A/N: Although this is autobiographical, my legal name has been changed to protect my privacy. My male name has not been changed.

I never thought about gender. I never questioned my own; I held no gender stereotypes. I played with Barbies and Ninja Turtles because my brother and sister played with them. I only briefly thought of Barbies as "girl's toys" and of Ninja Turtles as "boy's toys". I primarily thought of them both as just "toys."

Women were people who looked more like my mom. Men were people who looked more like my dad. I did not know of androgyny, homosexuality, or gender identity, issues I am now all too familiar with.

As I grew older, I learned more of gender. Though nobody ever explicitly told me what to expect from members of each sex, I determined that based on the roles that my parents and others around me assumed. Families came in two types: those with both a mother and a father, and those whose parents had divorced. In the former, the mother was the one who took the part-time job to care for elementary school children, while the father worked nonstop. In the latter, the lone parent played the mother role, no matter what his or her sex. Girls told secrets to each other during recess; boys played sports. Then there were the aspects that had nothing to do with sex. Boys or girls could be good students or bad students; boys or girls were equally likely to excel at math; men or women could do all the same work. After all, both my brother and sister were good students, both my brother and I were good at math, and both my mother and father worked in the sciences and had coworkers of both sexes. I was raised in a relatively gender-blind household, and attended a typical elementary school where the opposite sex had "cooties."