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it is not just pink for girls
and blue for boys
or laundry for moms
and desk jobs for dads.

it is self confidence plummeting
because your nine year old legs
look different than the others

girls aren’t supposed to be hairy.

it is watching the cheerleading team
through the windows of the gymnasium
hoping the other kids don’t see you

boys are supposed to play basketball.

it is being called bossy
for voicing your ideas
to say what you believe in

girls are supposed to be quiet.

it is a lack of empathy
from years of quieting
your emotions

boys aren’t supposed to cry.

it is being placed in a box
that is too small and
being told to cut off your legs
so you can fit inside it

we are not contortionists.

— The End —