Boi with an I not with a Y
“Miss, why does your girlfriend look like a boy if you like girls?”
After the most perfect week away, it was time for both me and my better half to get back to the daily grind. For once, I actually wasn't dreading it and was looking forward to being back in to some sort of routine. However I still had a nagging thought about how far the gossip about me and my girlfriend had travelled, after spending a week with a student's family. It actually took four days, a long four days, before I was asked “Miss, why does your girlfriend look like a boy if you like girls?”
Now I wondered how the student's small class had even seen a picture of my girlfriend. All my social media profiles were under a completely different name and set to private. I also only had the small picture on my desk that the kids never saw and my phone screensaver they had never seen either. As it turned out, the student we had “shared” our week with had managed to sneak one too many pictures of us and had sent them to her mates on Snapchat. Granted, I was furious and knew that I would have no choice but to take this slight breach of privacy further, but I wanted to answer their question honestly and at least use it as an opportunity to widen their horizons somewhat.
However, I wasn't entirely sure how to answer the question at all. I've always described my girlfriend as a “boy with an I not with a Y”, simply because with her short hair, naturally small chest and the fact she wears men's clothes, she often gets mistaken for a boy. Although not my normal type, I just fell in love with her. She was funny, caring and in my eyes absolutely beautiful. But how do you explain that to a group of 14-year-olds who only care about what a person looks like? (And compare every boy to either Justin Bieber or one member of 1D.)
So I started with the only way I knew how… and that way was to explain how some lesbians and bi women like to use certain labels to identify themselves. I went through them all from “butch" to “lipstick” and even explained where I felt I fell on that spectrum (tomboy/genderfluid). I also wanted them to realise that even though my girlfriend may look and sometimes act like a stereotypical boy, for me it wasn't about what she looked like but the fact that underneath her clothes and her masculinity there was a woman who I'm attracted to. And if a man who looked exactly the same was to approach me, I wouldn't feel the same.
To my astonishment (and following a few more tactfully asked questions) they were all in agreement that we made a really “cute” couple and were even trying to put themselves on some sort of spectrum. Maybe it's not the biggest breakthrough in the world, but at least they understood it's not what the person you're attracted to looks like that defines your sexuality.
(34 weeks to go and only 5 weeks till the next break)
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