortunately, in puberty, I got into martial arts at age 14, which became my lifelong niche as a young Amazon, and I could 'kick ass', and no longer got picked on once I acquired some skills and much greater athletic ability as a result. The martial arts gave me a power, strength and self-confidence that many other teenagers, girls and women lacked. It gave me purpose and pride in my body and it's growing strength. This was at a time not many women were doing martial arts..some, but not many.

I LOVED that men had one weakness, despite their superior strength, which of course I envied...that one kick to their nuts could put them on their knees!