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  • KDW Ferrell

Putty Peeps Diaries - Gender Outlaws

Okay Tin Master, here I am in all my glory. Yes, my feminine glory. I am not one to be conscripted to the usual boxes of boy-girl, male-female, queer, transition(ed/ing) question(ing/able) nor am I simply the other category altogether; I am me and I gotta be free. I am a Gender outlaw.

Why is it so important to name a thing? Is that what gives us meaning? Is the act of naming something, or someone the definition of that thing or person? Can a Putty Peep be a person? Corporations are persons, so why can't I, a newly formed Putty Peep be a person as well? I am me. Ich bin ein Putty Peep. Io sono un Pepe di Putty. Je suis un Peep de Putty. Jeg er en Putty Peep. Ako ay isang Putty Peep. I could go on and on thanks to a translating program, I found online while enjoying yet another delicious latte at my new favorite hang out, oh yeah, the coffee shop.

Perhaps it is the name that gives one a frame of reference in order to catalog another outside of ourselves and allow us to make sense of that other entity. Egocentric is us, and we are all about our Id and Ego. Perhaps this egocentricity is what keeps us all apart. Insulated in ourselves and loathe to reach out to another without a set frame of reference. A set of rules, also known variable that does not vary. This self-insulation requires nudges to interact. We have to be reminded--or rewarded--for random acts of kindness. We have to tell ourselves that other lives matter. We have to remind others that we matter. We interpret, extrapolate and assume the person/being/entity in front of us cannot read a bathroom sign and is intentionally entering the wrong restroom. We pause at the door, look inside, look back at the name on the restroom door and wonder who was in the wrong bathroom. We judge, look the other up and down, saying with our eyes you are wrong, not me, you. We never just say hello, head into the closest stall, and pull up the latest game on our phone thankful for some alone time.

What a novel idea-saying hello that is-not playing a game on your phone while sitting in a public restroom. Hello, how are you? So much better to greet another instead of judging and automatically determine they are wrong and we are right and expecting them to explain that, "yes I am a  (fill in the blank) and I am in the ‘correct’ restroom." How unnerving it would be for someone tensed and ready to offer up an explanation or a retort or something smart and clever and politically correct to say about why you both are there and have a right to be there, we just say hello. We don’t play into their worst case scenario we just greet them with the universal sign of we are all in this together, a smile and a wave, and then go about your business because there is nothing to see here. We are all in the restroom for the same thing. Wow, what an idea.

I have been in different coffee shops throughout most of the day, so I notice this revolving door dance at other places that are less "alternative", whatever that means. Places where everyone is expected to know their place, where things are in order and Fox News is the last bastion of truth. In those places to be different is to be un-everything they stand up and speak out about, believe in, and evade paying taxes for. In those places, tolerance is a secret drink made with gin for a clever reference back to prohibition and the Temperance Movement. In those places, my kind is not wished for, welcomed, or wanted. In those places, unless you are their kind of folk, you are not served or even acknowledged. All of this makes me sad and more than once today I considered hiding in my tin, but there is so much to learn.

You know Tim Master, you can learn a lot in a day. It feels like only yesterday I discovered coffee and now I have run through the thick of it all and landed squarely in the middle of everything. I am the girl in the tin, the boy in the box, the putty on the prowl and the peep in the dark. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the circle and the triangle, the peanut butter and jelly (or the peanut butter Creme Anglaise and acai compote - my favorite in power oats). I am me and that is all. I need no definition, no classification, no binary label to tell me who and what I am. On this journey of self-discovery, I looked inside my own tin and saw my reflection and it is beautiful, no matter how you slice it.

I am a Gender outlaw. Put my name in the wall, my picture in the paper, set a bounty, a reward, a call to arms, or a cause celeb because I am not gonna change for anyone period. I am me, a Putty Peep.

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