My sister, Elizabeth Beckwith, is now a blogger. She is blogging on the Psychology Today website in conjunction with the October 6 release of her first book, Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation (Harper Collins, 2009) You can find Lizzie's blog here. Here's an excerpt from her latest post:
It pains me to read the stories about the suspicions that South African runner, Caster Semenya, might really be male. Although mine was on a much smaller scale, I too felt the sting of gender misidentification in second grade following a short haircut that my mother tricked me into getting. In a few short snips I went from looking like Samantha Micelli to looking like I was in a Ramones cover band fronted by eight year-olds. That Sunday I was at church with my family when my 18 year-old brother, Jimmy, ran into an old friend. The friend pointed in my direction and asked, "Is this your little brother?" I was wearing a skirt for crying out loud! I wanted to kill this jerk, (which was especially terrible since we were at church, but I guess on the positive side, I could have immediately received absolution following my rampage.) I can't even imagine the humiliation had this indignity been plastered all over the television and newspaper, "Elizabeth Beckwith, is she or isn't she? Her new haircut is raising suspicions. " My mother who had missed the exchange with my brother's friend, noticed I was upset on the walk back to the car. Humiliated, I re-enacted the scene for her. Always one to raise her children up and tear down any naysayers, she didn't miss a beat. "That guy's an idiot. Did you see his girlfriend? He doesn't know what gorgeous is!" I felt comforted by my mother's unspoken logic that "only an idiot would not recognize that I was a pretty little girl." (Then I went home, locked myself in my bedroom and rehearsed a fictional future meeting with my brother's friend in which I was the most famous movie star in the world and he was lurking in a corner, weeping at my beauty and his horrendous error in judgment.)
You can read the whole thing here.
(Originally posted on Southern Appeal)