the conversation i just published reminded me of another mail from the same friend, « Glinka ».
here is a story she told me…
nov. 8th, 2009.
I took my blond-bobbed, big-blue-eyed, animated 5-year-old to the National Gallery today. The child, J, had chosen a very eye-catching outfit: black sporty zip-up knee high boots, red flowered tights covered by blue football shorts with double stripes down the sides, a body-hugging dark blue, long sleeved cotton tee-shirt with 3 buttons at the neck, such as a lumberjack (or a teenage girl) might wear, and a brown and red ski jacket, with a signature red wool Flying Ace cap, secured under the chin by velcro tabs. I must say, the child is truly sizzling in red.
At the coat check, a guard (whom I would peg as gender-ambiguous, quite sharp in a suit, birth sex betrayed by her large bosom) was not the only one to unabashedly scrutinize the outfit, the voice and gestures, and the smooth, pretty face while we took off our coats. As J danced away excitedly to chat with yet another stranger, the guard finally asked me what she and the other 5 or 6 people in the room were desperately trying to decode: “so, is that a boy or a girl?”
I shrugged my shoulders and smiled. “It doesn’t matter,” I said.
Her eyes narrowed into a piercing panic, she raised her eyebrows and, as if I had not understood what I had uttered, enunciated carefully for my benefit: “It doesn’t matter?! » Folding her arms, she challenged me: « what do you mean?”
“One day she’s a princess, next day he’s a knight” I explained. “And today, as you can see, the child is quite balanced, and not at all bothered to make any distinction for you! So, again I say, it doesn’t matter.”
I hope that the guard found something meaningful in that!