Tuesday, October 14, 2008

At the bus stop....

This morning, I was walking my 8 year old daughter out to her bus stop, here in our suburban wonderland. On the opposite corner is the stop for the high school kids. As we are waiting for the bus - me and the other 3rd grade moms (I never see any of the other dads out there, but that's another post) - I see one of the high school boys walking toward us, on the way to his stop across the street.

I have to re-check my vision, because he's wearing a skirt. He's wearing it over some sort of athletic leggings, but it's unambiguously a skirt.

As he gets a little closer, one of the moms asks if this is some sort of hazing or prank? He mumbles that it's something for school - but no blushing, no cringing. Everyone at the bus stop is very cool - no laughing or anything, even among the 8 year olds there! Another mom adds that he looks very nice, but that's it and there's no giggling or anything at all.

Even more interesting was that the boy was a little uncomfortable, but clearly not mortified.

Anyway, my daughter's bus comes, I kiss her goodbye and start walking back to our house. And sure enough, here comes another boy in a skirt. All I want to do is send a positive message. I look again; he is looking at me and plainly awaiting the reaction. I say "Morning!" and continue on my business. Again, no blushing, stammering, anything.

Over my shoulder as I am getting to my house, I hear the boys at the corner, along with a couple other high school girls that are there. I sneak a quick look. They're chatting... two girls, two boys wearing skirts. Nothing at all out of the ordinary. I sneaked another look. Those boys were NOT embarrassed.

Now look: on an intellectual level, I understand perfectly well that the taboos against transvestism are purely a social construct. Peer pressure writ large and nothing more. But I don't think anything has ever crystallized that point like seeing what I did this morning. I don't know what the hell the lesson was about - though my estimation of the school system here has gone up quite a bit! And of course I know that these boys had the luxury of knowing that their transvestism was temporary and, in all likelihood, not part of their real existence. But seeing that moment at the bus stop, where two adolescent boys in skirts simply did not represent an issue, was both freaky and hopeful.

And a reminder that I should definitely have a cup of coffee before going out to the bus stop in the morning.


Freedomlover said...

Sure, why not? A large number of males have discovered the comfort and freedom afforded by skirts, and there is no defensible reason why they should not wear whatever they like.

Samantha Shanti said...

So, did you ever find out why the fellas were all in skirts? I think that would be cool to post a follow-up...

Samantha Shanti said...

Freedomlover, true indeed, just when the blokes are sporting them their called Kilts... (wicked, evil, ear to ear grin!)

It's a point well made however.

Betty said...

You venture out for coffee just in the hopes that you see something like that.


It doesn't matter really that the boys were wearing skirts. Really, it doesn't.

It matters that the girls weren't freaking out.

I'll take all of the harbingers I can find. We're changing as a people. And the youth get it at a deeper level than we do.