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mistaken for a girl

I remember being mistaken for a girl on several occasions. There are 2 that most stand out in my mind. The first one was during the act of an amateur magician during his show in the basement of our neighborhood church. He had me come up as a volunteer to help him demonstrate the old separating/joining rings trick. This was the early seventies and most boys had longish hair to boot. Once he had completed his trick he looked at me and said "thank you for helping me. If you are a girl you could use these as earrings" and he proceeded to place one of the rings against my ear.

The second occasion was accompanying my mother to our local corner cafe. The lady was chatting with my mother and said "you have a beautiful daughter" and that instant I was mortified and secretly flattered all at the same time.

Aside from being scolded by my mother for wearing her clothes at a very early age, those two incidents have stayed with me all my life. In my attempts to distance myself from them and masculine myself up later in life they still remain markers for me as to the conflict that's always raged within me.

My soft feminine features have helped me to pass but have also reminded me that I was somehow not quite able to measure up as a man. During my university years for example I grew a beard and kept it for the full duration of my studies. I would not be able to grow that beard today but not just because of the laser treatments I have undergone but because I am that much more of a woman today and wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it.

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