When discussing the meaning of gender identity, each and every person has a different view and perception. Most times, these views are instilled upon them throughout their childhood whether they are fully aware of it or not. As a result, some children feel forced to conform to the stereotypical gender roles and identities defined by society. For me, however, that was never a problem.
The many experiences I faced throughout my childhood played a significant and defining role in the shaping of my gender identity. As a young child my favorite toys were dolls and stuffed animals, and quite often my parents found me setting up tea parties or playing house. While my parents did provide me with cars and other gender neutral toys, I was always drawn towards dolls and other stereotypic girl toys. I was the first and only child for seven years, so I never had anything else with which to compare. Perhaps if I grew up surrounded by the toys and hand-me-downs from an older brother my perception towards liking dolls and the color purple might have been different.
When I was younger one of my closest friends was a boy a year younger than I was. Our parents were close friends, and as a result we went over to each other’s homes often. Although most of the time it was never a major problem, as we got older we found that we had increasingly less in common due to the kinds of toys we played with and our differing interests overall. He was into trains and anything sports related, whereas I loved arts and crafts and playing with dolls. While we were always able to find something to do, it was if we had to cross a barrier of discomfort to get to that point. In a sense, it was almost like those other toys were foreign to us.
As a child, I was under the impression that as a girl you wore dresses, loved the colors pink and purple, and played with dolls. I am not sure if that was because those are the thing I chose to do as a child, or...