Mountains out of Mohawks

Zeca has always been her own person. She began choosing her own clothes and dressing herself at 15 months and has not relinquished control over her own style since then.

She dressed as a stereotypical girl at first, shunning all colors but pink and purple. Then, last year, she began dressing differently, throwing in ties and vests. Now, she wants nothing more than to dress in a stereotypically boyish fashion.

I will admit that I struggled with the pink tights and the frilly skirts and the long hair and braids. It was as if she and I spoke different languages. I had always imagined myself having a tomboy and she was anything but that. Still, I loved her for her fierce self-expression. More recently, as she has begun to dress more like the tomboy, I have found that I am still struggling but for different reasons. When I shop for myself, I've grown accustomed to the stares I get as I look at men's clothes. When I shop in the boy's department with Zeca, I feel even more visible in a way that makes my discomfort greater. I become consumed with one question: "Do people think I make her dress the way she does?" When a straight woman has a tomboy, people do not assume that she makes her dress that way. When a queer woman has a tomboy, people wonder. None of this has anything to do with Zeca. These are my issues and I remind myself of this often so that I make sure to keep it all to myself. I want her to look how she wants to look. I want her to be who she wants to be.

She seems to be figuring it all out.