One of my first memories as a child was when I was three or four years old. My mom told me to go and stay in my room until she told me to come out. She called for me to come out into the living room where my family was. My grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins were all there. In the middle of the living room was a beautiful plastic toy kitchenette. I loved that kitchenette…at least for a few years, until I became a tomboy.

I remember playing with Barbie dolls and even asked for a doll that made sounds when you played with her. Something happened though. Nothing sudden. I began shying away from girly toys. I played sports with the boys at recess. My aunt reminisce sometimes about the time she saw a little girl in a beautiful, white dress playing football with boys at recess. To her shock, it was her niece. I faintly remember going to one of my uncle’s basketball games and later another aunt. My family esteemed sports very highly. The men in my family were the school’s best players in basketball and soccer. All of them got scholarships to play sports in college. One of my uncle’s went the farthest and eventually played professional basketball in Brazil. I was asked by my grandpa a few times what I wanted to do after high school and at a young age I replied that I wanted to get a basketball scholarship to the family college everyone went to. I knew it would make him proud.

I remember on my brother’s ninth birthday he got a G.I. Joe. I was seven at the time and extremely jealous. I wanted a G.I. Joe too. I ended playing with his. My brother, younger cousin, and I could be found in the weeds dressed up in military fatigues. This lasted until I was fourteen. This is not normal for girls.

I don’t know what happened specifically. Like I said earlier it was a slow change. I began to not like the Barbie dolls. I played with my brothers toys instead. I had a wrong view of men and women interaction. I popped the Barbie doll heads off and when I mixed the G..I. Joes with the Barbie dolls I would hit the Barbie dolls with the G.I. Joes and called the dolls stupid. Some reading this would think I lived in an abusive home. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hardly ever  heard my parents raise their voice (much less any physical abuse). My parents did not quarrel in front of us kids growing up. So what happened? There was never a traumatic period or questionable situation that the average person could look at and make sense of why I was like this. I did not like being a girl. I did not want to be girl. I thought the boys got to do all the fun stuff and girls had to be stuck at home taking care of babies and the house.

Things only got worse with time. I remember walking around the house without my shirt on ’cause that’s what daddy does.’ I couldn’t do that anymore when my body started its natural change. I did not like wearing dresses (school dress code) or having my hair done. My mother did almost everything short of physically forcing me to like dressing up and being girly. She curled my hair every single day of school from the time I was in Kindergarten until I was in fifth grade. She had me wear the nicest and cutest dresses (only to have to get the grass stains out).

My mom was very feminine. All the women in my family were. I did not have any ‘confusing’ examples set before me. My heart desired something. My soul was dissatisfied with who God made me to be. I saw the praise the men in our family got and that is what I wanted. I wanted to make my family proud too. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong route to go. I shook my fist at God; angry with him for making me a girl instead of a boy. I hated beauty and looked down on women who tried to be beautiful. I looked down on women who weren’t like men. I was sinning and I didn’t even realize it. The attitudes and beliefs in my heart came out in my actions. There was no specific event that pointed me in a particular direction. It was my deceitful, sinful heart. The curse for women in Genesis where it talks about the woman desiring the position of her husband (or men in general in my case) was coming out and rearing its ugly head. This is how I got to be the way I was. Sin. Sin feeding on my pride and arrogance.

If I could only go back and change my view of thinking. If you happen to  know a boy or girl who is obviously trying to be someone they are not (God made boys to be men and girls to be women), I encourage you to have enough courage to talk to them about it and dig into their life. You might be surprised what is lurking in the shadows…and they might not even see it.