Am I A Girl?
June 2nd, 2015

So now Bruce Jenner has shed the macho man façade in order to become the homeliest woman ever to grace the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine. What next? I’m thinking it’s high time I took a hard look at the person I’ve claimed to be lo, these past 72 years. How would I look in an evening dress? Could I walk in heels? Would I be embarrassed to pose provocatively for the photographer Annie Leibovitz? Well, one thing is certain: Ms Leibovitz, an uncloseted lesbian, wouldn’t be nearly as turned on by the sight of my naked body as I’m turned on by the sight of her 50-mexipixel, medium-format Hasselblad camera.

Still, a closer examination will show that, although I lack the requisite anatomy, I’m probably more female than I am male. It started the day I was born. My mother, who had already given birth to two boys, was clearly hoping for a daughter—so much so that she hadn’t even considered what she would name me, were I to come out otherwise. As a consequence, my birth certificate identifies me simply as “baby boy” Menzies, and my baby book—the one she’d received as a shower gift—is pink.

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My bedroom, when I was growing up, was also pink. I don’t remember choosing the color; it was forced upon me. At school, I was something of a sissy—meaning that I didn’t excel at sports. I have small hands and can barely grasp even a deflated football. I can’t throw a baseball from right field to first. Academically, I excelled at things that didn’t—and still don’t—matter, such as spelling.

God knows I tried hard to fit in with the male crowd, but it was hard, and it only got harder the older I got. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent sitting in the cab of a pickup truck, sandwiched between sweaty men wearing seed caps, droppin’ my g’s like a regular redneck. Yep, I went huntin’. I went shootin’. However, I never did take pleasure in killing things, so by and by I lay down my shotgun and took up a camera.

In high school I tried out for track and was deemed a distance runner because I couldn’t run fast. What the coach didn’t realize is that some of us can run neither fast nor far. I can tell you this much: I was no Bruce Jenner!

For the life of me, I can’t imagine why Bruce would prefer the cover of Vanity Fair to a Wheaties box. I mean, unlike me, he was a successful male! The only reason I can think of is the name his parents gave him. They, too, were perhaps ambivalent over whether they wanted a baby boy and chose the name Bruce because it’s commonly known that naming one’s son Bruce dramatically increases the chance he will become sexually conflicted—same as the middle name Wayne quadruples the chance your son will become a serial killer—provided he also grows up in Oklahoma.

But, stepping away from “junk” science for a moment, let me take this opportunity to congratulate former Olympian Bruce (now Caitlin) Jenner for his monumental achievement. How I wish I could do the same! Win a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics decathlon, I mean.

-Richard Menzies