I have never talked about my gender issues before – not to a therapist, Psychiatrist, or even a best friend. It has been my secret… until now.
When I am writing about this, there is no emotion. This is something that has not been an issue in my life for many years. As a teenager, I obviously knew my sexuality was different and maybe there was an assumption that everyone who is gay also experiences gender identity confusion.
Being a gay teenager in the 1970’s did pose its problems. It is easy to imagine you are the only person in the world with sexuality/gender issues. You grow up believing in the ignorant and disgusting stereotyped attitudes. Sometimes, you actually find yourself participating in them, just to be a part of the crowd.
Eventually, you have a private image of yourself that is “a vile and perverted homosexual… a queer, faggot, poof, pansy, a Nancy-boy and even a ‘botty’- basher, who has no rightful place in this world”.
When there is religion thrown in, it just adds a whole load of hell and damnation.
We cannot change some of the things on the inside, but there is some control over what we allow other people to see. I watched a documentary on gender change recently. The people I could identify with the most, were the ‘female-to-male’ gender change.
Learning to become a male – to walk, talk and act like a man, is not easy. This goes against the grain and it takes years to perfect. Today, there is nothing about me that is feminine or camp – I’m just your average-masculine-kinda-male.
I’m not even sure if I would want to be a woman now. There is no inclination to dress in women’s clothes, but there is peace with the ‘all-feminine’ on the inside. This was not always the way…
“Butching-up” my act came at a price. This afternoon I wonder… did I ever really recover? How could I have come to terms with the school bullying, name-calling, the stinking vile attitudes (that I believed), or the ridicule and out-right discrimination?
In the last few days, something does not feel right. The darkest depressions always start with intense agitation and apathy.
Is this gender issue the real reason why I have never been comfortable in my own skin? Why I feel so awkward and out of place? Did I ever come to terms with the loss of my gender and the painful experiences that ensued? Does the disappointment, anger, and the guilt still permeate my life today?
I think you could be on to something. Your last paragraph says a lot and should give you much to think about. I know for myself my acceptance of who I am has been hard fought but worth it. I wish you peace during this time of rediscovery.
I too think this is an incredibly important insight that deserves/needs a lot of thought. I hope you can get your “answers” so you can move on with this journey 🙂
Think this post is really insightful. Hope that you can use this insight to help you continue to find and *be* the ‘real’ you without fear of prejudice.
Sending safe hugs your way, if wanted.
Always safe hugs wanted!
Thanks for reading and commentiing. All this comes as quite a surprise….
Hi Cat, Life is difficult inside my head right now. So I can’t think to say much. I’m glad you’re sharing these thoughts and feelings with us. Lots of people supporting you. Take care, rl
Hi Rl…. Thanks for commenting
I had a feeling you were not feeling too good at the moment. I hope things improve real soon *hugs*
Thank you Aife…. this comes as quite a surprise to me and I also think I could be onto something
I’m so sorry you had to learn to be someone else to get by in life. I hope that in time you can find an equilibrium between your inner self and who you have had to learn to be. I talked to my social worker about gender stuff today so it is all very fresh in my mind just how hard it is to think about and talk about this stuff. Well done. x
Thank you and well done you too!
I can clearly recall the name calling I got when word got around school I was a lesbian … I wasn’t I was bisexual, the older girls called me names for many years until they eventually left school, but I shrugged off there vile comments. It was incredibly difficult for me because I wanted to be open about who I was, but I was told to keep quiet by my head of year… because I went to a church school and that kind of thing was wrong!
I question who where the mentalists!
I tend not to think about the name-calling. I did shrug it off and would never let people see that it really did hurt. When I came out, I worked for the church and my sister was sitting final exams. My parents dissuaded me from telling her so as “not to upset her”. When you feel so different and are treated like something weird, unusual, and even unacceptable, it rips part of the soul apart. Writing these posts has made me realise that I buried that trauma but never fully recovered. To be developing more insight is a blessing…. A move forward, I think..
Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and reply
This deeply personal post illuminates humanity at its best and worst. if not worst, just very intolerant and thoughtless. I learn more about myself and life when the written words come more from the heart, less from the mind. It makes me wonder how gender questioning kids fare in todays world, is it any better?? Thanks for a great post.
I’m not sure if gender questions are any easier for kids today but I do hope society has improved its attitude in recent years, although there is always room for improvement.
Many thanks for your comment
A heartfelt post, no one should ever, have to apoligise for who they are. You have been on a painful journey thats for sure step away from the people who make you feel bad and towards the poeple who make you feel good and “get” who you are.
Athena… Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. What you say is very true