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Questioning Gender, Finding Answers

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It happened when I paused outside the girls bathroom during a normal 9th grade math class. For the first time, I began to feel awkward and fearful that I was somehow in the wrong place. I wasn’t sure why I was feeling this way. I checked the sign once, twice. I’m a girl, I silently […]

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Proud Parents of This Great Kid

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My mom called me to dinner. I swallowed thickly and emerged from my room, faintly practicing the lines I had prepared. It was the winter of 8th grade, and Christmas music was playing. Feeling light in my chair, as though I was going to fall out of it, I cleared my throat and told my […]

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The Best Form of Validation

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It was a typical winter Saturday in the 8th grade, and my family and I were walking home from dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I was wearing an oversized gray knit sweater, a hand-me-down from my grandpa. I was obsessed with oversized clothing that hid any curves. I also always wore my hair in […]

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Wrestling With Stereotypes

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As we shake hands, I can feel the pressure on me. Like a mantra I repeat: Strong grip. Stern expression. Show him you’re serious. The whistle blows, and my mind goes blank. It’s just me and my opponent. As Coach says, if my head is really in the game, I shouldn’t even be able to […]

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