Galt, Ontario, Canada (1963)
Here I am at age 2 on the right, holding the hand of my little sister and best friend. We were inseparable. We played dolls and had little tea parties together. As we grew up we kept to ourselves as our four brothers hung out together.
My oldest sister had a beautiful yellow and white dress that I absolutely adored! When I was six I pushed a chair to the closet, climbed up, and took down the dress.
I started to put it on when:
Oh no! The dress got stuck!
My arms were above my head, and I couldn't see and could hardly breathe!
I yelled for help and my mom came and pulled the dress from over my head.
She said, "What are you doing? Boys don't wear dresses!" After I was freed I heard my dad ask, "What is he, some kind of sissy?"
I remember feeling embarrassment and shame. But mostly shame.
My parents started signing me up for sports teams and encouraging me to play with my brothers. That ought to "fix things," they thought. It worked for a while, and I was developing a more "boy-like" attitude and demeanor.
A couple of years later, my sister died. I was devastated and lost. I turned to the church, and my "feminine side" was on its way to being completely buried.
I eventually broke free and have slowly become the person I am now. I still like to wear blouses, skirts, stockings and panties. I feel very much at ease when doing so, but as soon as I put on a dress, I revert back to being that six year-old kid feeling fear, embarrassment, and shame.
But mostly shame...
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