Friday, May 6, 2022

You should have been a girl!

“You should have been a girl!” is a statement my mother made to me a number of times while I was growing up. Usually she made it after complementing my shapely girlish legs. Or on other occasions, when she mentioned that I “walked like a girl” (on my tiptoes).

To compound my gender confusion, whenever she took my sister and I out on her shopping trips, she insisted that I use the ladies’ room when nature called. I don’t recall if I stood or sat to pee, but I used the ladies’ room until I was 10 or 11 years old.

Then there was my introduction to makeup.

I was probably between the ages of 7 and 10 and for a day or two, I got the notion that I wanted to be a circus clown when I grew up. I remember I was home with my mother and I covered my face with my mother’s cold cream to simulate a clown’s white face. Then I added lipstick. What a mess!

I showed my handiwork to my mother and she volunteered to do a better job. She removed my handiwork and started anew applying various cosmetics to my face.

When she was done, I looked in the mirror and was shocked. Instead of looking like a clown, I looked like a girl!

In retrospect, I am not sure if she realized what I was trying to do. I do not recall if I was clear about trying to be a circus clown. She may have thought I was trying to be a girl and acted accordingly.

I suspect that later, when I began exploring femininity, she would have been very willing to assist me, but I never asked for her help or revealed my desires even when she prompted me with, “Is there anything you want to tell me?”’

In retrospect, I realize she knew (mothers always know) after finding my hidden stash of girly things and learning about my Halloween excursions en femme, but I was too closeted to tell her the truth that I really was her daughter, not her son.

Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Ramy Brook

Katherine Cummings femulating at Casa Susanna in the 1960’s


  1. AnonymousMay 06, 2022

    being from the same time period I know we really wanted to Femme it up but we had no knowledge about others like us thus shame and guilt overrode our desire. Time wasted!

  2. Stana, I wonder how many of us have had similar experiences. My mother wanted a daughter, but I was the only child. She said that a girl really should have had my curly hair, and dressed me in a dress once or twice when I was very young – I loved playing “dress-up”. She knew I would get into her clothes, but could never bring herself to talk about it (nor could I …)

    She passed away in 1992 … I hope she is happy with the daughter that she has … Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

  3. Ditto.
    I wrote poems during the stress of transitioning, and one of them was when my mother was dying. I wrote this poem...

    The Question

    You never asked.
    I always wondered.
    But, I never asked.
    It was our little secret.
    The question unasked.
    Little things that let me know that you knew.
    But never asked.
    The little hints here and there.
    But the question remained unasked.
    Hints just loud enough for my ears.
    Oh, I always wondered about the question unasked.
    Would our love survived.
    If asked.
    What would it have been like with the question asked?
    What might have been if you asked?
    What might have been if I asked?
    But now is too late for you or me to ask.

  4. Diane SmithMay 07, 2022

    My mom sometimes put lipstick, nail polish and clip earrings on me starting when I was as small as 2-1/2 to 3 years old. Later, she was present (but not exactly thrilled) when I got my ears pierced at age 9. She took me downtown to a big department store when I was about 12 to buy my first pair of big girl heels. (Must have been a sight, with my red nails, lipstick, earrings and pantyhose.) She never encouraged or participated in my wearing lingerie or outer clothes, but she HAD to know I was into her drawers and closet regularly. I couldn't have been that good at covering my tracks at that age. I think she saw it as kind of like playing with a real life doll - it was more about her entertainment than mine. And it all ended when I went off to middle school and puberty hit. None of it was ever spoken of again. I wish I could have been more open with her in later years, but the opportunity never seemed right. Maybe some things are better left unsaid. Thanks, mom!

    1. It's great Diana!
      How I wished as a little girl to wear nail polish or to dress up girlie.
      If this is a real story - May I ask to tell more about the first high heels tour?
      Was it your mom's idea? Had you wear a dress? They handled you as a girl or as a girly boy? Toenails painted too? And which heels?

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Katherine Cummings was a true icon of transfemininity .
    Sadly , she passed away in Australia a few months ago .

    RIP , Katherine .

  6. AnonymousMay 07, 2022

    You were quite lucky to have an understanding parent.
    Most persons here cannot say that.

  7. Ah yes!; Our Youth Missy spent!

    My Grandmother was known to like giving me make overs on a Friday night...but had to remove the nail push before Church on Sunday Morns.

    Both Grands regularly used me as their Sewing model, one even made half of her income as a seamstress, one of my fondness memories. She was making several costumes for our cities 75 th Anniversary which was a series of events over thirty days. More than a dozen costumes, all 1890s Muttonchops sleeved, absolutely adored those three months.

    Mom was known to send me out during the Winter with one of her or grands old hose held up by Beautiful 1950s era garderbelts. Never wanted to take them off.

    As I was embarrassed, I NEVER pushed it...but they also Surely knew about my travels through their closets.
    Mom always refused to take pictures even when I asked, as it was she got so so much fun out of my baby pictures. Used them Well when I was a teenager.

    It was not till 1969 when one of my Great Aunt's Died, she had a four story Victoriaian Home that was the repository for the 13 kids treasures going back into the mid 1800s.
    Enjoyed several days over different years spent in her attic with choices and Choices, nice!
    It took over three Months 18 hours a day to process it with Grandma and mom when she could get away from work. They had several boxes of clothes that were set aside from the haul at the Auction,(The trading between surviving sisters was a site to behold, thus the femme treasures were put up for auction instead of barter). Talk about a weird purchase for me, one octagonal barrel .22 caliber rifle and eight large boxes of clothes, 95% femme, except for one box a neighbor and distant relative just had to buy for $5 instead of the buck that the others sold for to the single purchaser....Sara-Me.

    The most 🤔 Interesting thing was finding a horde of women's shoes in size (twelve men's) that were with my Great Aunt's husbands boxes, and a Number of dresses that Aunt Myrtle would never have fit into...she was very well endowed, Double EE Class and five five, todays size 18: the other dresses were a ten, her hubby was tall thin and a Bigfoot.

    Now I know---where a pair of floral blue house shoes Aunti gave me one Christmas, who the original owner was! It seams that tho I was never told, my little excursions had happened before on both sides of my families.!

    Was it real or memorex?
    Well in 1965, growing a pair of then
    38Bs well several of us know that girly problem...

    Sara Blevins
    Thank You Mom, Grandma!
    It's been fun......

  8. I had long black eyelashes with a perfect curl to them when I was little.I still do. I got lots of comments on how such pretty eyelashes were “wasted” on a boy while old ladies in stores would ask me to bat my eyelashes so they could admire them. I’d get so annoyed by those comments. Why shouldn’t a boy be blessed with something beautiful? This may have been the reason I refused to cut my hair from ages 8 to 11. It was the seventies and my hair was thick, wavy, and grew past my shoulders. Many people assumed I was a girl. I think once I knew that even with long hair no one was going to let me wear those pretty tiered summer sundresses with the smocked bodice and shoulder straps tied in dainty bows, I got a proper boy’s haircut.