I feel that my upbringing was very directive in how I am supposed to act as a man. At a young age I was not supposed to cry and was expected to engage in “boy” activities, I do not think that parents realize just how much these early lessons and interactions mold children and can also cripple their understanding of the other sex. Today I take a lot of what I learned and envision myself teaching much of the same to my child when that time arrives. I was the first born of three children and I was named after my father, so I think a lot of pressure was placed on me at a young age since I looked just like him I felt I had to act like him also. At the age of five I was put in little league basketball and played every year throughout high school, I started football at age ten until high school, and I ran track throughout high school also so competiveness and masculinity became synonymous with winning and sports at an early age.
I do not think my culture really has taught me much on my personal gender identity as much as it has taught me what not to do. ...
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...dhood planted very necessary seeds in my gender identity, I was not pressured against my will ever but I did have guiding hands that informed me along the way. When I got older and moved on to other countries and really had a chance to live on my own and explore other people’s thoughts on gender and sex, homosexual and heterosexual, male and female, young and old I realized that my communication and my acceptance of other people was enlarged. Gender to me now is what we make it, there is no mold that we have to fit into, fitting into a mold can leave out important attributes of one’s personality or it can add attributes that would not have necessarily have been there and can be detrimental to our gender growth. With proper gender acceptance and growth I think that communication between humans can be more open and less subjective, less assertive and more considerate.
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