When Your Clothes Keep You In The Closet

by Malia Disney
Also Featured on KCBS
12.17.17
12.17.17

I don’t identify as a girl, but my dad still refers to me as his daughter and wants me to dress the part.

I’ve always known what I want to wear. When I was younger, I remember crying as my dad and step-mom forced me into skirts and short-shorts. I hated trading my basketball shorts for dresses and my messy hair for a ponytail. I just felt so uncomfortable. Like being forced into someone else’s skin.

When I’d get to school, I’d change back into my normal clothes in the bathroom stall, stuffing the dresses in the bottom of my backpack.

Now that I’m in high school, adults can’t dress me anymore. I’ve stopped listening when my dad tells me I look too boyish. In fact–looking like a boy is the goal. And with the freedom to style myself, I’ve grown into my identity. But the tension between us hurts because it feels like he doesn’t support me.

My dad wants me to be someone I’m not. But who I am is reflected in how I choose to style myself. I hope he’ll start with the clothes… And eventually, accept the rest of me.

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