Wednesday, 7 December 2011

About Me, Part 2: Old Days

My first day at school, September 1976, was traumatic in its own way. Home had been a cocoon and school felt quite scary, as I'm sure it did, and does, for others on their first day. Being socialized as a boy was deeply traumatic. Rough team sports, to put it mildly, were not my thing, yet they were mandatory. Not that there weren't any girls who could play sports, there were. But, I was already feeling quite alienated from the boys. I cried more than they did, I had softer mannerisms and I was already being treated with hostility in gym. I did have a few friends, and my experiences were nowhere near as harsh as they would be in middle and high school, but they were awkward to say the least.

During family gatherings, I played with my cousins, all of whom were girls at the time, and who played with dolls. I had no problem with this whatsoever. However, the grown-ups certainly did. There were relentless attempts to get me to play sports. I refused.

On television, I readily identified with heroines and female characters (with a couple of exceptions which I will get to in my next post). One traumatic incident stands out from this period. Somewhere around this time, I decided to wear my raincoat like Little Red Riding Hood would wear her hood and cape. My father came into my room and saw me and ordered me to take it off. I wouldn't. I was spanked. I felt violated. The birth of shame.

To be continued ...

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