In the Shaw acting class we have every Monday I have a really hard time with the strict gender separation. When the prof tells me that I am NOT allowed to do what the guys are doing it deeply upsets me. I can not handle someone telling me what I can and can not do based on my gender. It infuriates me. I did not go to class today because (among other reasons) I did not want to get over emotional or cause a scene in class. Today we were going to be separated by gender and put into outfits that were typical for Bernard Shaw’s time like corsets and dresses for the girls and suits for the boys. There is no doubt in my mind that I would want to try on the suits, I have already worked with corsets for months and months. However, I know she would not let me (I tried to learn the boys parts when we had a dance class and it ended with me getting my toe nail kicked off by a guy, me leaving because I got so upset and being banned from the guys section). Having to walk around in a corset, heels and a dress while I watch all the boys walk around in their awesome suits would have killed me inside.Then there is the issue of the change rooms.
In high school I was “strongly advised” not to take grade 12 gym because I had come out the previous year and a lot of the girls had apparently gone to complain to the teacher that I would look at them when they were changing. These are the girls I had spent the previous three years changing with. They never felt uncomfortable before, I never violated their privacy in any way but now that I was out it all changed. That experience has made me wary of change rooms and although drama students are arguably the most open to homosexuals I know these students well enough to know that a few of them would feel VERY uncomfortable. Seeing as we would all be changing together in class today that added an extra layer of anxiety and stress.
Some may say “Get over it. That is theatre. Unless you work with a gender blind or queer theatre you are going to have to play the female roles and stick to the status quo.” Sure that is true but I am NOT a part of this theatre, it is a CLASS. We should be able to experiment and test boundaries in our classes. Learn, expand, grow. Instead we are placed in these boxes and there is no way out.
I needed to vent to something impartial. Something that wasn’t going to roll their eyes when I brought up my issues with gender like most of my friends do. I am having one of those days. I have gotten a lot done today and I am glad I skipped class.