What do you think?
Rate this book
280 pages, Paperback
First published January 24, 2017
"Genetics aren't destiny."
Painting my toes is the one way I can take control. The one way I can fight back. The one way I can give voice to this idea inside me that gets heavier every year:
I'm not supposed to be a boy.
“I don’t like boys, any boys. If I did like boys, I wouldn’t like boys who talk to me like you just did.”
They want me to cooperate in my own destruction. They want me to tell them it's not true. They want me to help them believe the lie.
“I see a world that is terrified of me. Terrified of someone who would reject manhood. Terrified of a girl who knows who she is and what she’s capable of. They are small, and they are weak, and they will not hurt me ever again. My name is Danielle Tozer. I am a girl. No one is strong enough to take that from me anymore.”
“You think it’s a uterus that makes a woman? Bullshit. You feel like you’re a girl, you live it, it’s part of you? Then you’re a girl. That’s the end of it, no quibbling. You’re as real a girl as anyone.”
“Shove that up your butt.”
“It’s for science.”
“You are going to buy me pizza.”
“A lot of pizza.”
“I guess I just thought I was finally a real girl.”
“Hey! None of that!” She takes me by the shoulders. “You think it’s a uterus that makes a woman? Bullshit. You feel like you’re a girl, you live it, it’s part of you? Then you’re a girl. That’s the end of it, no quibbling. You’re as real a girl as anyone. An you really need to learn to express your anger better.”
Mom leans back in her chair. "It wasn't so bad, was it? You were growing up so well."
"It was torture! You know what I was doing when Dreadnought--when that supervillain attacked me?" I don't believe it. It's like she's wilfully misunderstanding it. They never take my word for it; why can't they take my word for it? "I was painting my toenails behind the mall because that's the only way I could keep sane. Does that seem normal to you, Mom? Does that seem healthy?"
"I just ... I don't see you as a girl," she says. "Even now, even looking like that. You were going to be such a fine young--"
"I was going to die." The pencil snaps between my fingers, one end cartwheeling off across the table and onto the floor. "And I am a girl. Even if you don't see it."
"Suddenly, I'm worried about getting fat, which is something that hasn't happened to me before."
"I'm just as much a girl as you are."
"Oh really? She leans forward, steeples her fingers. "Do you even know how to put in a tampon?"