“Stop crying and acting like a little girl!”

My sister to her 4 year old son, who has a twin sister.

“I don’t date bisexuals. They’re never faithful.”

Said to me by woman who identifies as lesbian.

My MCAT instructor keeps referring to the writer of our passages with male pronouns when they do not list an author by name. Made me feel stupid/unvalued… like if our instructor doesn’t think women are smart enough to help write the MCAT, the most certainly aren’t smart enough to be doctors.

After seeing I had purchased a copy Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, my father became annoyed and angry. Incredulous, he said “Great, really, feminism? Just don’t start getting pissed every time a guy tries to open the door for you. Guys aren’t going to want to date a girl like that.” My mother supported his statements.

“Yeah, I just don’t know what’s up with them, they’re all crazy. All these women are just getting married or engaged, most of the girls in my office too… What’s up with that? I mean, they’re, like, 20 or something. Slow down, girls, no need to make yourselves look bad!”
Said on a bus, by two men behind me, about 25-30-years-old, both with business suits on. I am a 16-year-old girl. I felt angry, humiliated, ashamed, invisible. Those women’s life choices [and their respective partners'] had nothing to do with those men. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, and that no matter my achievements or my choices, there would always be men to look down on me and criticise me and I wouldn’t have a voice to speak out with.

“I just love working here, there’s so much culture. This is one of the most diverse high schools in the district!”

One of my white colleagues at a public high school. This particular school is about 75% black/African American; several other schools in the district have much more even distributions in terms of racial diversity, with students from many different racial backgrounds.

“Well yay for not being a black female.”

One of my closest friends (who is a white male) after I tried to explain how difficult it can sometimes be to care for my hair.” Made me feel mocked that he would trivialize my frustration, even though I knew he was only joking. Also made me feel like being a black female was a bad thing.

One day my boss comes up to me and out of the blue says

My boss: “”[last name] , hey [last name] is that your husband’s name?
Me: No I didn’t take my husband’s last name.
Boss: …
Me: I’m a feminist, that’s why
Boss: I could not stand it if my wife thought she could keep her own name. She has my name. We are going to have to work on this, you will take your husband’s name by the end of the year.

Often when I bring up that I have Asperger syndrome, people respond by saying something like, “But you seem normal!”  This reinforces the feeling that I have to continue to censor certain parts of my identity to fit in, that I have to hide important parts of who I am.

“It was Eve who ate the apple first. Would you really put Eve in charge of the whole country?”

My mother when discussing female political candidates.

“Your gay? I have the perfect person for you!”

The “”perfect person”" is gay too…so it must work out perfect right? NOT!

Watching a football game with my father and brother. During halftime, they present winners of a skills competition for kids 8 through 15.  Upon seeing the girls and their trophies, my father, amused, says, “There’s GIRLS! Why on Earth would they compete in something they will never be able to do?” I say, “Oh, by the way, I’m going back to school. I’m gonna major in gender studies.” Later, he criticizes a bad pass by comparing it to one I would make. I’m a 24 year old woman, and this makes me feel,  despite my accomplishments, I will be a failure to those who refuse to recognize my power.

“We all know that Filipinos aren’t really real Asians. I mean look, they have Spanish last names, and they are pretty dark, and they don’t look that Asian! Can’t we call them something else? It’d make it easier.”

“You’re so young and pretty. You don’t need all these medications.”

My pharmacist, every time I pick up the prescriptions that keep me out of the ER. I’m a young disabled woman.

“You can do [x]. It’s not that hard.”

I have an invisible physical disability. I hear this from teachers, friends, and parents when I try to tell them about my ability level

“You’re too black to play Katara.”
That still pisses me off. I mean really. That happened in Junior year, but that just stuck with me. It’s probably always going to stick with me. That feeling. That anger. The fact that that guy and I would flirt from time to time. I thought he was my friend- well not exactly like it- but close. And to hear what he truly thought of me…it hurt. It hurt that he said that and laughed, but he was dead serious. It hurt me that he can say whatever the hell he wants because his girlfriend is Asian, so obviously he can’t be racist right? It hurt me that people still see him as this stand-up-guy. Still. Ugh. Just- ugh. Frustrated. Livid. Ugly. Invisible.

I wanted to get my nephew a My Little Pony coloring book since I like MLP and I wanted to share that with him (and we share pink as one of our favorite colors). My brother, however, said that my sister-in-law would have a fit—with the implication that he would as well. I ended up getting my nephew a Batman one, but I don’t like Batman. It made me feel angry and sad that my supposedly liberal-leaning brother is so entrenched in stereotypical gender roles and that my nephew won’t really get to choose what he likes.

“Oh you actually are pretty! We should go somewhere!”

- My mother  to me after my friend plastered my face with make up, slapped a straight waist length wig on my head, and put me in a mini-dress “just for funsies.” I am a plus-size black female with natural hair who generally chooses to dress gender neutral. It made me feel like some sort of backwoods bizarro show, like I only have worth if I am pretty, and that I normally am worthless because I don’t naturally look pretty. I was confused, angry, upset and hurt.

Whenever I tell people that I am a lesbian, they assume that someone (a man) hurt me in my past.

“You won’t achieve equality by not knowing how to take a joke.”

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