I remember writing a short story in Grade 6 and my teacher complimenting me on writing first person from a male perspective. She said children usually stick to writing from their own gender view point. So immersed had I been in my story, until the teacher mentioned it, I hadn't realized I'd written it from a boy's point of view.
I seem to have fluid gender identity when it comes to my imagination. I recently found a short story I wrote in Grade 3 (it won a first place ribbon at the local fair). It, too, was written from a male perspective--a young boy named Daryl talked to a beaver about what his 'dam' life was like.
I don't know--can authors realistically portray what it's like to be of the opposite gender? Have you ever read a book and double checked the gender of the author because you didn't find a character believable (i.e. must be a male writer because a woman wouldn't do that, say that, think that).
As an author, I find it exhilarating to be unfettered by gender roles and biases when designing my characters. What it boils down to, for me, is at the core of our being we're all the same, no matter our gender, the colour of our skin, our religion, nationality, income. We all hurt. We all love. We all make dreadful mistakes. And hopefully, we all forgive.
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