Friday, March 21, 2008

"When I was 7 they said I was strange..."

Hey there unbelievers :-)

The Easter holidays are upon us once again. Let's here it for bank holidays! What follows is a bit of a retro-post. Not so much 'What Lynn Did Next...' but some back story.

A couple of days ago I got in touch with an old school friend (IT is a small world) and we got talking. He - let's call him 'B' - was my best mate at primary school and, for a time, at secondary school too. I remember not fitting in with the other boys in class. They liked fighting and football, I liked Banarama* and books. Alarm bells anyone? :-) But B didn't care and we were mates through the end of the 70s up to the late 80s.

( * So it seems I've always loved girl groups. Trannying? It is your destiny!! :-) )

I've read that men don't form close relationships with their mates, but I think that's not true. I think that we do, its just we don't often talk about them. After all, part of the Man Code (tm) is never admit your true feelings. Mmm... maybe I should have gone for a 'Man Club' gag ('The first rule of Man Club is...'), but there's a risk it may have started to sound very, very camp. :-D

Where was I? Oh yes, close mates. B and I shared most of our growing up experiences - no, not the kinky ones before you think that. Well, apart from him showing me his first porn mag, but that's another story! - and we had very similar interests: larking about, puerile humour, heavy metal, comics, computers, sci-fi, etc. Pretty much typical teenage boy stuff. Ooops. I realised I missed off girls, but to be honest, they didn't really register on the radar at that time. Late developer, just plain shy or other interests? I'll let you be the judge of that one. :-)

So where are we going with this stream of consciousness that bursts from my brain, down my fingers and through the keyboard? The truth of the matter is that I feel I owe him an apology (which - if things go alright if we meet up for a pint - I'll give him). For you guys, it's this: B was a glammie. While I went down the 'angry kid' route - lots of black, looking scruffy and listening to music that sounded like it came from a breaker's yard, B went the other way: long hair, skinny jeans, a bit of slap and doing well with the ladies.

'Course, this look doesn't suit everyone, but he pulled it off and he looked cool too. Hell, it was the 80s. Caught up in my own teenage angst and let's face it, self-denial's an ugly thing right? - I was rude to him when we bumped into each other about a year later. "You look like a ****ing girl," I jibed. B just laughed it off and since that day, whenever I think of school mates, I think back to that time and think: You tw**. Why did you say that?

I suppose that looking back I was jealous. Back then I was trying to project this arrogant macho FU image to the world (Ed: you got arrogant down pat) but internally, and if I'm honest, I wish I'd had the courage to do as B did: namely, just be yourself. I was so not that macho sh** that I presented to the world. I read J17, More and Cosmo et al more than I ever read Kerrang. Once the sea of hormones ebbed, I calmed down a bit, got some perspective - and some professional help - things got a lot easier in my 20s.

So there you go, a bit of regret on my part and some noise from the history faults. Will I tell him all about me when we meet up? No, not unless his asks directly (the gossip did go around town when someone outed me) but I will say sorry. I know it seems a bit daft, but really, your mates: they make life much more fun don't they?

Take care and happy holidays,
Lynn

[ Lyric: Ugly by the Sugababes. ]

5 comments:

  1. Whenever I get wistful and melancholy about getting older, I remind myself of just how awful all that hormonal angst was to bear. I wouldn't want that part of my teens back.(Well maybe... if I could do so in a different physical form)

    Putting things right for and in myself matters alot to me.Sometimes the bonds I have with others don't stay as mutually inclusive as I'd like because of changes we both go through. I've certainly added my share of baggage to the burden some friendships have had to bear. Surprisingly, few bonds ceased to exist completely, in spite of the burdens I sometimes placed on them.
    I've never had any macho male friends, the few male friends I've had have been more open and sensitive. Don't know if they would qualify as typical "Mates". These friendships seem to have stayed solid though through time. And that hasn't held true for the blood bonds of family necessarily.
    Its not daft Lynn,even if its important only to you.

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  2. I am sitting here reading this and constantly nodding my head and grunting agreement. I relate to that story so well it's untrue.
    Even to this day I am frightened to be myself and try to project the image that I think the world will accept rather than the image of who I am. I'm not sure I will ever have the courage to just say "what the hey" and do my own thing.

    Its great that you have caught up with your old friend and will maybe get a chance to "put right" a few regrets. Strangely, it seems to help sometimes, I guess it's what our American friends call "closure."
    Thanks for sharing the story Lynn.

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  3. I certainly identify with not going down the new romantic route for fear of being discovered for the trannie I am. And yes I do suffer the odd twinge of regret, but hopefully making up for some of the lost time. Just not going to beat myself up about it - suggest you don't either. ;)

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  4. Emma, yes the teen period wasn't particularly fun but I feel it could have been worse.... certainly from what you read and/or hear about. Luckily, I got off lightly... and thanks regarding your last line.

    Maddie, it's funny how something another person writes can also be so true for another. I wouldn't dare say that I'm the only person with these feelings (far from it), although I am surprised how frequently we 'connect' over shared history.

    Rachel, I'll take your advice about not worrying about it. :) There are lots of things I could have done differently, but realistically - and given the same choice again - I would probably do the same thing. I'm pretty happy as I am. In the big swing of things, a lot of it just isn't that important.

    As to being a romo, goth or glammie, I think as trannies, we'd be a little too particular with our images. As someone once said: "trannys can't do drag" and I feel that's true inasmuch that we don't do the comedy end (at least not intentionally :) ) of dressing up, we aim to 'be' not to characterise. But I've been wrong before! :-D

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  5. LLynne, your post has so well summed up some of my experiences growing up and relating to school mates. I have just made contact with an old school friend with whom I had a proper boys friendship. Subbutteo, army games all that stuff. he was so cool about my new improved gender, and wasn't that shocked. Perhaps there were signs!.
    I too would avoid any dressing up, scared of being found out! Even now I will run a mile from a fancy dress do. Go figure!

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