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?