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Amidst Uncertainty And Self-Criticism: How Teenage Tomboys Love

As a growing girl in Northern Nigeria, desiring an escape from the flexibility that I saw femininity reek of, I found comfort in seeking male validation. As I took on a gendered label supposedly fitting for the adventures that I wanted to experience; an attraction to boys seemed particularly unfeasible. When you're young and agile and the tomboy that I was, you shouldn't hold a boy's gaze longer than five seconds, or chuckle too loud when he makes an Avatar joke.

I would see these peculiarities sprouting from my inner girliness, and I'd tuck them right back in because being a tomboy was not a label I wanted to lose. I also suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and I didn’t know how else to hide my insecurities other than to wear ‘boyish’ clothes. With boys, the casualness of our conversations, the moves I would make at ease and the shallow depths of our talks, were all wholesomely shared and I felt like I was born to live male.