Shane

I have a really girly name and i don’t like it. it rhymes with shane though so i chose that. i have really short hair and everyone thinks i’m a boy. My mom always says “why don’t you grow your hair long??!!!” and “why don’t you wear girl clothes!!??!?!” and i hate it because i wear boy clothes and i hate girl clothes. also, theres this girl in town that i just met and she’s really nice to me. but the thing is, the thinks i’m a boy! i told her my SHANE name and she thinks i’m a boy! the worst part is…she has a crush on me!!!! please help!!!!!!!

Cindy

Hello~. (sorry for any errors-I’m writing this on my phone) I’m an almost 15 year old tomboy that just realized she was one a couple months ago. I would say I’m a different type of tomboy. I sadly have no friends that are guys and barely have about 2 or 3 female friends. So it all started when I became more self concious about myself (11/12 yrs old) and my body. I felt uncomfortable revealing any cleavage, thighs, arms, and chest. Then, I found the T-shirt and jeans! It was so comfortable and very relaxing to wear them. But, my family told me only guys wore them and girls were supposed to wear blouses. I tried dressing more feminine but the trends irritated me. I thought “society sucks” and still do. I hate all those see through clothing and shirts with billions of holes with them. As well as those tight fitting ones that can show my small muffin top. I also hated all those short shorts that would show my butt if I breathed. I started to take  a liking to mens clothing because its not as expensive, it’s simple, and comfortable. I got into cross country and bought the needed sports bras. The are REALLY comfortable and I always wear them. I also want my hair short but long enough for bangs or something (look up Ono D, Kyuhyun, or Ciel Phantomhive). But my mom hates my choice. She want me to be like a ‘normal’ girl. But she cant have that because I am a girl who enjoys being on the computer for countless hours a day watching anime, reading manga, listening to Japanese rock/metal/power metal and K-pop, and playing video games. I’ve played vg’s since i learned to and have always loved them (legend of zelda, pokemon, final fantasy, and kingdom hearts ftw!). I dont really like sports that much but i do find basketball and boxing interesting. I have never come out to my family (except for a few trusted cousins) that i enjoyed being a tomboy/crossdressing. Nobody really knows, they just suspect. And I’m really into the whole cosplay/crossplaying thing because its really fun.

Emma

When I was a kid I dressed like a boy, acted like a boy, hung around with boys and at primary school (ages 7-11) played on the boys’ football team. I was a tomboy. I don’t know if I actually wanted to *be* a boy. All I really wanted was to be myself. And that meant being able to choose to do all the things that boys could do. There were certainly many times that I thought or said “I wish I was a boy” or even presented myself as a boy (I went by the name Stephen for a while). That wasn’t because I really wanted to be a boy, it was because it would have made doing the things I wanted to do, e.g. wear trousers to school, play any sport I wanted, or kiss girls, so much easier.

At secondary school (ages 11-18) things changed. The boys I played with previously didn’t want to know anymore and I didn’t really know how to be friends with girls. Subsequently I didn’t really feel like I belonged or fitted in anywhere. What I wasn’t prepared to do however was to compromise and change who I was just to fit in. I just got used to spending a lot time by myself and feeling happy in my own company.

As an adult I’m not sure I would call myself a tomboy any more. I don’t know if that’s because to me being a tomboy sounds like a very childish thing. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve got other words to identify as – lesbian, queer, masculine of centre, etc.

Something I have struggled with both as a child and as an adult is how I dress. It is both the easiest and most difficult way I have of expressing myself. It’s easy, because I know exactly what clothes make me feel like me and feel comfortable. It’s difficult because that doesn’t match the majority of the world’s perception of how a woman should look.

I think I’ve finally found my style, and this is something I’ve been searching for for a long time. I’ve struggled against the idea that finding something to wear that is flattering necessarily means finding something that is feminine. I therefore went through many years of wearing clothes that were far too big for me, I thought that by avoiding flattering I was avoiding feminine. Wrong. To find the kinds of clothes that I feel comfortable in I shop mainly in the men’s section.

My style brings with it challenges. There are a lot of people out there for whose perceptions of gender are very fixed: men have short hair and wear trousers, women have long hair and wear frocks. I face the challenge of these perceptions on a daily basis. Not a week goes by when I am not mistaken for a man at least once. This can be as small as being referred to as “Sir” at the supermarket checkout, or as big as being confronted in a public toilet by someone who thinks I’ve walked into the wrong one. The former I tend to ignore. The latter hurts me, has happened on too many occasions and leaves me with a fear of any situation where I have to follow a gendered route. I’m yet to work out a standard response to either situation, that makes me feel good, challenges the other person and hopefully makes them rethink their ideas about gender.

Sammy

When I was a young kid, I was never allowed to cut my hair, and I was forced into scratchy, frilly dresses on even semi formal occasions.  Ugh.  I loved boy’s clothes, skateboarding, getting muddy and hot wheels.  I drew only boys and always wanted to be the boy character.  I never played house.  I wrestled boys and traded Pokemon cards.

These things are usually “grown out of” and a “phase”.  Wrong!  The hardest part of my life is that I am still a tomboy at 18!  Perhaps I would have grown out of it by now if my family hadn’t given me such a hard time and restricted my clothing.  Probably not though.  I’m pretty sure this is me.

I’m still living my tomboy story.  I’m a lanky, skinny 18 year old with short brown hair and a cute but androgynous face.  I have not grown much since age 12 besides upwards, so I don’t need to accommodate curves or a feminine body and often wear sneakers, boy’s socks, jeans or shorts and skater/graphic shirts.  My mom worries people will think I’m gay, and some people have.  If they don’t know I’m a girl though, from my voice and appearance they assume I’m a boy around 15.  Do I care?  Nope!

When I’m not at school, I play video games, rollarblade, ride bikes, skateboard, play basketball, read books/comics and make cosplays.  I eat whenever I want and keep up a fast metabolism; I don’t care about dieting.  I have three best friends and two are guys.  We have sleepovers and make crazy looking pizzas and watch movies and eat candy!  And I’m not gay!  I just don’t want to date.  I like to have fun and I’m more boy than girl, which is what being a tomboy is about.  I’m probably the biggest tomboy you’ll ever know at my age!

Emily

As a kid I found an interest in Soccer and loved playing against the boys. At one point I was better than all the boys even my brothers and some that were in higher grades than I. I hated my name because it sounded too girly! I always loved getting dirty for as long as I remember, played sports, played with toy cars, wore baggy clothes… my mom never approved of me- my tomboy status. I remember her telling me that I should start wearing girls clothes and would take me shopping for some. She ALWAYS bought me pink shirts and girly dresses (which i would ONLY wear to church and hope no one would see me in them). I would always be very upset and eventually got her to stop buying me girly clothes. I would buy boys pants and she would dispise it. Throughout my 7 years of Elementary, I hung out with the boys and played sports every single day whenever possible! I dressed like them and acted like them and never understood the girls in my grade and what was so fun about socializing or whats attractive about boys. I never cared to look pretty, never cared what i looked like, never brushed my hair and left it looking like “a rat’s nest” -my mom would say. Once I was asked why I dress like a boy (which I never thought was important or why girls and boys had to dress certain ways, i just wore what I liked), and i quickly replied, “Because girls suck”. I sort of regret it but at the time I would always say “I wish I were a boy. Why did god make me a girl? I hate girls they’re boring and weird and never want to have fun like the boys.” I never thought girls sucked though… I just thought BEING a girl sucked. Until this day I still agree. I’m 16 now and life is hard… Since grade 6 I’ve had no friends and never understood why they stopped talking to me and avoided me. I’m crazy about videogames even though I’m too busy for them lately. I still don`t like to wear girls clothes but sometimes I`m so self-concious I can`t go on with people judging me or pointing out my flaws. My self esteem since grade 6 dropped dramatically and is still low except that now I can talk to people again but not very open anymore. The only place I can express myself is through text. I almost cry everytime I face a teacher for help or something stupid like that. I never want to cry but I feel so low and out of place. Since Junior high, we`ve had a lack of boys in our grade. Maybe 4 of 25 at the most. It was a fine-arts school and sounded feminine I guess. I NEVER loved cooking, cleaning, sewing, and those things that are classified as ‘feminine’. I always loved sports, art, and almost anything boys liked. I’m used to being around girls now since I spent a very defined part of my life around them. Being around all these girls for so long, made me realize that I`m different. That I`m weird and no one could understand me. Some thought I was lesbian which I do not even believe in. I`m in grade 11 and still a tomboy, but sometimes I feel like i`m not anymore. My mom has never allowed me to cut my hair passed my chin and I don`t want to hurt her by doing it myself. I still like baggy pants but also bought a few girl-fashion-trend clothes since my style was unaccepable to others. I`m very self-concious STILL and don`t know where I`m at or who I am. I`ve thought about trans-gender stuff which seems so wrong to me, but I just hate being a girl. Especially now that i`ve hit puberty and everything is wrong with my body except that i’m still pretty fit just lazy. I’m going through depression and have a strong dislike in boys. I guess because I havent been around them forever, they never hang around me because I’m not feminine enough (this is probably what they are thinking), and the only words I’ve heard from boys are negativity about life from my brothers and harsh sexism! I’ve wanted to join the military but was afraid that boys would sexually assault me (which is almost 85% of what happens to female caddettes in militaries lately.) and I will never be able to stand the negativity and critism I recieve because I’m a frikin girl. I have nowhere to go in life and have no motivation to try to come up with a decision. My life feels like it’s already ended from being shunned for so many years. My brothers used to make fun of me all the time for being a tomboy, never accepting that I am still human no matter what I am. My older brothers don’t talk to me anymore except one that always bothers me about liking boys because I’m in high school now. I don’t know where to go from here and I have no one to talk to. Just because I like things most girls don’t doesn’t mean I’m gay. Why does “tomboy” have to be classified as a sexual group? Why isn’t “tom-girl” one? I like sports, is that so wrong?

I also loved being noticed or thought of as a guy. I liked to convince people that I was a boy and try changing my name to a boy’s name… It used to be prettyeasy to convince people because I was born with a lower voice. My mom had a cold when she was pregnant with me and it permenantly changed mine. I’m too embarrassed to sing with the girls because the girls sound so pretty and I sound really weird and masculine if I try to sing. I always loved singing but I never liked to DO the singing. I feel so alone in this world. I never want to be like all the other girls and I want to have fun. Men degrade women so horribly I feel useless and have no future. Right now I’m looking at no future and am failing high school. I used to be a straight-A student in Elementary until grade 6 when I had no real friends that took me seriously. The would simply say that I’m not mature enough to hear what they were talking about. Since that day I found out they were keeping secrets from me, I lost all my friends. How is you’re life doing right now? ‘Cause I just want to end mine now. My life is too full of humiliation and crap to care anymore. I requested a councellor (spelling) and can’t even open up to him without crying. I’m too much of a baby now and hate it. Any tips you would have, please tell me. I would love to hear anything.

Elena

I didn’t really wear skirts until late high school, and generally only wear makeup to cover up acne. When my older cousin came to visit once, I ended up playing football outside with the guys instead of learning how to straighten my hair. Tomboys have so much more fun, but unfortunately we often receive so much more crap too. 2 of my previous boyfriends, upon finding out about how and why I was bullied as a child, decided that I was actually bisexual and just didn’t know it yet. My most recent ex believes I cheated on him with an old girl friend of mine. In high school, my first boyfriend brought about peer remarks like “Oh? You’re with —-? But, I thought you were… I mean… I just didn’t know.”  I guess I did fit the stereotype back then, if there is such a thing. Mostly jeans, theatre nerd, soccer player… It doesn’t really help that I’m better with tools and home repair than most guys I know. Within some Christian circles, this makes people assume that I’m anti-family, anti-men, and am acting against Scripture. I was once shunned by several men and their families on a mission trip for helping to carry debris. But enough rambling. There is a point to this: You see, most of the assumptions people make about my sexuality, beliefs, or hobbies based on my decisions to wear (or not wear) a floral dress don’t really bother me much. My childhood bully story has a relatively happy ending.
I transferred schools in second grade. My favorite sport was softball, I loved going camping, never let my mom comb my wild hair, and generally preferred boy friends to girl. Within the first week, the three main bullies in my class labeled me as gay. Any girl found talking to me was labeled my girlfriend, and therefore quickly stopped befriending me. I didn’t actually know what that word meant, and so at first all I cared about was how alone I felt. I didn’t learn till later that my prepubescent sexuality was being determined by my peers based on my hair and ability to throw a softball. I remember being asked if I wished I were a boy. I remember some of the girls refusing to go to the restroom with me. One boy would write “F*** you” in the dirt and point at me. Twice I can remember a group a boys trying to punch me in the face at recess. The one girl I did befriend was with me at the time, and slapped one of the kids. I ran. Finally, after several intervention attempts, my teacher brought the 2 boys most responsible for the hate campaign outside one by one. Then she brought me outside with them, one bully at a time. She told me to yell at them. She told me to tell them what they were saying, why it hurt, what I thought of them, and that I never wanted them to do that again. She told me to yell it as loud as I could, and that it was ok if the other classes heard me. So I did. First it was pretty soft, but eventually I was yelling with everything I had.
The yelling wasn’t really what empowered me though. It was the fact that they stopped bullying me afterwards. I could talk to everyone again. They left me alone. I felt so in charge of myself that what other people thought stopped mattering. Most girls in similar circumstances have had it much worse. People started up the same bullying crap again in middle school (heaven forbid a heterosexual girl not wear ribbons in her hair), only then I found it funny. Yeah, I still have insecurities, and the stuff I mentioned in the first paragraph still stings. But, thankfully, it’s not as bad as I suspect it would’ve been without that experience.

Amber

I’m not sure if this is a tomboy story, or just a weird story.

As a young kid, I practiced aiming my streams of pee on unusual targets. Often after showering, I would throw my towel onto the floor of my room, take aim, and just piss standing over it. Towels were my favorite because they cushioned that sound of peeing from a distance and automatically cleaned up! Despite lacking an elongated urethral canal to grip with, I’ll say I have a pretty good marksmanship. It comes in handy during long road trips along highways with nothing but trees and empty bottles.

Brandi

As a kid I didn’t even understand the whole tomboy thing. I mean, I got called that by my uncles and my aunts and all, but I was the only girl. I have 23 first cousins and I am 1 of 2 girls and the other one is so much older than me that I didn’t know her. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t just be whatever I wanted so I was always playing around and it only really became a problem when I got older- like middle school age when all the other people, all the other girls were wearing makeup and dresses and carrying purses and I still had my wallet in my back pocket. I remember my 8th grade teacher- she was like “So, Brandi (it was for some special event), you’re gonna fix yourself up?”.

I was just like “well… I’m dressed.” It was bad. I actually did end up wearing makeup and feeling really uncomfortable the whole time.

So really, it isn’t necessarily that I have a tomboy story- It’s more just that it’s how I lived, and it only became a problem later on. When you’re little it’s more or less the same. It’s whatever. I used to run out in my brother’s shorts and my rubber boots, without a shirt on- just running around the yard. It didn’t occur to me that you couldn’t do that as a girl. No one ever really cared what I did until I got older and then I wasn’t like wearing dresses (and I still don’t. I look super awkward and am really uncomfortable in a dress.) It was just my life. Your lingo- “Tomboy Stories”- my whole life is a tomboy story.

But this really weird thing that happened in middle school- I guess that’s really when you solidify who you are and you start the whole dating thing that it sort of became an issue. So there were 2 or 3 years that became really hard, because I wasn’t girly enough. But then when I got into high school and no more fucks were given it wasn’t really a problem because everyone was just like “oh yeah, that’s just Brandi”. And there were other people- other girls who played sports, and I played sports so it was more ok, and it became even more ok when I got more ok with it. I think playing sports and being smart and all helped. Though honestly, I was already set apart from my the rest of my class… because I wasn’t pregnant (that really helps). And the fact that I didn’t want to go out every single night to go to so-and-so’s house and sit on the back of their truck and drink beer all the time. That also set me apart. I wouldn’t say that I was cast out, but I was set apart anyway for reasons. Being a tomboy is probably one of them. But probably not as important as me not dating any guys in high school… and me hitting on my cousin’s girlfriend.

Stephanie

I was a little girl from two teens. My father was a freshman. My mom was a sophomore. I was still a well-loved baby. Even when my dad refused to grow up, my mom balanced school, work, and bills for me. She gave me everything I wanted. I was a princess, a scientist, a ballerina, an astronaut. The world was mine.

As I grew up, I saw my dad more often, and I learned to love power tools. Drills, hammers, screws – they were all the coolest. Birdhouse were created and disassembled and put back together. I helped dad change a tire when I was just a tween. Well, I had a baby brother, who got older, and suddenly tools were not mine. I was to clean and do dishes, cook, bake, fold laundry, and “pick up after the men.” I was set in my place, and I adjusted fairly easily to that.

Something remained in me. Some little piece outside of my gender role had embedded itself in my skin that I could not shake. I like being dressy, but I also loved fixing things in the house, riding dirt bikes and four wheelers – I just loved everything. Specific activities ceased to conform to specific genders in my mind any longer. Things in my love life were still fairly awkward though. I recall liking this sentimental little boy in a class of mine. They would always make fun of him for being so feminine. I also recall in that same class admiring a rather tough girl who enjoyed play fighting with me. She’d let me practice my throw against her abs. I ended up loving tomboys more.

Fast forward to the break before entering high school. I had an unofficial girlfriend. I just called it love, not lesbianism. I was in complete denial that our make-out games and exploring were something that I knew as strange and taboo. She became the worst part of my life. By only freshmen year, I was being used for sex on the weekends. I would offer to watch movies, play games, and go out to hang out like friends do. Yet, I always found myself naked and awake, wondering how the hell I got here. Why I submitted to her demands. It was so sour…but she was the man in my eyes. She held the dominance that I learned to submit to all those years ago as a kid. She was also the only friend I had. Who knew lesbianism wouldn’t go over well in an all-girls Catholic school in conservative Louisiana? P.E was rough. Girls called us freaks. Even seniors, whose faces held no resemblance in my memory, called me ugly names. They told me awful things, but I thought, “As long as we’re still together, I still have a friend and a reason to stay here.”

As I lost my ability to handle my relationship, I met a new girl. Stuck in the closet and confused, I gave her advice. I had no place to give any sort of good advice, but she had no one else she could go to. She became a good friend, a confidant in my darkest times. We began dating once I finally ended my bad relationship. She likes skateboarding and the ukulele. She enjoys four wheelers and Kurt Vonnegut. She’s a lovely little gift of fate that I cherish every day.