Tuesday, 8 March 2011

There ain't no choice about it!

I am a girl. I am 3. I have an older sister who is a few years older than myself, and from all accounts until now, I have had a 'normal' life.

There is a boy who lives next door to us. He is a few years older than me, and he is (what I now know to be) Fijian. His name is Johnny, he is my friend, and we play together at any given opportunity. One day whilst outside playing, Johnny takes off his t-shirt, and runs around in just his shorts. I'm hot too, so I do the same.

When my mother appears at my front door and sees me topless, she quickly runs over to me, and forces the shirt back over my head, much to my dismay. My sister is not far behind her, and repeats what she has clearly just heard prior to coming outside. "Only boys take their shirts off! You're a girl! You have to wear a shirt!"

Why do I have to? I want to be like him!

I am 7. My sister, mother and I have travelled out West to my cousins' place. One of my cousins' is a year younger than me, and is the girliest girl I have ever met. She is all about skirts, shoes, and any popular man on television is her 'boyfriend.' Along with my sister, they quickly discuss Cabbage Patch Kids, the latest craze at the time, how cool they are, and how many they would like. I hate CBK's. I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

Not long after arriving, my mother, aunt, sister and my 2 cousins head off to the local market. Whilst at the market, we come across a store that is selling fake CBK's. My sister and cousin go nuts, and there starts the chant of "CAN I HAVE A CBK?? CAN I HAVE A CBK?? PLLEEEEAAASSSSEEE?????" I am still bewildered.

My mother and aunt give in, after they realise that spending $5 on a fake CBK is far better than the going price tag of $50 (in the '80's!!!). I eye off the other tables around me, and spy a small black remote controlled car. Yeeeaahhhhh!!!!!!!!! That's what I want!!!!!!

"Which CBK do you want?" my aunt asks me.

"I don't want one. Can I have that car instead?"

"You can't have a car! You're a girl! Only boys have toy cars! Here, I'll pick you a CBK."

I am heartbroken. I cry uncontrollably. I don't want the damn doll! I want that car! WHY CAN'T I HAVE THE CAR?

I am 9. It is my birthday. I am having a birthday party with about 10 friends. A close friend of the family is over, along with her 2 girls, who are about the same age as myself and my sister. They are considered family, my cousins and Aunty, as I have known them all my life.

They give me a present. I am giddy with anticipation, so excited, cause let's be honest, it's all about the presents. I rip the paper away, and it's aaaaaaa..... Rainbow Brite doll.

Is that it? Why would they give me that? I force out a 'thank you' and rush off to be with the rest of my guests.

That afternoon, after the last of my friends depart, I go to my bedroom with my 'cousins' to go through the presents I have received. I come across the Rainbow Brite doll. I still don't understand what they think I am going to do with it? I don't want it, it looks like a girl. I want to give Rainbow Brite the opportunity to be a boy, something that I would like to be.

The decision is made. I take to Rainbow Brite with a pair of scissors, and cut all of her hair off. Much better! My cousin dobs on me to my mother and aunt. My aunt instinctively gives me a lecture. When asked why I cut her hair off, I explained that I wanted her to be a him, and that I didn't like dolls.

"Pfft! Of course you like dolls! All little girls like dolls!"

Why do I have to like things that girls like? Why?

I am 11. I am due within the next week to go on a year 6 camp. I am excited, and decide that it would be a good time for a hair cut. I convince my mother to take me to the hairdressers. I have my hair cut short like a boy. I love it!!!!!

The week goes by, and I turn up at school to attend the camp. I am pointed at and laughed at by friends and teachers.

Why are they laughing at me?

During the camp, along with 3 other schools, we are playing some kind of wet weather game. We are all seated in a circle, and for whatever the reason of the game, every second boy, then every second girl must get up and take their turn. I am seated between 2 people from other schools that I don't know. I have counted out around the circle how many turns it will be until my own.

Then without warning, all bar a few of the kids are screaming at me that it is my turn. I am confused, and I stand to take my turn, only to be ushered back to my seat by one of my own teachers.

"hahaha! it's because you look like a boy! That wouldn't have happened if you didn't get your hair cut!!!"

So what if I look like a boy? So what if my hair is short? Why do I have to look like what all the other girls look like? Why?

I am 12. I am a champion netball player. I go to my first training session of the year, and we have a new coach. Kate is 18, gorgeous, smart, funny, and I am immediately attracted to her.

I have an unbelievable year on the court. This is mainly due to receiving so much attention from the coach, which spurs me on even more. Towards the end of the year, nearly 13 years old, I am acutely aware that I am infact a lesbian. A secret that I will hold onto for the next nearly 10 years, just because society says that it isn't acceptable or the norm. All my life I have searched for the answer as to why I was different. It has a name. I'm a lesbian. I'm gay.

There's no way I am sharing this with my friends!!! I've heard what people say about them! I'm in year 7 at school - my social life will be crucified!!!!! Surely I can be 'cured' of this disease! Nah, I'm a teenager - I'll just do what the rest of the girls do - I'll blend. I'll talk about 'guys' the same way my friends do. No body will ever know.

Throughout high school, I am neither popular or not. I have developed a smart assed attitude, and will do anything to make people laugh - anything to take the focus off what I clearly am. I am considered a funny girl, and school is merely a time wasting mechanism to get through my teenage years. I hate myself. I hate that i am uncomfortable acting in this manner, all to please everyone else. I even sleep with a few guys, just to prove to myself who I am, and also to make sure nobody finds out I'm gay.

I am 23. I have developed a tight circle of friends, and we party every weekend and any given opportunity. I still don't have the guts to openly tell them what I am. I start a career within the government. I love it. It is a male dominated environment, and I meet alot of girls who are gay. The job exposes me to every facet of life - gore, humanity, mental illness but to name a few. I quickly realise that life is too short. I need to start living it the way I have always wanted to. I need to start being honest with myself, and be open with my friends and family.

When told I am gay, my mother has no expression. During conversation years later, she admits that originally when told, she thought it may be a phase. With more thought however to stories such as examples given above... Yeah, it was fairly obvious. My main circle of friends I had back then I no longer associate with. It was too uncomfortable. Although they said they never had an issue with it, I found myself being left out of events and even simple conversation.

I am now 32. I am gay. Or a lesbian, carpet muncher, lezzo... Whatever you want to call me. I am who I am. I didn't wake up one day and decide to be this way. I was born this way. I have many gay friends, along with straight - (not that it matters). I cannot change who I am.

I don't doubt that some people choose to live as a gay person, due to the lifestyle, society tag, or whatever reason. But those of us who are openly honest about our sexuality? Yeah, we had no choice whatsoever that we turned out liking our own.


  1. Wow.

    I actually had to go back and read it twice.

    I learned some things about you I never knew, and I think what you wrote was interesting....erm....how would I say this?

    I was DRAWN into what you wrote, and nowadays, with all this crap in hardcovers floating around, your piece is truly a diamond in a pile of coal.

  2. Love you Cookie.. Glad you enjoyed ;)

  3. Your perspective is amazing. The way that you see the world is something I never imagined. Thanks so much for posting your story in here.

  4. Wow. I recently have re-connected with a girl from high school and discovered she is gay, she had been in the closet, she still tries to hide it from people that we used to go to school with even though she is 33. I also just recently found out my ex-fiance is gay. In the past I had also been cheated on by a separate partner, he apparently went out with me to test if he was straight or not, so I was just an experiment for these men. I have been left hurt and devastated and as these went over a period of many years and my most vulnerable years when I was new to the whole relationship world, I have been left bitter and angry..mostly hurt though. I was scared I was going to start to hate gay people. I just read what you wrote, I don't know you and you don't know me, but what you just wrote really touched my heart and made me release a lot of anger just then that I have been holding onto with all my might. Now I just wish that the world was a more supportive place so people such as yourself and those from my past(one who is in complete denial of being gay and is suicidal, he is so scared his secret will come some day, that he has moved himself down into the mountains and is virtually a hermit...very sad situation) could feel free to explore what THEY want and not have the pressure of smiling at the gift they do not want or faking a smile/being the jokester of school if they don't want and especially hurting themselves or other people in having sex or relationships that they resent. The world could be a much better place and your point of view just made mine a better place, thank you.

  5. I think it is awesome that you have shared your story....I come from a small town where tolerance is nearly non-existant...there is a lesbian couple that live across the street from us and I have often had people come to visit and explaim "they are lesbians you know" with such disdain....and I simply reply, "yeah? so what is your point?" They are not going to turn my little girls gay....they are not rif-raf...we also have drug deealers who live close by.....why are you not saying something negative about THEM?

    I would hope that if one of my daughters realized they were a lesbian at some point in their lives, that they would feel comfortable coming out to me....both have a mixture of princess and tomboy in them (as I did as a child...I remember wanting to go without a shirt too like my older brothers and told I was a girl and HAD to wear a shirt) so there are no tell-tale signs of what persuasion they were born to be....but I DO believe we are BORN a certain way....society is still so encumbered by ancient beliefs of how we should live our lives....

    I praise ANYONE who has the guts to come out in this little town so full of racists and bigots!

    And AMEN to you!