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.