My creative writing class stifled my creativity because they are uncomfortable with androgny

I took a creative writing class my senior year of college and I wanted to curse (almost) everyone in the class out. The class was a workshop styled class meaning that we would write our work outside of class and then bring it in to share and get our classmates’ opinions on how we could improve it. Except it didn’t quite work that way. I write to express myself, to force people outside of their comfort zone, and to be silly. I wrote a free write that was supposed to depict how people dance around the subject of being gay, how society has come to think it is appropriate to ask someone their sexual orientation (mostly if their gay), how people are forced to “choose” if they want to be feminine or masculine, and many other things wrong with the judgmental way we look at one another. I also threw in some vagina metaphors, my silly humor, and a little attitude, but that was just to break the ice. Here’s my first draft:

Are You Gay?

Are you gay?

Who me?

Yes, you. Are you gay?

Yes, yes I am.

Happy as can be.

No. Are you gay like homosexual?

Only on my left side between the hours of 1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Ok, seriously. Are you gay?

What makes you ask?

You have very androgynous disposition.

Please elaborate.

You’re not very feminine.

Well thank you, that wasn’t offensive.

I didn’t mean it like that.

Well since I didn’t get it how you meant it could you please explain?

               Ok let’s see.

It’s simple, how am I not feminine?

               You’re just so… so … quirky and weird. Everybody loves you.

And that makes me not feminine?

               No, I just… you tend to attract both sexes and I just wanted to know if-

Oh I see, because I’m comfortable in my sexuality and I don’t act like the “typical” female, you want to categorize me as gay?

               No, I was just saying that-

That because I can wear a frilly dress one day and baggy shorts the next that I must be into women?

               I didn’t meant to-

Yea, I’m sure you didn’t mean to offend me or come off in any type of way, but you did. I’m not gay. I don’t like girls in a sexual way and I never have. I also don’t believe that I should have to dress or play a certain part to make people comfortable or give them license to put me in a box. I don’t do boxes, I like being who I am without societies restrictions telling me to go with the grain. I don’t do normal and I don’t do status quos. Please don’t ask me questions you don’t know how to ask, or questions you’re not ready to hear the answer to.

               I just thought you were pretty and wanted to know if you wanted to hang out some time.

Oh.

I wrote this in one take, I reread it to edit and I just corrected the spelling errors. I love it the way it was because it was raw, and how I really felt when I was asked this question. I proudly distributed my work to my class and took my seat. After reading it aloud, I got the laughs I wanted to come in at the end and then waited for the feedback.

“Is it a guy or a girl asking?”

“Is she gay?”

“I think it needs a better setting, like where are they able to have this conversation?”

“I don’t like the way this is written”

“Did this really happen to you?”

“I think you should have better established gender roles”

“I love how the metaphor box is used to re-establish that the person doesn’t like ‘vagina’ that was a nice touch”

“Is this a script? If this is a script it should have the character’s names beside it.”

“I found it hard to follow along”

“It was cute, and funny. I liked that”

I was furious, they missed the entire point of the piece and none of their feedback was resourceful to me (except the guy who get the box reference). I almost felt like they looked at it, was immediately uncomfortable and found any asinine thing they could to pick it apart. Everything they said was so surface level, my ears began burning at 450 degrees, I couldn’t take it anymore. Then the professor chimed in “you should try more structure” WHAT?! You want me to have MORE structure in a creative writing class? Goodbye your opinion no longer matters. In my response I decided to tell them what the point of the piece was and some of them looked petrified when they realized how NONE of their comments mattered. Some weren’t fazed at all. I left the class straddling the abyss. I went home propped my feet up on coffee table and ransacked my brain trying to see how they didn’t get it. I revised my paper to get an A, but I still like the original. It got across the point I was trying to make in the best way. Here’s the revision is you care.

A conversation between two acquaintances after a P.E. class junior year of college

Are you gay?

Who me?

Yes, are you gay

Yes, Yes I am… Happy as can be

No. Are you gay like homosexual gay?

Oh… yea my gay hours are my left between 1:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Ok, but seriously are you gay?

What makes you ask?

Well you have a very androgynous disposition

Please elaborate/

You’re not always that feminine.

Well thank you, that wasn’t offensive at all.

I didn’t mean it like that

Well since I didn’t get it how you meant it could you please explain?

Ok let’s see.-

It’s simple, how am I not feminine?

You’re just so quirky, but cute, and a little weird, but everybody loves you.

And that makes me not feminine?

No, I just … you tend to attract both sexes and I just wanted to know if-

Oh I see, because I’m comfortable in my sexuality and I don’t act like the typical female, you want to categorize me as gay?

No, I was just saying that-

That because I can wear a frilly dress one day and baggy shorts the next that I must be into women?

I didn’t mean to-

Yea, I’m sure you didn’t mean to offend me or come off in any type of way, but you did. I’m not gay. I don’t like girls in a sexual way and I never have. I also don’t believe that I should have to dress or play a certain part to make people comfortable or give them license to put me in a box. I don’t do boxes, I like being who I am without society’s restrictions telling me to go with the grain. I don’t do normal and I don’t do status quos. Please don’t ask me questions you don’t know how to ask, or questions you’re not ready to hear the answer to.

I just thought you were pretty and wanted to know if you wanted to hang out sometimes, but I wasn’t going to ask if you liked girls.

Oh

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One thought on “My creative writing class stifled my creativity because they are uncomfortable with androgny

  1. Pingback: Getting back to my first love | sophistirachet

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