As for children and gender, I knew from a very early age, and I mean 3 or 4, that in the '30s and '40s males were preferred. Not from my parents, but from society in general. I was sorry I was a girl. I was a very active child with a lot of energy, could play all day. I was a terrific skater, and rope jumper. I loved the games at school, dodgeball, and softball. I loved watching the Dodgers with my father, and asked for a baseball glove so I could play ball with the boys in the street. My parents bought one for me. I loved sports, but I never had any thoughts about being a boy. I always had a "boyfriend" in class, a different one each year. kids do that sort of thing in elementary school. We even had parties by the 5th grade, held in the basement of someone's house, and I remember we tried to play spin-the-bottle. Afterward, we all went to the luncheonette, and my 10-year-old boyfriend bought me an egg creme. By 12, my friends and I were going to the beach, and a couple of times each summer we treated ourselves to a day at Brighton Beach Baths, and boys were starting to look at us, and we found the flirting fun. At 13, I was elected Girls' Student Athletic director of my junior high, working with the P.E. teachers after school, scheduling after-school punchball games, umpiring, and the like. But I often wandered up to the Boys Gym to watch after-school basketball, because I liked one the boys there. Anyway, I think children should be left alone to find their way. They will. They will know exactly who they are, and they can take it from there. I don't believe there should be any influence of any kind. That we should respect our differences is a given. But leave young minds alone. They know who they are, who they want to be. And even if they are confused at a young age, it will soon enough sort itself out.
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