Think back for a moment to when you were a teenager. How weird a time it was for you as hormones kicked in, your body changed, your interests changed and you became more aware of a bigger world. Now add in the feeling of being wrong in your body and not understanding it.
Teenage years were certainly a rough time for me on so many levels. My in congruence was more evident to me than ever and there wasn't anyone who I could turn to and simply ask to help me. I was trapt between a new found interest in girls and a lack of wanting to be a boy. The times were weird for me and to add another little twist was my puberty was very late. I didn't go into full blown changes with Body hair and such until i was 17/18 and I can honestly say when it happened it did a number on me emotionally. It was slowly pushing me away from any sense of where I should be.
Showers in the middle school locker room were so traumatic for me for these reasons. Between not feeling like I fit in with the boys and late onset puberty I stood a better chance at hitting the lottery than feeling right with the world.Funny I even remember my highs school coach asking me one day "Do you sit down when you pee?" I never thought the difference was so noticeable that I needed public humiliation over it.
Throughout that whole period I felt as though there was something seriously wrong with me mentally and emotionally. I didn't fit in well with my peers, I was smaller and less rough than most boys my age. I learned to posture and make myself appear tougher than I ever was.I grew more distant from my mom because of her conservative views about sexuality and such.
Years before we had neighbors who lived across the street from us that my mom was friendly with. I remember being young and hearing her come home in a huff complaining that the neighbor had asked her to marry him. I guess it wasn't the fact that he asked that bothered her as much as the fact he was applying mascara as he did it. I didn't understand how that would affect me at the time but it was certainly one of the smaller reasons I could not go to my mom and declare my needs.
When I was around 13 and not understanding why I was the way I wanted I remember getting caught with a pair of my grandmothers pearls. I remember how I seemed to be drawn to them and thought how pretty they looked. My mom caught me with them and what was to follow to this day haunts my mind. In a very stern voice my mom asked "Are you a queer?"
I remember the feeling of humiliation rushing through my mind and the answer that I gave in a self preservation manner was simply NO .. I often wish I could have said help me I don't know what is wrong but I simply couldn't. Recently my cousin who is a lesbian herself told me it wouldn't have mattered because my mom would not have had the emotional capacity to help me.
My family was homophobic and close minded. They were old school French Canadians where men were men and I was to be viewed no differently. My mom often told me that if I got picked on and I didn't fight that she would beat me worse when I got home. I guess you could understand how the words help simply were not in my vocabulary in this instance...
Back in those days it wasn't understood and it wasn't discussed it was just viewed as wrong ... some days I wish I could have just felt normal ...