A lot of what I have posted has seemed to paint a negative portrait of my life. It sounds as though I was miserable my entire childhood which is not the case. I have great memories of childhood, my family, my friends, my time at school, and coming out. My life has been a challenge for sure but in a good way. I have been happier than most kids I would say, and by no means is what I have posted here anyone's opinion or memory of reality except mine.
The difficulties in my life and childhood, the painful things always surrounded my gender identity. Now as a kid, most of the time that wasn't the focus of my day or week or year. But on those occasions where it came into conflict with social expectations, those were difficult and challenging times. I experienced a great deal of frustration, anger, hurt, and sadness but that is a part of growing up.
When I was young I had no language with which to define myself, I had no words to describe what I was and with the lack of an applicable affirmation I was nothing. I was NOT a girl, I was NOT feminine, I was NOT supposed to be attracted to girls at eight years old. But for all the things I wasn't I had nothing to describe what I was. I didn't know the word lesbian, I didn't know the word transgendered and that made me feel alone, made me feel like there was something wrong with me, but I never said anything about it until recently.
All of the arguments I ever had about my clothing, my hairstyle, appropriate/inappropriate behaviour, social norms, and the concessions I had to make so that everyone else would feel secure, feel normal, feel happy, made me miserable and angry. It is awful to feel like you are an embarrassment to your family because you are not normal, you are not like everyone else, you are not doing what people expect or want you to do. I just wanted to be me, to be comfortable in my own clothes, cut my hair the way I wanted, and be able to express my own feelings. I wanted to be able to tell my truth, to express myself in ways that made me happy that allowed me to know that it was ok to be who I was, I wanted it to be okay that I was different.
Now, times are different. I am older and tougher and I have a language. I have words that describe me. I can cut my hair short and wear a shirt and tie. I can take testosterone and grow a moustache and be an artist and a writer and say the things that are in my heart. I can call myself butch, he, sir, boy, sonny, and not be ashamed. It was hard to be true to myself when I felt like people expected me to be something I wasn't. It was hard not to feel like I was being selfish when I was just trying to be happy and feel loved even though I was different. I was (and still am) terrified of disappointing the people who love me the most.
I have wonderful supportive friends and a loving family. I am very lucky. I have good memories of sandboxes, spider shaped monkey bars, riding on tractors, a small town arena, the smell of a creamery, salmon for thanksgiving dinner, digging in a garden, outdoor swimming pools, bottle rockets, a tent that smelled like puke (ha ha ha), crazy carpets, mowing the lawn, scraping and painting the fence, swinging in a hammock, shovelling the driveway, riding my bike, talking with cows, opening presents, decorating Christmas trees, floating egg cartons in gutter puddles, finger painting, learning to fish, camping at the cabin, ice skating, building forts, Bedrock city, long road trips in the back of a station wagon, eating pomegranates, going to the zoo, building a kite, scraping all the skin off my knuckles, peanut butter cans, stitches in toes, little girl giggles, cartwheels on grass, piano lessons, birthday cakes, spaceship legos, the muppet show, a new black and white kitten, building a snowman, face paint, chasing a mouse through the house, the scent of fabric softener, clothes dried on the clothesline, four leaf clover patches, water treatment plants, bugs bunny cartoons, honeycomb cereal, driving a pick-up truck on a gravel road, shooting a .22 at the dump, going to the planetarium, spinning too fast on the merry-go-round, bubble baths, chicken pox, tree movers, ugly gym strip, sunburn, rodeos, Pictionary, a pink panther, handmade dolls, Fisher-Price, banana seats, sprinklers, care bears, sofa beds, water slides, a red Honda, a jar of barrettes, easy bake oven cakes, hospital uniforms, Pysanka, Sunshine, bees, giant lollipops, a wooden high chair, the pullout under the sink in the downstairs bathroom, a pink toilet, ping-pong, bird shit, three channels on the tv, and the rattle of the wooden spoon drawer! Oh the seventies and eighties how fun you were!!
Today I am Marcus. I learned what it means to be a good man from some very special men who have come into my life. I have learned to be a hard worker. I have learned to be reliable and honest. I have learned to be kind and generous and help others when they need it. I have learned to listen. I have learned that sometimes I will I screw up miserably and it's ok, I can learn from my mistakes. I have regrets but can do nothing to change the past. I have learned to speak up for people who can't speak up for themselves. I have learned that there comes a time when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy. I have learned that following your heart and doing what is best for you isn't always an easy road. I have learned that my feelings matter. I have learned to be strong, to be persistent, to be confident. I have learned to respect other people's opinions. I have learned that life won't answer all your questions. I have learned that I am not always right and sometimes I have to apologize. I have learned to love. I have learned to forgive. I have learned that life is too short to hold a grudge. I have learned that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I have learned that I am a good man.