Gender de Novo


Gender de Novo: Reconciling Sex and Gender

A Memoir by Lawren D Burroughs

Edited by Margot Wilson

Many would consider our family conventional, maybe even a bit boring by all accounts but one. We are a two-parent household fortunate to thrive on a single income with a stay-at-home mom, rearing our four children together in one of the “best large cities” in the United States.

As the father, the stoic head of household, and eventually sole breadwinner, I devised my life journey meticulously from an early age to compensate for the deficiencies I assigned myself. I found a way to blend in, and I mastered the art of observation. I was most likely to speak only when spoken to, and I didn’t dare draw too much attention to myself lest I be exposed – for what, even I was too afraid to explore. I felt inadequate in every way possible and am convinced I must have been the one Clance and Imes had in mind when they breathed life into the term “imposter phenomenon.”

The level to which I would go to hide from myself knew no limits. I was different. I didn’t fit in where society expected me, and I derived too much happiness from things meant for others. My life was an existential crisis. I played the role of manhood like a seasoned Method actor, teetering on the ledge of sanity in the stratosphere of my delusions. And with nothing left to give and nowhere left to hide, I finally stepped out, onto thin air, and I learned to fly.