How to Explain You Were a ‘Total Tomboy’ to Someone Exploring Their Gender Identity

Your friend shares they’ve been thinking a lot about their gender identity. It is an honor that they felt safe asking you, their close friend, to explain their vulnerable and exciting experience of self-discovery with you. But also, that kinda reminds you–you used to be a TOTAL tomboy in elementary school and that is something you should definitely chime in to say! Here’s how to explain to someone who is seriously exploring their gender identity that you wore a backwards hat in middle school.


Tell Them About That Backwards Cap

When your friend is discussing trying to represent their non-binary gender through less traditionally feminine clothing, interrupt her to tell her a funny story about the ratty old baseball cap your mom used to beg you to take off! This is a great story, and is very relevant, because you, a cis woman, clearly get it. You didn’t care what your hair looked like under that old thing, which you are confident is 100% on-par with being a gender nonconforming person!


Say You’ve Always Liked Sports

Your friend has expressed interest in meeting other genderqueer folks and asks for your help brainstorming how to meet people. This is the perfect time to say you get feeling out of place because you always played Wiffle ball with the boys at recess! Tell them that they’re gonna knock this thing out of the ballpark, just like Tommy DiVino in the legendary fifth grade vs. fourth grade kickball game of 2002. Your’e still not over it, but you are definitely cis, so you should keep talking!


Tell That Funny Story

Now that your friend seems to have stopped sharing very personal and important information for you to hold dear, it’s officially time to laugh about that third grade trip to that bald eagle sanctuary where you we’re afraid to get messy in wet dirt, unlike all the other girls. You’re the perfect person to help them navigate this daunting journey, and they are so glad they came to you.



Great job completely dominating a conversation that was supposed to be about your friend’s gender identity and making it about how at one point your mom was worried you didn’t like wearing dresses but now you do! Your friend will figure out what they need in no time. Really, you probably won’t even hear from them again!