I have memories of being younger, seeing someone of ambiguous gender and wondering “what” they were. Now, I don’t question others’ gender identities when I pass them on the street, and I wonder why, when I was younger, I was so uncomfortable when I couldn’t determine someone’s gender.

Fear of the unknown would be the obvious answer.

It could also be the stigma that boys have short hair, wear clothes with sharks and dinosaurs on them in brown and blue and orange, and lack some distinct body features in comparison to girls.

It could be comments I heard from those around me, including my parents, questioning and judging appearances of others.

It wasn’t until I began to understand the idea of gender identity, got to know people who didn’t conform to the male and female stereotypes, and got away from my parents’ opinions (and started forming my own) that I stopped being uncomfortable not knowing.

So maybe it’s a combination of all three and then some. After understanding, being accepting of those who don’t conform to your idea of traditional gender identities is the next step.

Accept other people for who they are as you want to be accepted for who you want to be.

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