Growing up, I thought I was just like the other boys, but some of the other boys disagreed. They thought I was a "sissy," a "fairy," a "faggot," etcetera and the bullies did what bullies do.
I did not understand what caused them to treat me that way.
One day, an older neighborhood kid took me aside and said I needed to "man up" or I would continue to be the bullies favorite target. I shrugged off his advice because I still thought I was just like the other boys, so why should I do anything different.
When I went away to college, nothing changed except that there was a new set of bullies.
After I completed my higher education, I moved back home, but the bullies had moved on.
I moved out of the neighborhood 35 years ago and slowly discovered why I had such a hard time in the old neighborhood. I was really a girl in a boy's body and I played the part so well in so many ways that the bullies could not abide by it.
I will return to the old neighborhood in a couple of weeks. PFLAG is organizing a new chapter in my old hometown. The first meeting will be held in a church two blocks from my old home and right next to the grammar school where I was bullied for so many years.
It will be the first time in my old neighborhood presenting as a woman. How can I not go!
|Michał Rudaś femulates on the Polish version of television's Your Face Sounds Familiar.|