As a kid, I stood on my waterbed and belted out “I wear my sunglasses at night!” I was obsessed with ’80s pop-star Corey Hart. Hung a poster of him on my bedroom wall. And not because I had a crush on him. No, I wanted to look like Corey Hart.
He wore a gold stud in his right ear, bright red shoes, and leather wristbands. The earring in particular intrigued me. Even as a child I understood that he was doing something boys weren’t supposed to. I didn’t know what androgyny was, but looking back I see that it was something about his gender-ambiguous style that I wanted to imitate.
My parents let me get a short spiky haircut like his, and I couldn’t wait to show it off at school. When I popped my collar, gelled my hair, and took one of my earrings out, I felt a rush of adrenaline.
I wasn’t excited because I looked like a boy. I was excited because I looked like a girl and a boy.
I wanted to embody both at the same time.