birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Girlie Girl

My ideas about gender are shaped by my generation. Born female in 1953, an ice age before LGBTQ, traditional social expectations shaped my outward identity.

Back then, clothes typified gender. Public school dress codes spelled out skirts and dresses for girls all the way through high school. My mother dressed me like a girl. I was thrilled when she found some fun shorts and a little sailor top as play clothes! What a change!

I never considered myself to be a tomboy. But, if I had my druthers, you would find me in my Lone Ranger sweatshirt and dungarees. This, except for the bathing suit that I lived in in summer was the uniform. I would get lost for hours in the Sierra exploring meadows and tadpole ponds. Happy and muddy.

Recently, a lesbian woman I know at the gym affectionately called me "girlie girl". Whatever that is, I don't deny I like beautiful things. Venus is in my astrological chart. I am crazy about skin care and lipstick, and dressing to express my femininity consciously, and in my own way.

The question for this prompt can't help but lead to the question of sexual orientation. I can say I am heterosexual. However, there are women who have crossed my path, with whom I could feel attraction and the possibility of love. Which leads me to think that as human beings, we are capable of love in all its variants.

I'm Fine, Thanks

It's Just a Damn Ball