Is that a girl?

A baby was not just born and placed in gender-neutral green or yellow clothing making you question its sex. Nope, you don’t have to ask the parent that awkward question and get that ‘you couldn’t tell?’ glare.

No, that didn’t happen at all. What did happen was a brief encounter on my sunday morning bike ride.

I took my usual route.. saw a few runners..a few helicopter pilots cleaning their choppers. I saw a handful dragonflies. But what I didn’t see coming, nor prepare for, was ‘the question.’

I was cornering a transformed abandoned airport hangar, the usual one that I corner all the time, and was surprised to see its bay doors open. I just quickly glanced and pedalled on my merry way. When I was not too far from the building I heard some tools rattle. “I guess it wasn’t empty like I thought,” I said quietly to myself.

Then I heard it.

A mans voice from behind me muttered, “Is that a girl?”

I felt a pang in my heart as soon as his sentence dropped. There was no one else around (except me, very female).

Granted, my hair is quite short. My figure is a little bulky (thus the bike rides). I was wearing a baseball cap and glasses. My arms have a number of tattoos (I feel this is relevant somewhat). But. Is that a girl??

For a brief moment I felt like circling and going back to the hangar so this person could see how female I am. (It was a brief moment).

I kept on pedalling. I took a partial new route on the way back; weary.

It was a completely valid question, I suppose. But a question that caused me some grief briefly. I’ve been very tomboy-ish all my life. There isn’t a tool I can’t name nor handle. I have a certificate that states I’m an automotive service technician and have toyed with engines since I could stand.

But I also wear dresses – short ones, long ones, tight ones, loose ones. I wear high-heeled shoes. I wear make up. I wear a smile that suggests, and a smile that brings regret.

Is that a girl? Yes. That’s a girl that has her life together, and is improving, day by day.

I said in my last blog post that some things are better left unsaid – I wish that man knew the weight of that sentence.



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