I’m a substitute at a local day-school/daycare. Today I worked in the after care with a few kids I had never met before. We got along swimmingly. It helped that the older cool-kid gave me a good review since I’ve been his babysitter for years.
One feminine child asked for help with a shoe. I went over to help. She declared, “Have no fear; the queer is here!” I felt a small pang; I always do. It hurts.
The child was smiling innocently. I wondered briefly if I should reprimand. The child suddenly donned a scared expression. She then followed up the declaration with, “That’s what my mommies say when they help me.”
There was a beat of silence. I smiled. “That’s awesome; but, sweetie, I’m not queer.”
She looked at my pierced ears and male-style jeans and shirt. “But you wear stuff like my mommies. They’re queer.” She frowned.
I smiled. I tipped her chin up. “You have no need for a frowny-face for I am here, the magnificent Ace!” I grinned.
We laughed together.
I tied her shoe. She began to frown again.
“You’re not queer. You probably think my dress is silly.” She tugged on her dress.
I shook my head. “Your dress is lovely. I wish I looked as good in dresses.”
She leaned forward. “But, uh, underneath I’m a boy.”
I’m not sure where my wisdom at that moment came from; but, I replied, “But underneath that you’re not, aren’t you?”
She grinned very wide. “Yeah,” she exclaimed. She took my fingers into her hand and led me to the swings. “Or maybe I’m like you underneath that.”
“Well,” I gave her hand a squeeze, “I guess you’ll find out.”
I ain’t gonna lie. It frustrates me that girls doing boy stuff is considered liberating and boys doing girl stuff is some sort of messed up shit. I hate this notion.
A lady at my liberal church with a conservative congregation needed someone to watch her kids one day out of the blue so I did. The little boy wanted to play barbies with me and his sister and I let him. We played most of the night. I let him dress my barbie too because I suck at barbie fashion.
His mom came home, took one look around, and produced a shit-eating grin. She smiled at me and I think I got a tip.
We got to talking after the two kids were in bed. It turned out their last nanny/babysitter hadn’t let the little boy play with ‘girl’ things, that was why she got a new babysitter, me. She and I are good friends now.
She was the first person I told that I was asexual and she totally understood. She said that while she had no books on asexuality she would give me a book of coming out stories that she had. I’ve gotten that one and many others from her.
She and her husband are awesome. They let the girl do socially-male things and let the boy do socially-female things. Whatever makes them happy. Each time I babysit I get an extra hug at the end and a whispered, “I knew you were the right person to watch my kids.”