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Guest Jack Solomon

The Story Of The Girl Who Was Born A Boy

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Guest Jack Solomon

I thought I'd share a fictional short story I wrote about gender identity. See if you can spot the message. This tale involves a young girl who was physically born a boy but is a girl.

(Disclaimer: Long, Includes References to Bullying, Very Mild Violence)

The Story of the Girl Who Was Born a Boy

[Natasha and the Sandbox]

Natasha's 'real' name was Jesse, but she called herself Natasha because it was a girl's name she liked and because she felt Jesse wasn't a girl name. As little girls go, she was a very lonely one. She was very lonely because Natasha couldn't understand why everyone thought she was a boy.

Nearly every day in kindergarten, Natasha would come home crying after the other children teased her for stashing dresses in her classroom locker and telling the teacher she was a girl when the teacher referred to her as 'he'. She would run up to her mother and tell her, "They said I wasn't a girl, but I was. I am. Where am I, if I'm not a girl and people can't see me?"

"But you're right here with me," Replied the mother, not truly understanding the weight of what Natasha had said but not wishing to see her child unhappy. "You are you. You're right here."

But Natasha continued to be teased by the other children and chastised by the teacher of her homeroom class for sneaking in girl clothes to school and doodling in her notebooks in such a way to be considered 'feminine'. Nothing seemed to help. One day Natasha hid behind some bushes in the school parking lot after being beaten up by a boy for 'looking like a girl'. Natasha didn't understand why that meant he had to beat her up, but after that first time of being beaten up, she learned to hide from bullies and eventually stopped claiming she was a girl, because no one seemed to like it when she said that. She began to think, "maybe I was wrong, because no one knows I'm a girl. Maybe I'm not a girl but I know I'm not a boy like everyone says." Natasha no longer brought in the girl clothes to school that she stole from her mother's closet, or drew in her school notebooks sunny pictures of girls in pretty dresses and blue hats (she may not have been a boy, but she did like blue and hated pink, and that was her thoughts on the matter). If she stopped doing these things that seemed to make people go out of their way to bother her, maybe she wouldn't be teased anymore at school and the other kids would leave her alone.

The bullying didn't stop completely, but it did lessen some for the next few years, and Natasha didn't get beat up again, although she was sometimes taunted and embarrassed by other kids in class. She became friends with two other children in second grade, her first real friends, a girl and a boy. The girl was blonde and smelled like a perfume of high sweet cherries and Natasha adored her. She was slightly older than Natasha and said her dad let her wear the perfume to feel more grown up. This girl's name was Yvonne, and Yvonne thought Natasha was a strange boy, and liked her anyway. Her friend who was a boy was named Kenny, but Natasha wasn't as close to him.

One day when Natasha was nine, a group of older boys hopped the fence to the school and found her building sandcastles with Yvonne and Kenny in the schoolyard's sandbox. Annoyed, Natasha stood up and told the boys to go away and that they weren't supposed to be here. It was the middle of the school day (although her school was already out for the day because they got out earlier than older kids) and they should be at their middle school or wherever they went. One of the boys said his little brother had said Natasha used to call himself a girl in first grade, and what did he have to say to that? Was he a girl or was he a boy?

"Does it matter?" Yvonne yelled at them, angry for her friend, "He can be whoever he wants. Just go home!"

Kenny looked embarrassed. It was his big brother and his friends who were now facing them down. He'd only mentioned to Tom that Natasha had used to call himself a girl because it was interesting, not bad. His brother was now making something that was Natasha's business a big deal when it shouldn't be.

"Yeah," Tom said, smiling, "It's that simple. He can be a girl OR a boy. Or both. Whatever he wants. I'll just leave now."

Tom's two lackeys snickered and started to approach the sandbox where the three young friends were standing.

Kenny felt his stomach plummet but he wasn't quite sure what was going to happen, only that Tom might do something bad to Natasha and Yvonne, "No, Tom, it's not that big a deal. He's my friend. Just leave us alone!"

"What kind of a boy wants to be a girl? What kind of a sissy wants to be woman?" Tom came closer until he was almost in the sandbox with them, motioning for his friends to stop about ten feet behind him. He stared at Natasha, smirking like he had it all figured out. "Do you want to be like this one here?" He pointed to Yvonne and Yvonne grabbed Natasha's arm and started to back up, looking scared.

Not ten seconds later Tom lunged for Natasha, knocking her over in the sandbox's center so he fell ontop of her. Yvonne barely had the chance to get out of the way, and she went stumbling into the short sandcastle she had finished with her friends just a half-hour before. Tom's friends came into the sandbox and one of them yanked on Yvonne's arm as she tried to scramble up from the devastated sandcastle, sending her tumbling face first onto the boy's shoes.

"NO!" Kenny pummeled Tom in the neck and head as his brother raised a hand to strike a struggling Natasha across the face. This caused Tom to pause enough send his brother reeling, giving Natasha a good opportunity to send a sharp kick into Tom's middle and pull her weight out from under him. Spurred by sheer instinct, she struck Tom in the face the way the bully had hit her three years ago when she had been beaten up in the school parking lot. He yelled something full of surprise and anger and shoved her away so hard her head bounced on the rim of the sandbox almost two yards in front of him.

Stunned, she stared up as Tom stepped forward and laughed again, so sure he now had the upper hand he would later say to everyone he knew that he'd always had. All around was the sound of yelling - the cracking, not yet masculine voices of the three older boys mingling with the younger voices of Kenny and Natasha - and she could see one of Tom's friends hitting a stumbling Kenny behind the looming figure of Tom. Natasha didn't know where Yvonne was or why Yvonne wasn't crying out anymore, but suddenly something hard was pressed into her hand. She looked to the right to see what it was and saw Yvonne, having crawled over and handed her a heavy-duty plastic shovel. Tom hit Natasha while she was momentarily distracted, but she swung sharply to the left with the shovel as Tom bent down, laughing, and whacked him hard enough so he stumbled backwards. His eyes widened childishly and he looked around, and Natasha did the same thing, and saw one of Tom's friends was nowhere to be seen.

He must have run off! Natasha found herself thinking in relief. The other boy was sort of staring at Tom, having fallen on his side halfway outside the edge of the sandbox and halfway in. His face was purpled with budding bruises and he was panting openly. The sight of Kenny laying still in the sandbox frightened her as much as she was glad to have fought Tom off, at least for the moment. At Natasha's side, Yvonne took the plastic shovel from her friend's hand and raised it warningly. "Leave, Tom. You can explain what happened to Kenny to your parents, but we need to get him help."

"Oh, god," Tom muttered red-faced, before turning away and running out of the schoolyard. The remaining boy followed him, not looking back at the three young friends.

Yvonne went for help after they made sure Kenny was waking up again, and Natasha stood guard over him while Yvonne was gone. She knew Tom was Kenny's brother and it was partially his fault for telling the older boy in the first place, but she didn't hold him to it because Kenny had gotten beaten up the worst of any of them. Kenny had even been hit repeatedly by his own brother, which was especially horrible - how could Tom have done that?

Yvonne returned with a school nurse and a teacher who said their parents had been called and that she was very sorry this had happened to them. All three children were led out into the school parking lot. The teacher went on to say that fighting was a bad thing to do, and that there's always an alternative to fighting. Natasha simply couldn't see the logic there. They'd been forced to fight, hadn't they? She started to mention this but the teacher didn't seem to be listening. The school nurse examined Kenny and said he would have to go to the doctor to make sure, but he looked to be fine except for the bruises and a few cuts, which she could treat in her office while they waited for his parents to arrive.

When her mother walked onto the scene, Natasha looked at her very carefully. She wasn't angry (through Kenny's mother was at this point, yelling at her son and emptily threatening to sue the school), but she seemed very sad. She hugged Natasha and asked her what had happened. When Natasha mentioned why Kenny's brother and his friends had come looking for them (she didn't mention that it had been Kenny who had told the brother in the first place), her mother's eyes filled with silent tears that she blinked away.

"I'll talk to the teacher and the other parents for a moment." By 'the parents' Natasha knew she was talking about Yvonne's father and Kenny's mother, who were getting into an argument as the teacher and Yvonne looked helplessly on. The nurse had taken Kenny away somewhere with Kenny's father close behind.

Her mother tried talking to the parents but gave up when they started arguing with her. She spoke briefly to the teacher instead. Standing apart from the grown-ups, Natasha's heart did a flip-flop when she heard the word 'discipline' come out of the teacher's mouth. Who would be disciplined - hopefully Tom and the older boys? Why would Natasha, Kenny or Yvonne be disciplined when they hadn't had any choice but to fight?

Yvonne walked over to Natasha. It didn't seem like her father had seen her move at all. He just stayed there thirty feet away yelling at Kenny's mother about 'how could she let her son beat up a girl'.

"They're making this very complicated." Yvonne remarked, "Why aren't they talking about punishing Tom and his friends?"

"I don't know," Natasha said slowly, "It sounds more like they're going to punish us and give us detention or something. They haven't said hardly anything about Tom and the others."

"What did you tell your mom?"

"What happened, except for the part about Kenny, where he mentioned something about me to his brother that caused this." It sort of hurt for Natasha to say that, even though she made it sound like it didn't. This whole thing seemed like her fault, not Tom's or Kenny's or anyone else.

"You're lucky, my dad wouldn't even listen about what happened. He's just like that teacher, Mrs. Dennis." She made a face and combed her tangled hair with her fingers to get sand out of it. "Once I told her that Tom and some older boys he knew had started this and had just come out of nowhere to bother us, she barely listened to a word I said, even though I explained the whole thing."

Natasha's mother came back over to the two children. "I've handled things with Mrs. Dennis. She was going to recommend you and Kenny to be suspended from the school for a few days but I talked her out of it, saying I would just take you to a different school if she wants to punish you for defending yourself. Your father, Yvonne, seems to think Mrs. Andrews is at fault for somehow allowing her boy Tom to do this, while Mrs. Andrews says she's going to get the names of the boys that were with him, and punish Tom herself. I'm not sure she will punish him, but at least she did say she would get those boys' names." She sort of smiled in a way that was unhappy and tired, adding, "She also wanted to sue the school but Mrs. Dennis quickly talked her out of that."

"So we aren't going to be disciplined at all?" Yvonne asked uncertainly.

"No," Natasha's mother answered, "She was just going to give you detention, but it looks like you three will be seen as innocent in all this. Hopefully it stays that way once we get ahold of those boys, and everyone can settle everything outside of a court, and without any other complications."

Natasha wasn't totally certain what her mother meant with that last part about settling outside a court and complications, but she was sure her mother knew what she was talking about, and that it probably had something to do with Mrs. Andrews threatening to sue the school. She only had a vague concept of what it meant to sue something or someone, that it had something to do with 'pressing charges' (however that was done), and causing a lot of problems that involve grown-ups having to be places they didn't want to be.

Yvonne left with her father a few minutes later in her father's fancy-looking sports van. Mrs. Andrews went inside the school with Mrs. Dennis to check on Kenny, leaving Natasha alone with her mother.

"Well, Jesse," Her mother said, smiling sadly, "I'm sorry today happened and I'm glad you're alright." She starting crying a little and Natasha asked her what was wrong.

"You once asked me, "where am I, if I'm not a girl and people can't see me?" You are you. You're right here, but now I understand what you meant."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Guest Snow Angel

That was good. It sounded like it's something that could have happened. My childhood was full of chagrin like that, just not as violent. The violence of that level probably does happen in rare cases.

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Guest Jack Solomon

Oh, and I forgot to mention that this story was originally written in a certain format as an article and aimed with a certain intent in mind, so in other words it is not specifically written in a free-flowing prose/story format. So I apologize if it seems overly simplistic in some places, it was originally meant to be. :)

Solomon

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Guest Jack Solomon
That was good. It sounded like it's something that could have happened. My childhood was full of chagrin like that, just not as violent. The violence of that level probably does happen in rare cases.

Thanks, Snow Angel! I also thought it had elements of something that could have potentially happened, even though it's fictional. I know that many people have encountered worse, though. I originally wrote it as a sort of simple prose piece in hopes of placing a story on a particular website that would make people think about the message behind the words.

Solomon

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Guest GoldenKirbichu

I like it, actually... simple, yet effective.

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Guest Ryou

That's an amazing talent you have there. You are able to write in a very simple manner, but it sends the message across.

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Guest Jack Solomon

Thanks GoldenKirbichu and Ryou for your kind words. I usually only write adult dark fantasy fiction, so it was challenging but interesting to write this short story with a much different intention and style of writing in mind. :)

Solomon

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Guest GoldenKirbichu

It came off quite well, so you're welcome.

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