Fear and Loathing in the Locker Room


Over at The Toast, Naomi Gordon-Loebl recounts the particularly fraught experience of being gender-nonconforming while in the locker room:

My parents raised me to believe that my boy-girl self was beautiful and natural. I got a crewcut and began to wear men’s clothes when I was 15 years old. It was the single most self-loving—and easy—thing I’ve ever done. Nothing has ever felt more right.

And yet, 13 years later, I find myself scuttling around the locker room like a pathetic bug fleeing from an all-powerful human boot. More than my body, I’m ashamed of my shame. Who taught me to be so self-hating?

Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →