Learning About Myself Through My Family

In my family, I am the oldest and only female identified member out of my two brothers and three cousins. A lot of how I came to understand masculinity through my interactions with them, my father, uncles, and grandfathers. They helped me to see not only what positive examples of masculinity looked like, but also how girlhood was not something to be afraid of, but to embrace by showing me that I could be bold, delicate, athletic, vulnerable, and unwavering. I owe a lot to the women in my family-but it is very difficult for me to talk about how I came to grow as a woman without referencing the men in my family as well. I think of my brothers who the best friends I could ever ask for and as we grow closer apart in distance but closer together in spirit, I cherish their resilience, intelligence, and support. I think of my father who embodies a special kind of compassion that has inspired the way I live, work, and love. But the women in my family are some of the fiercest, most intelligent, warm hearted people know. My mom has instilled in me a sense of determination and passion and I will always be grateful for that. And my grandmother has this phenomenal intellect and generosity that I am continually in awe of. I want to have a family of my own one day-I do not know much about the future, but I know I want that. I hope the traits that my family possesses, the ones that inspire me, will be present in me as I approach parenting, family, and community.

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