Sunday, June 28, 2009

on SITI summer-part eight OR our bodies, our selves

on wednesday, i had yet another breakthrough about my body. i realized that the reason i "don't dance" is not because i'm afraid to look the fool (i look the fool all the time!), but because i have fundamentally hated the body i was given at birth. it's beyond "body issues" of wanting to be thin or attractive or sexy. somehow, since a very very early age, i learned that to have a girl body meant weakness, meant danger, meant potential violation. when barney o'hanlon said to me during a movement class, "kt, you're so good at folding, try more extending," i knew the reason i had so much trouble was because of my body hatred. extending my limbs meant showing my female body; showing my female body has always made me very, very afraid.

so i wept. and wept. and wept. and freaked out. and wept. and rehearsed. and freaked out again.

it's no small problem to deal with. afterall, i have hated being a girl since i was about four years old. yes, part of this is just my own gender identity and expression. and it's murky water around the line between gender expression and body image. the fact is, i have had a chance--many, in fact--to change my body. to take hormones, to do surgery. but i haven't. i respect those who do. but i resolved to keep my body as i was born with--vulnerable, flawed, and unmistakeably female. now i know why.

i see on the horizon the hope that one day, i will recognize my body as my own and as a finely-honed tool of expression and creativity. as something wholly connected to my mind and soul. as with any gender expression, i will continue containing it, pushing it, pulling it. but i will also choose to expose it. and revel in that vulnerability. someday, i will be that butch who loves her body as part of herself, rather than as something that could go nice on someone else.

the days after i wept, many things happened to reinforce my resolve around my body. all these different people kept calling me "gorgeous." and ellen lauren told me i "know how to move." i just need to continue exploring my limits and my possibilities, and embrace that fear as best i can.

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