Have you ever been mistaken for the opposite gender? What was your reaction? Does it happen often?

I saw this question and it honestly struck a cord with me and I just knew I had to answer it and share my story. To begin, let me share with you a picture of me.

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This is my most favorite picture of my self at the moment and I felt that it was a good starting place. Let me share with you some facts about myself.

  • I am a 22 year old woman who is about to turn 23 by the end of April.
  • I was born in the town I am currently living in and have gone to the schools my step/adoptive brothers have gone to. I have worked in the place my mom did years ago. I have traveled the same roads my parents have.
  • I am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man who loves and supports me even with my flaws.
  • I work in customer service.

Now we get to the question: have I been mistaken for the opposite sex. Yes I have. I have been mistaken many times.

I have been mistaken for a boy/guy/man many times throughout my life. The reasons are plentiful.

  1. I have short hair. Currently, it is kind of long for a short cut. But when I cut it, I cut it really short.
  2. I don’t dress femininely. I don’t wear dresses or skirts all the time. I more prefer jeans and a T-shirt. Even today, that is going to be my usual outfit to class.
  3. I don’t act like some women do. I cuss. I filter when I am in certain places. But I have been known to drop the f-bomb on several occasions which result in odd looks (or angry looks when they are convinced I am a guy).
  4. My body form. I am a big woman. I am not skinny by any means. I have a big waist and large shoulders. My chest is a small chest and unless I am wearing the right clothes, you cannot tell that I have breasts.
  5. I don’t wear make up. The most I will do is lipstick and mascara. I don’t like dealing with the fancy makeup routines. It’s just not my style.

The times that I was mistaken for a boy/guy go as far back as elementary school. During that time, everyone was required to wear a uniform. We had different options with the uniform, but it was still just that. Girls could wear pants or shorts or skirts. Boys wore pants or shorts. I often would wear the pants because skirts and dresses were not my thing. They weren’t very comfortable to me.

The girls in my school were primarily Hispanic and all had medium to long hair that was either curly or straight. I was an oddball in the school because there was not many other students who were not Hispanic. I was also an oddball for having short hair even though I was a girl. My classmates didn’t like that.

My mother had my hair cut short because I hated having my hair up in a ponytail which resulted in me constantly being hot and my neck breaking out due to that heat. The short hair wasn’t a choice until much later in life.

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I also had a light skin tone and blue eyes. The typical “white” girl. Because I wasn’t like the other girls, they made so much fun of me.

When I was in the third grade, I told my mom that I wanted to grow my hair out and long. I also wore more skirts and acted more like a girl. Soon, the other children left me alone. There was one time though that one group of girls came up to me and told me that I needed to go to the boys bathroom to spy on them. I remember being told that I could get away with it since I look like a boy.

All comments or incidences didn’t occur for a very long time. I didn’t wear make up but I had my long hair from 4th grade up until college. I went back to wearing jeans and T-shirt’s because I was constantly moving and going to places. Wearing fancy clothes and shoes and make up just didn’t work for the activities I had during my high school years. I had marching band and another extracurricular activity I was a part of. I was constantly going from one place to another. Sweating and moving and keeping busy.

When I graduated high school and started college, I had a period where I wanted to change. I wanted to do something different and I knew the hair had to go.

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It was thick and heavy. I always had it up in a ponytail. It was getting old. This picture was from September of 2014. By December of that year. It was all gone.

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That period of time is where I wanted to improve myself and make myself happy. I got a job six months later and started to work on my physical health. I was also in college working on an associates degree.

When I started working, I found that majority of the older female customers would mistake me for a guy. It got to the point where I just gave in and lowered my voice so that they wouldn’t feel bad. I understood that they didn’t really pay much attention to my face, name badge, or even my (almost nonexistent) feminine body form.

A few years later was when I made the realization that I didn’t care anymore. I don’t care if I get mistaken for a guy or get called “sir” even if I wore my favorite dress shirt. I like myself the way that I am. I tried to fit a mold once and it was too much for me to handle. Makeup and fancy clothes and shoes. They are not meant for me. I prefer to be myself and to not really care.

Edit: I just remembered another major incident that happened to me because someone thought that I was a guy. A few years back after I had cut my hair, I was at a store with my cousin who is nine years younger than me. We had walked up to the check out line to pay and this older man was standing in line. He was bald and big. He was muscular and reminded me of the stereotypical biker guy. I was the one who was standing closer to him. When the line would move, so would we. I never spoke a word before he turned to me and said something in a menacing tone about me standing too close to him. The look on his face and posture just screamed that he was looking for a fight. The man towered over me and I was quite scared. I apologized to him only to see him back off in realization that he was threatening an innocent woman. My voice and tone were probably the only things that fixed the situation. Had I not said something, he probably would have taken a swing at me.

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