Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gender Blender New law aside, straddling the sexes can be a bitch

http://www.csindy.com/colorado/gender-blender/Content?oid=1442596

Despite three metal studs protruding from his lower lip, Nico Valenzuela casts an unimposing figure. Nico Valenzuela left Ellicott High School in April. He says faculty didn't accept his new first name, or his request to be referred to with masculine pronouns.

  • SEAN CAYTON
  • Nico Valenzuela left Ellicott High School in April. He says faculty didn't accept his new first name, or his request to be referred to with masculine pronouns.
Standing 4-10, the 18-year-old has a wispy frame, gentle brown eyes and rounded features that he admits give him a "baby face."

"I look like a 12-year-old," he says blandly.

Another obstacle to projecting a tough, or even masculine, image is Nico's voice. He speaks softly, almost like whispering, and his voice registers in the tonal range of a middle-school girl.

"I feel like I've always been a boy," he says, "but my body isn't like that."

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