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I like some things about being a girl and some things about being a guy. Is this normal?

Yes! As human beings, we all have characteristics, interests, feelings and talents that could be traditionally defined as “masculine” or “feminine.”

One thing to keep in mind is that society’s ideas of “masculine” or “feminine” change over time. For example, 100 years ago people thought pink was the best color for boy babies and blue was best for girls. Society’s ideas can change over time, and we can have a lot to do with changing them!

People may hide the fact that they like things about being a different gender because they are afraid others won’t understand. Sometimes guys who like “girl” things and girls who like “guy” things get labeled weird or are assumed to be gay. Some people don’t know or don’t understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender. Rigid expectations of people based on their gender limit everyone.

If you like shaking things up a bit, challenge assumptions and stereotypes when you feel it is safe to do so. The more people speak out, the more there is a chance they will find others who feel just like they do.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Why is one color OK for girls but not for guys?
  • What can children learn from playing with a variety of toys?
  • How do people express themselves with others? Is there a difference in the kinds of expressions used by guys or girls? How might this affect people’s relationships?
  • How do these ideas change over time?
  • Does place or culture make a difference? How are ideas about sex and gender roles different for people living in different parts of the U.S.? Around the world?

Check out the clip “Gend-o-meter” from the documentary Straightlaced to see what other teens have to say about gender expectations.

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