As a child growing up in Flintshire (Clwyd as it was from 1974 -1996), was pretty much OK. I was raised in a loving, relaxed family environment. Out of the my 2 brothers and I, it was me who was a ‘mummy’s boy’. I wanted be around my mum all the time. Whenever we visited cousins, grandparents and other family members, there were times when the men would be in one room and the women in another. I always wanted to remain with the female side of the family where I felt more relaxed and comfortable with. I was always told to go in to the other room with my brothers, dad and the other male members fo the family. I loathed having to do this.
Up until the age of 3 or 4, I had a best friend named Charlotte. We were always together – either at her home or mine. I remember playing with her dolls and play house and being at my happiest. Sadly, her parents decided to move house and I never saw her again. I do remember being upset that she had gone but it is nice to still have the memory of her and wonder what she is doing now, how she looks, does she have a family? I will never know.
When it came to toys, I had my own dolls in the form of an Action Man, the Six Million Dollar Man, The Incredible Man and Star Wars figures. I had these because I was really into fiction and fantasy and I still am. I knew that if i asked for something like a Barbie or Cabbage Patch dolls, I would have been mocked by my peers and I didn’t want that because I was already being bullied for being smaller than everyone else. I do not know where I got this maturity from when it came to other people’s perception of me but, I just never let it be known how I was feeling inside. It wasn’t like my parents were not approachable but, quite the opposite in fact. We could tell them anything. I just couldn’t tell them that I wanted to be a girl! My mum took me to see Shakin’ Stevens when I was 10 and I asked for a pink silk cushion with his face on it and a white baseball cap with his logo. Mum said they were for girls but she got me them all the same. When I got home, I slept with that cushion for a long time. I was extremely happy. I didn’t care that my brothers ribbed me for having it.
There was a documentary on the BBC in 1979 called ‘A Change Of Sex’ which showed George Roberts > Julia Grant transitioning from male to female. I was 7 years old at the time and there was no pressure for children to be in bed early back then. When I was watching it, something clicked inside of me. It was like she was describing me and how I felt. It was quite spooky. I remember the Doctor she saw (or as a he as she was at the start), asking all these what I thought were silly questions – How do you know you are a woman? Why do you want to be a woman? You’ll have to wear women’s clothing and live as a female for 2 years? Those type of questions. This documentary was followed up by a further two between 1979 and 1994 and a fourth one in 1999, 20 years later which I watched with my now ex partner. I did have to look up the name of the programme and that of Julia Grant for this blog account. One cannot recollect every detail. It was during the second documentary that I remember looking over to my right where my mum was sat, in her usual seat, and trying desperately hard to tell her telepathically that I wanted a sex change, I want to be a girl. Of course, she never heard me no matter how hard I tried to send my thought across the room to her. I went to bed that night and I wept like I never had done before. For some reason, I just couldn’t physically tell my mum and dad that I wanted to change sex. It baffles me to this day as to why not?
An article about Julia Grant here
As I got older, I buried my true feelings deep, deep down inside.I watched a film back in 1986 called Willy/ Milly and it resonated with how I was feeling. I felt disappointed when he went back to being a she at the end. That night, I went to bed wishing really hard that when I awoke i would be a teenage girl with her clothes hanging in the wardrobe and in the chest of drawers too. I was so so disappointed that wish did not become a reality the next morning. Of course i knew it wouldn’t happen because that was a film and not real life.
October 1987 and I started dating a girl from a few doors down and I thought that my feelings would cease and they did whilst I was with her. I began to think I was normal.We dated for 3 years. However, at 16, when I was at catering college, and one of the tutor who was tutoring us all on front of house, mentioned how girls had hips and made it easier to carry a tray with the elbow resting on the hip. The thought of being a girl resurfaced for a while at least before I buried it again for quite a long time.
To be continued ….
(( Cwtch ))