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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

I enjoy being a girl

There was an old Broadway show tune called “I Enjoy Being a Girl.” Growing up I always liked that song. I was happy to be a girl and wouldn’t listen to anyone who told me a girl couldn’t do this or that. I remember telling the playground monitor, a woman named Mrs. Clark that I wanted to go to Yale or Oxford when I grew up. When she told me they were schools only for boys, I refused to listen. I came from a family of four girls. There was a feminine energy in the house even though my mother was a not girly girl type preferring slacks and comfortable shoes to pearls and a dress in the 1950’s. My father was outnumbered but he did have a male dog. I learned more about men by having a son than I ever did dating them and getting married. Men are basically simple. That doesn’t sound good – does it? However I learned the most about gender from my Vietnamese manicurist Thao Le now Kimberly formerly known as Timmy. I met Timmy as man. He was a funny, warm person who worked seven days a week to take care of his family. On weekends, he would dress as woman. Within I few years he began the transition from male to female. I was honored to be witness to his journey. He fell in love with a man as Timmy and became engaged to him as Kimberly. She is now officially a woman in the eyes of the law. I have learned that gender is what feels right. I cannot imagine the pain of feeling trapped in a body that does feel right. I do have trouble grasping this gender fluidity business but I guess it works for some people. Kimberly is a better woman than many born that way. I still see her every few weeks. She makes me laugh more anyone I know and enjoys “being a girl.”


Cuz I'm a Girl

Snow shovels