Melissa, age 6
Lewistown, MT (1988)
I remember thinking I was a boy, seeing no difference between me and other boys. Wearing boy clothes, playing with G.I.Joes and Legos, playing Army, and other boy games. I had crushes on girls, because boys have crushes on girls, right? It wasn't until puberty began that I really realized that I was indeed a girl, and that sent my world into upheaval.
I was so confused, and turned upside down. When you are little they just label you a tomboy, but when you get older, you are expected to fit into these gender roles that never ever worked for me.
My crushes on girls were then perceived as me 'really wanting to be their friend', and becoming extremely shy and nervous around them. I thought I was a shy kid, an introvert.
But once I reached high school, and I met other gay people, I finally understood what all these feelings meant: I wasn't different or weird.
I was just queer. And that was awesome!
I wasn't shy or introverted, I was just crushing without a way to express myself. The time I spent trying to be something I am not did not last very long.
And lucky for me, I had a rather supportive mother who didn't begrudge me wearing boys/mens clothing. And today, I am not unlike my 6 year old self.
I wear all boys/mens clothing, I love women, and love to play the games boys play. My short time pretending to be something I was not was a miserable time, and I will never ever do anything like that again.
I'm here, I'm queer, and I love it!