A World of Neither

My daughter doesn’t want to be a girl.
But she doesn’t want to be a boy either.
She wants to live somewhere in between.
She wants to move into a world of neither.

So I’m standing there holding up a dress.
“Look honey, I think this one is cute”.
And she says, “No mom, I’m not wearing that.
I think I really want to wear a suit.

A suit and tie. That’s what I want to wear.
I really want to be androgynous.“
What can I do? I turn my head and sigh.
“A suit?” I say “Well , okay then, I guess.”

When she said she didn’t want to shave her legs
I said “I think you should just give it a try”.
She looked at me and said “Okay, I will
If you give me just ONE good reason why?”

We debated several reasons. None were valid.
So I said “Because that’s just what we do”.
And I sighed because I knew that she was right.
It was much better for her to remain true

to the ideals that she herself holds dear.
She marches to the beat of her own drum.
And I have to envy her strong young conviction,
because society is sometimes pretty dumb.

My daughter doesn’t want to be a boy
Nor does my child want to be a girl
She wants to exist somewhere in between
She wants us to create a neither world.

She doesn’t really want her boobs to keep
but she doesn’t want to have them taken off.
She just might want to bind them up and wear a shirt and tie
and not have to listen to anyone scoff

when she walks by “Is that a girl or a boy?“
speculating about her gender and her choices.
Her short hair doesn’t cover up her ears,
so she can clearly hear the judgment in their voices.

She will not accept: But that’s just the way it is.
“Why do I have to do what people say?
Do I have to fit into someone else’s box?
Do hairy armpits mean that I am gay?

And if I am who cares? It’s not their place
to tell me how to live, to act, to dress.
They all spend so much time judging others
they don’t see that their own lives are a mess.”

My brilliant child doesn’t want to be a girl.
Nor does she want to be a boy instead.
She wants to live somewhere in between.
She has a perfect world inside her head,

a world where nothing has to be defined
as black or white. It’s just a shade of gray
where no one is expected to come out,
and no one cares if you are straight or gay.

Where looking “like a boy” is not a thing,
and acting “like a girl” just makes no sense.
Where being who you are is all that counts,
and carrying yourself with confidence.

Not conforming to societal demands
or feeling somehow different, somehow strange.
Just letting your outside match your insides ,
and not expecting anyone else to change

to fit into a box or on a glossy page,
to wear a dress or shave their armpit hair.
Because none of that matters anyway.
Because deep down, do we even care

about the way someone chooses to look?
No, none of those things are real.
We don’t love people because of their appearance,
we love them because of how they make us feel.

My amazing kid makes me feel proud.
Sure, she’d be lovely in a dress of pink,
but she’s coming to that party in a suit.
And we don’t care what anyone might think.

My daughter doesn’t want to be a boy.
My daughter doesn’t want to be a girl.
She’s happy to live somewhere in between.
I’m moving with her to that neither world.


Panic! At the Disco—   Girls/Girls/BoysThe Killers—   Somebody Told Me


  1. Came here from my friend Lynn posting your blog. I love this. My daughter is not girly, and loves most things “boy” and some things “girl. Mostly I love her independent spirit and her living her life without the weight of other peoples judgement. She magically can let it roll right off her back. I hope she can always maintain that. She too has been faced with the “Is that a boy or a girl” or once even “thank you young man” I asked her how she felt about it and she laughed. Thank you for sharing. the best thing we can do is love and support.

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