Friday, November 23, 2012

Gifts that Give and Take

We are all of us, uncomfortable to varying degrees with the Gender Straight Jacket and everything which is anything, filtered through that dense narrow screen. With that in mind, what are some of the gifts you have received that have made you feel good/comfortable with relation to the GSJ and gifts that you found abhorrent to your nature?



  1. Scoopneck shirts. Yuk.

  2. My mother came back from Hawaii with some Hawaiian shirts for me. Even though she knew I was a tomboy, she bought the "women's" version of the shirt, with silly little puffy sleeves, and the size was too small. I had to give them away, because they were too small. And I wasn't overweight at all, but she saw me as a tiny femme girl, not just average and fit as I was at the time.

    Another time, a boyfriend gave me a gift certificate for a fancy manicure including nail polish. I bit my nails at the time, and maybe this was his way of telling me I should take better care of my nails. He was a slob.

    1. I have similar experiences every year. My mother is incredibly homophobic. I hated the color pink when I was a child, possibly as a rebellion against my uber feminine mother, who loved the color. When I was ten we moved houses and while we were moving I went to stay with my considerably more accepting father. I left telling my mother I didn't care what she did with my bedroom--- she could switch my room to a walk in closet for all I cared!--- just so long as there wasn't a single pink thing in the room. When I came back at Christmas I found that she'd done the entire fucking room in pink just to spite me. Every single piece of furniture in the room was some shade of pink. The curtains were frilly and hot pink trimmed. My walls were painted peptobismol pink. It wasn't as if it all matched either. It looked like a mishmash of some little girly girl's favourite things in the ikea catelogue. Needless to say I was furious to discover that she'd gone through my things and given away all of my 'old' toys (the ones she didn't like, some of them were new and bought with my own money). I'd been collecting pokemon cards for years and kept them well organized and protected in a binder with a dustcover. I loved that pokemon card binder more than my own life. The only binder my mother has ever been a part of is possibly one of Mitt Romney's binders full of women. So, she threw them all in the garbage. They could have been worth hundreds at that point. The rest of my favourtie toys (purchased with my own money for the most part) including my spy kit that had been $40, and which I used all the time, she simply regifted or sent to the goodwill. Needless to say, that was one of the last holidays I would spend at that woman's house.

      In a way the worst 'gift' I received was a blessing. It gave me the push I needed to start negotiations to move in with my father who oddly enough seemed to understand women better than my mother. My father had been working with feminists in college before my mother had stopped playing with barbies (in High School). Honestly, my parents have taught me that you don't need to be a woman to be a feminist and, like it or not, not all women are feminists. My mother, to this date, will not speak to me because I am a lesbian. And, that too feels like a blessing. Good riddance!

  3. I always got cars, trucks, action figures, and so on.....I loved them!

  4. Anon @ 1:51 PM your dad sounds cool.

  5. Worst gift: White Sequin clutch purse, Really?!

    Best Gift: Skateboard.(Which I had to Beg for, But I got it:) I was 11 years old.

  6. "My mother, to this date, will not speak to me because I am a lesbian. And, that too feels like a blessing. Good riddance!"

    Some of my relatives are conservative Christians. As long as I don't talk about being lesbian, they tolerate me. It's kind of like don't ask, don't tell in my family.

    At any rate, your father sounds like a cool guy.

  7. I don't envy the folks who aren't able to be out around their relatives.

    My biggest problem is my lesbian aunt doesn't want to acknowledge that I'm bi. It's really weird how most of my friends will talk about their relatives not mentioning their same-sex relationships, but my aunt won't stop asking me about why I don't have a girlfriend.

  8. Almost all the gifts I got as a child were attempts at feminising me: skirts, nail polish, jewellery, dolls etc... I said thank you, faked a smile and never used any of it. I always hated getting gifts, it always felt like they were saying "nobody likes you when you're being yourself, now try to pretend you're the dotter we really want"
    My best gifts were an Arabic dictionary and a pair of socks because it was the first time i didn't get any gifts that were an attempt at changing who i was

  9. My family never gave me gifts I didn't want. I would ask for and get six shooters, boxing gloves, baseball bats for as long as I could remember. My parents and even extended family never gave me toys or clothes I didn't want.

    The only time I got a bad gift was when a neighbor's grown daughter gave me a purse for a gift. My mother just told me to smile and say thank you and I could give it to my younger sister to play with later.

    I was really lucky growing up.

  10. I remember one year at xmas, my brother and I pulled all the heads off my unused barbie dolls, pulled dad's old tennis rackets out of the closet, and played barbie tennis. I have no idea what I got for xmas that year. But I know it wasn't more barbies.

  11. I got what I asked for. My sister would get dolls and stuff and I would get guns, GI Joe's, cars, trucks, etc...My grandma bought me a doll when I was 5 and my mom and dad returned it and got me what I wanted. My brother and I got the same stuff just about.

  12. Good= purfumes. Because A. I couldnt have afforded them myself and B. I like aromas. Bad= Book "Surrendered Single: How to meet and marry a man in one year". Given to me one Christmas, by my mum, who i'd already come out as lesbian to. Best gift ever= A gold pen every year from my godmother who knew I liked art. Its was the best thing ever to draw and write in GOLD!