Gender fluidity by Rohit Malik

Gender fluidity: my experiences and ideas

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My biggest challenge was with sports. Boys and girls were separated for physical education instruction .Unlike girls, boys were expected to participate in aggressive and physically-demanding sports. Boys may—in a certain sense—have greater physical strength than girls, but there is no rationale why I should have been expected to participate in more aggressive sports just because I was assigned male. I could not join the girls as it might make them uncomfortable and teachers definitely felt it was inappropriate. But “boys” like me who did not exhibit such brute force during physical training were branded as “weak” and “girly” which was not only demotivating then but, in retrospect, must’ve also been insulting to girls as such. The strange thing is that certain boys would do anything and everything to avoid being told they are girly, and the teachers felt this was a good way of motivating them to do well in sports. Though I was not particularly keen on identifying as a girl, I cherished being different from the other boys. So, I started to deliberately act like I was physically weak. Consequently, I never took part in competitive sports in school. As an aside, it has taken me a long time to realize the importance of physical activity. I have tried the gym, and I now swim regularly to keep myself healthy.

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