I had a fun happy childhood. I relished the outdoors, for the fun and adventure. Out on my bike with the neighbour’s kids (boys on both sides) we explored the woods, rode our bikes too fast, crawled around in the dirt with plastic toy soldiers, or kicked a football about and talked about sports, tv and how cool Evil Knievel was.
Looking back I was far more interested in Nancy Drew than the Hardy Boys, but it was because she was the best character. She was the smartest and I wanted to be like her a smart girl that wasn’t interested in dolls and a weak female disposition. She was as good as the boys.
I disliked female weakness of any sort and I hated the dolls, prams, dolls in prams, cats in prams, anything in a chuffing pram! I wanted my eagle-eye action man, my blue plastic wheelbarrow and my football.
I remember often getting mistaken for a boy which I hated. I couldn’t blame anyone, since that is how I dressed, but I would immediately go bright red. I wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be me.
Junior and Middle school for me was filled with sports. I would get to school early to play tag with my friends (all girls) and we always wore our PE kits under our uniform and we’d be ready to play sports in 5 seconds flat. Other classmates hated sports and held us up taking an age to get ready. Moaning throughout the process. They frustrated me. Why didn’t they like sports?
I was on the hockey and netball teams and I participated in a lot of Athletics.
Birthday parties always filled me with dread as it meant wearing a dress. I hated it and there exists somewhere a handful of photos of me standing in the front garden with my bottom lip out casting a shadow large enough to park a small car. As soon as the party was over, I was straight back in my jeans and often took a change of clothes so I could change in the car on the way home.
All my friends at school were sporty girls that could look after themselves. The girly girls into make-up and fashion held no interest and I am sure the feeling was mutual.
I was a Brownie, but I never really felt a sense of belonging. Years later after a brief dalliance as a Girl Guide I joined the Venture Scouts. Much more by bag.
My tom-boy phase continued into secondary school along with the sporty side. More hockey, more netball. More athletics
Looking back I think you could have a hint of where my sexuality was heading, but that was not something I would discover for another 20 years.