Thursday, November 29, 2018

Microstory 984: Live Theatre

I grew up in the same world that you did, even though I make a lot of jokes about being born on a Keserint space station orbiting Pluto hundreds of thousands of years ago, or in the future. One of my biggest regrets is allowing myself to be influenced by so many bad sources of information. As a man, I’ve had it extremely easy, never feeling like I had to transform myself into the perfect people in magazines, or like I wasn’t allowed to wear pants. I did, however, contribute to the negativity this world has offered, almost always without even realizing it. My parents were always very loving, and believed in diversity, but there were so many other things vying for my attention, that not even their good teachings could insulate me from everything. I once had a teacher in middle school who got off on a tangent about some associate of hers who underwent gender reassignment surgery. She talked about how gross that was, and charged us to never do anything like that. She wasn’t an absolutely terrible person, but she was a clueless jackass who didn’t know what she was talking about, and that sort of behavior would never be tolerated today; not even in Kansas. I didn’t feel as sick about the idea as she did, but I didn’t question her position either. I spent years being indifferent to transgender people; time I could have spent being a vocal ally. That teacher fucking blocked something good in me with ignorant darkness, and I will never get that time back. People have died because children are highly impressionable, and are being taught to agree with just about everything a role model says. I’m optimistic about that teacher, and have enough faith in her that she’s changed her beliefs, possibly without even remembering—and thusly not feeling guilty about—the damage she inflicted on young minds. I recall her being fairly open-minded and liberal otherwise. She was just as much a victim of society’s rules as I was; more so, because she was older. The reason I’m saying all this is because, especially when I was younger, I’ve been conditioned to be resistant of certain things that I later realize I like. I had to overcome society’s expectations that I not like live theatre, because I am not a girl. I was expected to like sports and boobs, and nobody outside of my family even thought to let me question these assumptions. I like RENT, and I like listening to show tunes, I miss Smash, and I very much wanted to win the lottery for Hamilton tickets when my family took a trip to New York City in 2016. I even determined the physiological characteristics of a species in my stories based on the possibility that I may be able to help write a musical about them decades from now. They have two sets of vocal cords, so they can sing notes humans can’t, and singing is vital to the conception, and early development, of their offspring. The point is that gender roles are a social construct, rather than a biological one. You would probably agree if you saw Book of Mormon.

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