Later those afternoons she would hurry me back inside before my brother and sister had come home from school to make me look a little more “presentable.” Devon was never particularly nasty, but at that age Natalie would have eaten me alive if she’d even once seen me with an ounce of makeup on my face.
I remember one summer when I was six I had tried playing Barbies with her. She literally ripped one of the doll’s heads off just so that I wouldn’t use it.
“You’re a boooy.” She was such a bitch. Those three little words always made me so mad. I didn’t ask to be a boy. Not that I really minded, but I always hated the stipulations that came along with my penis. I wasn’t allowed to be pretty. I wasn’t allowed to play with dolls. I wasn’t allowed to like boys. All bullshit.
Maybe that’s why I made a habit out of breaking the rules. Not that my sexuality was a choice, but I had definitely found myself in rather unsavory circumstances in more than one instance. My whole childhood I was made to feel like shit for the things that I thought made me- well- me. That’s why I told my dad to go screw himself when I went to high school with eyeliner on my face and fishnets on my legs. I didn’t care about his standing with the outside world or about people for that matter, and their narrow-minded views of how I had to be just because I had an X and a Y-chromosome. And my mom always sat with her little smile of approval- her little head nod that told me, “It’s okay to be who you are” and I thanked her every single day of my life for it. She made me feel special, but even more than that, she made me feel normal.