In Her Mind’s Eye – My Daughter’s Vision of Herself

We were messing around with the Face Your Manga application and my daughter wanted to make her self portrait. I was curious about how she sees herself.

My Girl's Self Portrait

I like what she sees!

She understood the idea that she needed to make herself look an appropriate age – not too mature or overdone. I love the t-shirt she made for herself which actually says: I’m gay. I’m proud. It all wouldn’t fit in the photo, so you have to just imagine it.

Another thing that is evident in this picture is that she looks more feminine than she has in the past. This is very accurate.

When she was in third grade and new to the school the kids harassed her about her very short hair and said they couldn’t tell if she was a girl or a boy. In response to what she regarded as incredible stupidity and narrow-mindedness, our little radical cut her hair even shorter and started wearing ties. On special occasions she even wore suits and ties to school.

We have some photos of her dressed for our friends’ wedding where it is really difficult to identify her sex. She was invited by our awesome and aware friends to be an usher in their wedding. This invitation to the wedding party came with the offer that my daughter could wear whatever she wanted.

She wore a pink and green plaid dress and flowery sandals to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and a gray pinstripe suit to the wedding and reception. (Sometime I’ll tell the story of the lesbian bartender who worked both nights of the wedding weekend and just doted on our girl.)

My daughter look so handsome! In her gray pinstripe suit, blue shirt, and purple and blue striped tie, she was the only usher of the cadre of child-ushers to match the colors-of-the-peacock inspired wedding party outfits perfectly.

Our wonderful, aware friends helped provide her with a wonderful memory of being herself in the best fancy, looking gorgeous way. I also have to raise a note of appreciation to our neighborhood moms for helping put together the special wedding outfit. One dear friend and neighbor donated her son’s black leather dress belt and some ties. Another mom, the mother of my daughter’s arch-nemesis no less (more on him later, for sure) donated her son’s first confirmation suit(!). I love the fact that the elementary school moms in our southern, bible belt city got on board with my girl’s desire to look handsome and play with expectations of gender performance. Of course, if they weren’t the kind of people to get on board with this, they wouldn’t be our friends, right?

My girl’s desire to undermining her classmates expectations of gender performance was her mission throughout third grade. The wedding took place in June after school let out.

When fourth grade commenced playing with gender performance was done. Fourth grade was about educating her classmates about the existence of lesbians and gay men, and raising awareness about marriage inequality.

Fifth grade is about being OUT! And about the existence of lesbians and gay men, and raising awareness about marriage inequality.

I think the intensity of this fifth grade mission is evident in the serious look on the face of the self portrait, especially when coupled with the I’m-queer-I’m-here-get-used-to-it style slogan on the t-shirt.

She’s a lesbian and she’s proud.

I’m proud too.


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