My morning work routine is as such: wake up, shower, coffee, breakfast and then to work, where I catch up on my early morning assignments, and get caught up on my favorite blogs, !! omgblog !! and Towleroad. The following video was something that caught my eye, and, after having watched it, I was reminded of my own childhood, dealing with and accepting my differences, the acceptance of my family and peers, and learning what it meant to be the person I am today.
As a child, I was always slightly more mature than my age. I felt more comfortable in the company of teenagers and adults, rather than with children my age, give or take a few years. It was not uncommon for me to shy away from other kids and retreat to the side of my parents, their parents, a teacher or family friend, and on occassion, a teddy bear, with whom I'd share a snack of sticks and grass.
My unconventional nature was further detailed by my love of ANYTHING Oz (particularly the Wicked Witch of the West, because she could fly), sewing, and wearing under-used frocks and heels that I would find by digging through my mother's closet. I remember specifically her exasperation as she would catch me running through the house, her stilettos clacking across the hardwood floors, lipstick and eyeshadow smeared across my face, trying to escape her "wrath" at my investigation into the life of a not-so-fabulous housewife. She would eventually track me down, having followed the scuff marks left by the shoes, or simply spying a chunk of silk or lace hanging around the side of the couch, as I had not yet mastered the art of hiding in a floor-length funeral gown. Needless to say, her shame and anger were far outweighed by a light, yet fearful, sense of understanding and acceptance... She never put things out of my reach, especially when they made me so happy.
I remember several key moments of my youth where, looking back, I now see the beginnings of my true self shining through. I always had this innate sense of self and self-recognition. I knew the things I liked to do, the things that made me feel good, and the things I had always felt I must keep a secret. My first crushes (even though I had a MULTITUDE of girlfriends throughout my earliest years) were on other boys, and occassionally men. I remember becoming upset when my cousin and I, at the age of 5 and 4 respectively, were in the bath, and she rubbed it in my face that she had a bagina and I did not... My tears were numerous and sorrowful, for I wanted on for myself... I knew this was how boys and girls fit together and while I did not, and do not, want to actually be a girl, I knew that I would one day want a boy the same way my female counterpart could have one... As I mentioned, I was slightly mature for my age, and my knowledge and wisdom ran deep for a child. On several occassions, I would pretend that I was a mermaid (man) and would pretend that prince, much in the vein of The Little Mermaid, would rescue me for the horrible sea witch that is life. I would play cowboys and indians... and I was always the Indian, although not because of my Native American heritage, but because I enjoyed running around in the loin cloth I had made from scraps of fabric, carrying a spear I'd fashioned from a tree branch and an arrowhead.
As I just discussed with a co-worker, I was raised in a masculine household, learning such skills as car repair, fishing, building model rockets and making my own toys. Along with these, I taught myself how to sew, paint, style hair, and do makeup, along with numerous other typically "non-masculine" hobbies. I played sports one minute, and would make and serve lemonade to the workers around my house, dressed in a bedsheet turned sarong.
For me, being gay, and understanding my differences from the other boys my age, caused significant turmoil. I was often quiet, untrusting, shy and ashamed for what I was. Though I couldn't put a name to it at the time, I never did hide from it. Even in my secret shame, I accepted who and what I was, as my family did much later when I finally was able to say the word: Gay.
This is how I began, young, carefree and fabulous, and I will end older, wiser and all the more proud for the journey I have made, the feats I have accomplished and the love of myself and others I'm so willing to share.
For another intresting video, check this out: