Growing up differently
By Tatiyana Parker
Growing up I learned to shut up.
I learned that my gender will silence me.
"You can't do this."
"Don't play in the dirt!"
"You aren't your brother."
"You aren't a boy."
Constantly said as I grow up in this family.
Family ruled only by boys made for boys.
I can't dress like that.
I can't act like that.
There boys in the house and your shirt too low cut.
That tank top reveals your shoulders and the fact that you have breasts.
You're a girl, he a boy so you can't speak like that.
You're a girl; you must be lady like at all times.
You must be pretty and perfect no matter.
You're a girl; you can't wear clothes like that.
Those are for boys, here have this dress.
Why must this constantly come up?
Yes I'm girl; a girl who can wear what she wants
Yes I'm girl; a girl who can speak her mind even if it hurts the little boy's feelings
Yes I'm girl; a girl who can act like a boy.
Fight like a boy.
And can get down and dirty like a boy.
Because you know why.
I'm girl who grown up in a family ruled by boys
Made for boys.
So I'm model after a boy.