There are two moments in my life I will always remember. When I was four I knew I felt like and wanted to be a girl. I also knew that for some reason this made my parents angry. But it wan’t until I was eight that I realised I had a big problem.
When I was eight I had to attend a family wedding. Everyone had to have a new outfit and for me they bought a blue suit.
I can still see that blue suit hanging from the top of my Mum’s wardrobe door. It was like a grown up suit just like all the men would wear.
I froze when I saw it. I hated it. It even had a waistcoat, which made it even worse. I didn’t want to try it on, I certainly didn’t want to wear it in public. I couldn’t understand why it upset me so much. I just wanted to run away. I wasn’t asking to wear a dress instead. That wasn’t what it was about. I was so far from that expectation that it wasn’t worth even thinking about. Gender neutrality would have been nice.
I think I knew the clothes were irrelevant but heavily symbolic and I knew wearing a dress for a day wasn’t the answer. I didn’t want to cross dress, I just needed their acceptance. I needed them to accept me as their daughter, sister, grand-daughter, cousin and niece. I just wanted it to be an unremarkable fact that I was female. I could take it from there and just be myself.
The day of the Wedding
On the day I felt sick and upset as my Mum got me ready. I somehow avoided wearing the waistcoat but when I was dressed she made me look in the mirror and my heart just sank. I felt sick and I started to cry. The thought that people would see me like this was horrifying.
But at the back of my mind I realised something. This gender problem I was having was going to get worse and be a big problem in my life. I knew it would hurt me again in the future. I felt helpless and powerless and alone. I was sure I was the only person who felt like this and that I was a freak of nature.
When the time came I walked out of the house into the world, defeated, and I wore that suit.
It happens every day
I hate the thought that every day transgendered children have to endure this treatment imposed by insenitive cis gendered people who just don’t take the time to understand. They personally wouldn’t accept being cross dressed and paraded in public to their own humiliation and despair. I know they must know how that would feel.
More understanding please …
Can we all try and be kinder, gentler and more accepting of our children. Who cares if they don’t or do want to wear dresses, trousers, football jerseys, flowers, beads or lipstick etc. Let them be who they are. Let them find themselves. Let it be a problem for other people to deal with if they have bigoted views.
Children know. I knew at four and my feelings then are exactly the same now. Just don’t crush them or their identity.