I’ve been reading Pomosexuals for the last week or so, and loving it immensely. I read it while I’m on the elliptical at the gym, and I end up thinking about all these wonderful things that I would like to post about while I’m nowhere near my computer, or even paper to write ideas down with. This post has been swimming around in my head for days, thinking about how I got to the identities I embrace now.
Since gender, I think, is difficult to disentangle with sex and sexuality, I will be talking about all of those in this. It will be as much my general identity progression as it will be my gender identity progression, just focused a little more heavily on gender. Also, since this is turning out very long, it will be in two parts.
Any or all of these memories may not be entirely as they happened, as with all memories, but they are as I remember them.
I remember being younger–pre-school age, so 3 or 4–and taking a bath with my then-best-friend who was a boy, I remember us doing the “that’s weird” thing regarding each others genitals, wondering about the differences. I recall knowing the terms vagina and penis, though that may be that my brain at some point added them, and I remember remarking that my clitoris (I didn’t know what it was called at that point) was like a little penis. It’s not that I expected my clitoris to turn into a penis, or thinking that I was a boy, but I didn’t think there was much of a difference between them. Of course, I know now that they come from the same tissue, but that wasn’t exactly what I was thinking at the moment.
I remember growing up and liking dresses, while my (very 2nd wave feminist) mother did not like me liking dresses. She didn’t discourage me from wearing them exactly, but she would suggest that I did not wear them. The same goes with pink. Pink was never my favorite color (that elusive childhood obsession of a “favorite color” which changed nearly weekly), but I always have loved purple, and I think I would have liked pink sooner if it wasn’t for my mothers “yuck” reaction to it.
I remember my best friend M had a cinderella dress, and I coveted it. I remember liking to wear satiny nightgowns and have sleepovers with friends where we would play by rubbing our mounds together. I remember pretending to get married, and I would always be the preacher, rarely the bride or the groom.
I remember being girly, and I remember loving it. I was a femme, until I hit puberty, but I never “felt” female, I’m not even sure what that means. I think I mean that I didn’t really identify with being female or being a woman, though I did like girly things. I remember having “crushes” on boy celebrities that I wasn’t really attracted to, but that my friends A and T both did, and I was trying to fit in.
I remember hitting middle school and starting to wear all black when I used to wear all sorts of other colors. I came out to my then-best-friend W on the school bus before school in seventh grade, saying “I think I’m bisexual.” We talked about it, and he was cool with it, I’m not sure he quite knew what that meant. I remember having that spread around without my wishes, and then my own firm desire to spread it around.
I was sexual since sixth grade, or earlier maybe, but sixth was the first time I really started thinking about it, I had my first in fifth (October 10th–my best friend’s birthday party, it was a swimming party and I remember having to use a tampon for the first time that very first time I bled). I used to read romance novels, I read over sixty of them (I labeled them with numbers in my own OCD way), I was enamored with penetration, but lusted after the girls more than the guys. I masturbated… a lot.
When I was fourteen (though I certainly didn’t look fourteen) my older sister took me to Babeland (then Toys in Babeland) and bought me my first sex toy, a glow-in-the-dark bullet that I loved until it died (from overuse?).
I cut my hair short (about two inches) freshman year of high school. I started wearing pants more than skirts, though I still wore skirts because I’ve always loved them. I was very much a goth/punk butch fagette. I dyed my hair just about every shade of every color you can think of (ROYGBIV and more), and had all sorts of combinations, including pink with blue tips, yellow with green tips, pink and purple mixed around, red and purple, purple and white, and a very cool looking rainbow.
I was very out. I started the Gay/Straight Alliance at my High School my Junior year, and was the president that year and the next. I organized both high-school and community wide events. I worked with PFLAG and went to some of their meetings. Most people thought I was a lesbian, some of the people in my hometown still do, even though I was very out as bisexual. A friend’s lesbian mothers were surprised when she told them I was with a man.
I’ve been told that I was an inspiration to those around me, that I have helped them discover themselves and not be afraid of doing what they wanted or wearing what they wanted, because I was there to be a little more bizarre so they could go to their own personal extreme.
More of the path it took me to get here in part 2…