Disclaimers: This is original fiction. The characters portrayed within are mine. They belong to me. This story was written as a parallel to a story called Girl written by Emily Duncan. That story is not mine...in fact I had nothing to do with it. This story is Alternative. It is written from the point of view of a woman mistaken for a man...or boy. This is not an "Oh pity me!" story . It is merely life as I see it as the said woman mistaken for a boy. It contains my thoughts and my feelings and in general...it is just mine. There is no sex. There is bad language. There is hurt , but no comfort. I do not have that in my life. Read at your own risk.
Thanks: Thanks to Emily Duncan for allowing me to parallel her story. Thank you to the rather small woman who makes me stand out a little less when by my side. Thank you to my little cousin who proofed this for me. At least one out of five made it college. Then again we still have three more we're waiting on.
I have this friend who has this problem. Everyone thinks she is straight. Not a person in the world looks at her and thinks "lesbian." She is just another girl in the world. In a man's world. Sometimes I wish that I had that problem. Well, in a way I do. I'm sure that I wouldn't be a fan of the disdainful looks I'd receive when entering a lesbian bar. That's the only place I have managed to find refuge. The only place in the world I have been that I was safe from the outside world. To take that away would be to take my sanctuary.
I walk down the street in a town resembling every town, with people resembling their counterparts somewhere else. As if they all fit the mold of a master plan that some supreme being with a sick sense of humor dreamed up. I look at them and see their fake plastic smiles. All of them generic; none of them are real. There is no variation between John White and John Black. I am John Doe. I have no name. I am just "Boy."
I am safe here. Sitting in the corner of this bar in Big City, USA. I walked in and the older butches smiled at me. A kid, not old enough to drink, not even old enough to be there, but there nonetheless. The bartender knows I am not close to twenty-one. She knows that the femme I am with is really not twenty-one. Instead of saying leave, she hands us fake ID's. She orders a vodka and cranberry. I'm not drinking. We sit in a back corner, her checking everyone out, me breathing for the first time in a long time safely. So in the back of a bar in Big City, USA, I reflect on the times when no-one bothered.
A man says to my father, "Well, you've got two fine looking sons. You must be so proud."
I was seven, my brother was five.
My father looks at me, sadness evident. Even as a little girl I couldn't pretend. I did not like pink. I would not and could not wear a dress. I was difficult about wearing anything that looked just a little feminine. I preferred blues, grays, blacks, and reds.
My father replied, "I have a fine looking son. That's my little girl."
Later he asked me if I could grow out my hair. I said no. Until I was old enough to forcefully detest it, my mother always tried to have me wear something pink. Even if it was just shoelaces.
My mother asked, "Why are you wearing that? People will think you're a little boy."
At eight, I did not see the fuss over blue pants and a white T-shirt. I told her, "No they won't. My name is Catherine. That's a little girls name."
My mother was right. Eventually down the line when I was sixteen, my first day of school freshman year, a teacher asked me my name. I told her, "Catherine."
She said, "Odd name for a boy. Guess times change."
I grumbled at her, "I'm a girl."
I was a tiny girl, with out much hair. My clothes were bought from the guys section at the store, but I was a girl. It was fairly obvious to me, but the world of the norm saw it differently. My discomfort with my supposed role of femininity was not my fault, but it made me an outcast. I was not Catherine, I was Boy.
I walked to work from my truck. Same street every day for two and some-odd years. After all that time no change. Dirty chef whites, black baseball cap reading, "Birdhouse," dark sunglasses covering half of my face. People all stopped and stared. They'd whisper, "What is that?" I heard them.
My street. I carried myself with more confidence than usual. Crisply ironed Oxford shirt, black suit, wild orange hair, combed perfectly. Not a spike out of place. They stared more than usual. I found myself being hugged by Janie and Christi. They told me, "You're perfect."
"You look great."
I smiled. It was good to know that some people stood by me. As I left to pick her up, more people gawked at me. They did not understand.
I found myself at her door. Her mother thought I was cute, but kept her father in the TV room. Should he see me, all hell would have broken loose. He had enough problem with his daughter being a lesbian, but having another one in his house, looking the way I did would have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
I smiled at her as we left. With her on my arm I fit. Not a word or a look. We looked like an average couple. A boy and a girl on our way to prom. Except we were not an average couple. We were a girl and a girl. No-one knew. Together we fit. I only fit as boy.
Observing all of the fucked up social casualties of society turns my stomach. At the same time I wish for nothing more than to be accepted by the people who turn me away in the first place. Perhaps it's because I cannot be, and I will never be accepted by them. I still can't help to think of what it would be like to get decent help.
I went to Victoria's Secret once. I needed to buy a gift for a friend. The clerk asked me, "Can I help you young man?" At least I had made it to young man this time...not just boy.
I looked baffled, almost hurt that I was not accosted by some psycho-bitch with a measuring tape for a free bra fitting. Not that that's what I wanted. A "Can I help you Ma'am?" would have been fine by me. I mean I had boobs. Maybe the leather jacket threw them. I don't know.
I felt no need to correct the woman. Not this time. I replied, "Yes. I need a gift certificate. Fifty dollars, please."
She replied, "Lucky girl. Most women can't get their boyfriends in here."
I told her, "She's not most women and I am no-ones boyfriend."
Never explain. It gives them too much power to stare and question. That is the last thing I need.
I don't like to buy underwear. I prefer to give my mother a list and have her pick it up. Time and time again something just has to go wrong. If I dress just so, I can buy my boxers and my beaters, and my usual clothes with no problem. Say nothing but thank you and keep my jacket closed. I will not have a problem.
Occasionally, however, around that time of the month I find it necessary to wear good a good old pair of panties. On a daily basis I find it crucial to wear a bra. Working with infants, the extra padding keeps my nipple rings from being ripped out. A sport bra no longer cuts it. Buying women's underwear has proved time and time again to be nothing but a pain in the ass.
Walking through a department store with a couple of bras and pairs of panties I've been made a spectacle of. A shout, "Holy shit! It's a fucking queer!"
"Fuck you, ya little shit!" I yelled back.
Later my friend told me, "Until I went shopping with you, I'd never had to stop someone from attacking another person in a mall..."
I say it's just a side effect of being exposed to Boy.
Looks from the ladies cashing me out make me want to run away and hide myself from them. They look at me as thought I don't belong. It hurts. Time after time it hurts and it never stops. It seems that there is no room in this world for a bender. Male or female we do not belong.
There is this restaurant I used to frequent. I knew everyone. I had a thing with a waitress who worked there. She'd come over, sit on my lap, kiss me hello and goodbye, and not a person batted an eye. They all thought, "How sweet, he came to see his girlfriend at work." As boy, I once again fit.
I was there one night and I ran into a friend, James, who'd been away for a year. He came over and dragged me off to where he was sitting. Being the way I am, I kissed him hello, right on the mouth. He's a man, yes, but a man who looks better in women's clothing than I do. He kissed me back.
A collective gasp rang out through the section they were seated in. Loud whispers, "Did you see those two boys kiss?"
"That's disgusting, two guys kissing in public."
Who are they to judge? It seems, at times, that as Boy I do not fit either. I dress like a woman, and people want to know what the fuck is up with the drag queen in the corner. Then I am pushed even farther into the category of freak. Disowned by another portion of people in the world. As a girl kissing a boy I do not fit, because I am too masculine to be seen as a woman. I don't understand. I'm not sure that I am supposed to understand.
My brother has friends, some of which are my friends. Other friends he has are not mine. Some of the company kept around my house does not know that my brother has a sister. They think that my brother has an older brother. They have been around my house for six years.
Some people say, "Yo, you're brother's the man!"
This forces my brother to tell them, "I have a sister." He never had a problem with the fact that I am the way I am, but sometimes I feel as though I am a burden to him. I feel as though maybe if I were feminine and made up his life would be easier. Then again maybe it wouldn't be.
I'm not sure if I am "the man." I am not sure if I am "the woman." At this point I am just "boy."
Because I am the girl known as boy I am afraid of the world. I show no fear because once they see it, nothing keeps me safe. Inside I am terrified of the possibilities. I am terrified of everything and everybody. I never tried to pass myself as a man. I do not want to be a man, nor did I ever want to be a boy. I, however, never asked to be the way I am. I did not wake up one morning and say, "I will become uncomfortable in women's clothing." I did not wake up and say that I wanted to feel uncomfortable with flaunting by body to a bunch of horny men. Men who feel that it is their right to kiss me, fuck me, control me, and then leave me.
I did wake up one morning and decide that never again would I dress in a way that would make me feel uncomfortable. I did wake up one morning and decide that no man would ever have the power over me to make me feel like the weaker sex. I did decide that I was free to decide just how I wanted to live my life, and I did.
Realization hit me one evening that even as I live my life in ways that make me comfortable, those ways make me more of a target. Since I came out of the closet there has always been some man trying with all of his power to control me. To get inside of me, and plant his seeds, or piss all over me and mark me as his.
I do not go to parties. I have on occasion and I have found that the end result does nothing but make me uncomfortable and scared. There is always one man who cannot take no for an answer. One man who thinks that he's going to turn me on by copping a feel. There is always one man who thinks that the more he tells me how much he loves going down on a woman, the easier it will be for him to get in my pants.
There is always a reason that I am reluctant to attend parties. After having to follow someone around all night because some horny motherfucker tried to climb in bed with me, I decided that I would not be in that position again. I decided that after spending a night in my car, in the freezing cold so that some asshole would stop following me, and trying to control me with his dick, I would not be in that position again. Time after time I am always in that very position. I am always on the defensive trying to keep myself from being dominated in a way that will have no positive effects on my future life.
I cannot think of a time in the past four years that I have felt safe in a place. Even when I am out with my friends, I am not safe. Sometimes my friends are not safe because of the simple fact that I am with them. As boy, I am nothing but a target for narrow minded people.
Sometimes, on occasion, I have wondered if it would be easier to pass as a man. Would it be safer? Would it be more practical? The answer I have come up with every time has been a concrete no. It would not be easier to just pass as a man. Unlike being mistaken without the intent of be being mistaken, passing as a man I think would be far more dangerous than having a person assume.
What happens when you are discovered? When someone finds out that you are not a man? You get hurt. You die.
I have never wanted to be a man.
So now what do I do? At the end of another long and cold night I am left thinking of the future, which is uncertain. I am afraid of everyone, because everyone holds power except for me. Because one miscalculation on my part can end in disaster. I have more to lose than one can imagine.
I have found safety behind one small woman. I see her; she is a picture of femininity. When I am with her I am safe, because she is my girl, and I am her boy, and unless I say something, no-one knows any different. I am required to hide myself away, lest I be seen as what I truly am. I am a frightened little girl trying to make a path for myself to follow through my existence.
I am not butch and I am not femme. I am not a woman and I am not a man. I am not a bender, and I am not a drag king. Through the eyes of the world I am just Boy.
And Boy hurts.