Patti, age 3
Jacksonville, FL (1961)
This is the final picture in a series of photos with me and my older brother.
The earlier photos show me pitching a fit to be allowed to drive this fire engine - by myself. I wasn’t content to be seated in the back, nor in sharing the ride with my brother. I remember wanting to drive and to not be wearing this dress! Today, I still kinda feel bad for kicking my brother out of the Fire Chief's seat.
|"WHERE'S THE FIRE?!"|
Being raised in the bible-belt as a Southern Baptist, it was natural for me to attempt to repress feelings that I was different, though I was certainly considered a tomboy.
I grew up in a time when kids could play anywhere they wanted as long as you were close enough to hear your dad's whistle calling you home RIGHT NOW!
I could often be found in some tree fort playing war games with the other neighborhood boys.
To my brother's chagrin, as little tow-headed kids running around shirtless in swim trunks, we were often mistaken for twin brothers. I don’t remember if he was more bothered that people thought we were the same age - or the same gender!
I looked forward to his hand-me-downs and still resist the urge to raid his closet when I visit him now. Though not initially happy that his little sister was gay, he always remained protective of me even if we fought like cats and dogs at home.
To young kids trying to figure things out, find someone you can trust to talk to about how you’re feeling, especially if you’re being bullied. You are not alone and no matter what, it gets better.
Patti's first, famous-person same sex crush:
It’s funny how all of my daydreams about her
involved rescuing her from some catastrophe.