What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between me and you? About five bank accounts, three ounces and two vehicles……… wait that’s not right, I’ve barely got enough money for one bank account never mind five, I haven’t done drugs in a long time so have no ounces (unless it’s ounces of flour for baking?) and I don’t drive. But that said there probably is a difference between us. (really hope me appropriating Xzibit lyrics isn’t racist)


When I was growing up, and even when I’d grown up, I felt like I didn’t quite belong, that what was coming naturally to everybody else was an act for me. That feeling was most pronounced when I was hanging around with other males, they seemed to think very different things than me, they seemed to react to things differently than me and I clearly cared about things they gave precisely no fucks about. I got very very good at pretending to be like everyone else, so good that I’m positive none of the people I spent almost every day with had any inclination that this was an effort for me, when you’re a teenager and fuck it even when you’re an adult, you want to fit in.


I don’t like not knowing things, and I didn’t like not knowing why I was so obviously not like everybody else, there was a while where I thought the world would make more sense if I was gay, but the whole fancying men thing was just never me so I knew that wasn’t the answer.


When I was about 15 years old I remember everybody doing those online tests to see if you’re gay (nope) and then one that claimed to be able to discern your gender with a few simple questions. Clearly nonsense of course, but on the gender one (which I’m pretty sure I answered truthfully)………the computer was convinced I was a woman.


Now I ‘ve never had any doubt about my gender identity but that little test remained tucked away at the back of my mind.


In recent years, or maybe even recent months I’ve become a lot more attuned to what my brain is doing, what it’s thinking and what I’m feeling. And like I said, I don’t like not knowing things, so with nothing else going on in my life I took some time to work out why I didn’t fit in. A wedding of an old school friend I attended recently merely reaffirmed my whole ‘I’m not like these guys thing’ and heightened my desire to gain some clarity on the issue.


Pretty sure I’ve cracked it by the way.


See, I’ve always had female friends, even when I was doing my most convincing ‘lad’ impression I would still relish time spent with my ‘girl mates’. Despite what most people assumed this wasn’t a sex thing (it was sometimes a sex thing but that’s okay) it was a genuine and meaningful connection between people who enjoyed each others company. In the years where I cut almost everyone out of my life and lived a life of effective solitude the only person I could even remotely describe as a ‘friend’ was a brilliant young woman named Terri (shoutout to her for still being my mate despite everything). I came to realise that rather than being a ‘nice change’, I actually preferred female company.


I think it’s important that we don’t make assumptions about people based on perceived gender traits, but it is fair that we acknowledge that some character traits are more commonly found in males than in females and vice versa. This is where I come in, I’m almost certain that my personality is closer to the (typical) female model than the (typical) male. I believe the way I communicate, the way I interact with people, the way I read peoples behaviour and the way I react to things are why I’ve never felt like one of ‘the lads’ (I am generalising but I’m too poor a writer to work out how else I can make my point, fucking sue me yeah). I also believe that this is not unique to me, in fact I don’t even think it’s uncommon, how many young men have spent their lives thinking there was something wrong with them because they didn’t measure up to some bullshit macho stereotype?


Some of you reading this will have met me over the last few months *waves*, I think the person you met was a good version of me, Ally 2.0 if you will. I’m not sure you’d have liked the previous model, the one trying very hard to ‘act’ like a man is meant to.


I’m not entirely sure what the point of this collection of words and misplaced punctuation is except that, I see a lot of people pretending to be something they’re not (years of acting mean I can spot a bullshitter from miles off so don’t bother trying to lie to me, I’ll totally know), aiming for an ideal that is of no relevance to them and is fucking outdated anyway. You don’t need to do that, you’d be a lot happier if you accepted what makes you different, I know I am.


Oi, follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/AllorNothingMag


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