Much to-do has been made lately about the current group of 13-29ers, also known as Generation Y, or millennials. Just the same to-do has been made by every older generation about the one that follows it (and no, that quote was not spoken by Socrates, but it was written over a hundred years ago and referenced a mindset that had been around for centuries before that). I could spend paragraphs discussing the kind of world millennials are inheriting or the practical problems we’ve faced after a childhood of being told to follow our passions, but enough people have already dedicated more than enough time and bandwidth to that.
What I’d like to do is talk to you about a British radio sitcom.
“You have a very active imagination.”
That’s what my dad said to me. We were sitting in the car (where we have most of our important conversations these days) on a rainy day, talking about my genderqueerness, and what my dad saw as the reasons I started identifying that way.
He was referring to the fact that I never grew out of playing pretend, and even as a child I took it very seriously. I put on a costume and I would become that costume. I would allow my outward appearance to transform my behavior. According to my father, my active imagination had led me to choose genderqueer as an identity I had wanted to put on. He wasn’t saying there was no internal basis, but he was using my imagination as an excuse. In essence, he was saying that what I thought of as my Real Self wasn’t ‘really’ real.