December 23, 2011


Tracy, age 12
Salem, Oregon (1972)

This was me on Christmas day, 1972. My poor mom went shopping for an outfit she thought I would like, and bought a shirt with a man's necktie attached as part of the shirt! I was devastated. My mom saw my face when I opened the gift.

I looked up at her, and with tears streaming down my face, and I said:

"You think I'm a boy????"

So my mom took that shirt, got her seam ripper out, and removed the necktie.

My life was unusual already, having deaf parents. I have deaf relatives on both sides of the family. It is hereditary. However, I do not have any hearing loss.

My mom taught me how to do everything.
I knew how to cook, clean, sew my own clothes and iron.

But as my dad didn't have a son at that time,
I learned his trade as well. He was a car painter, a body and fender man. I learned to mask, sand, and apply primer.

I knew I liked women at the age of five. I liked the way my first grade teacher smelled, and she was very affectionate and kind to all of us.

But I didn't know what being a lesbian meant. I had only one boy I talked to, but we never dated, and my first experience with a woman didn't happen until college.

As for the outfit, I wore it over and over, until I grew taller. I felt so cool!
And I still looked like a little dyke, even without a necktie!!!

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