Hi everyone! I’m 12-years old, but I’m not going to tell you my name because I don’t like it. I like airplanes so my friends call me Captain and I can go by that. I also like sports a lot, especially swimming, and I usually win a lot of medals when I compete.
From when I was about four I felt something strange that I couldn’t understand, but it’s been bothering me more and more lately. I feel ashamed to say it, but I don’t feel like I’m a boy. I feel like I’m a girl… how could that be? When I’m with girls I feel like one of them, and I think that they feel that I’m a girl too.
When I was 8, I put on a friend´s dress and I liked it when I saw myself in the mirror, but that made my mom really mad and she shouted at me and said it was wrong and I shouldn’t be playing with girls´ clothes. I don’t get it, I don’t see why that’s a “gross” thing to do, which is what she told me and I felt horrible about it. I did my best to make it go away, but that made me more anxious instead. Sports have been my way of staying busy and tired, and to avoid thinking about it.
I’m not a child anymore, I’m about to become a teenager. Everyone at my school is talking about liking girls or boys and how it’s important to be cool so someone will like you. I noticed lately that I like girls, but there’s something weird about it; there’s this one girl who’s two years ahead of us, she looks amazing. I really like her, but I think I have no chance because she hangs out with older dudes. But it’s not only that I like her: I think I want to be her, to look like her, and the thought of that makes me super nervous, but excited too.
It’s also weird that I feel like a girl and I also like girls, so maybe I’m a boy after all? No, that doesn’t feel right, even saying it feels totally creepy. I´m very confused. I wish I could tell someone or that someone could help me, but I would rather die than tell my family or someone at school; they wouldn’t get it! My mom will call me “gross and disgusting” again, and that really hurts.
At school I’d get bullied or laughed at and would probably lose my friends. I have friends who like me, and I like hanging out with them, but still, I feel alone and kinda hopeless. They now talk about dating and I feel out of place, like I don’t get them. Lately I prefer to make excuses not to hang out and stay at home. If I only knew what to do to get rid of that feeling. I feel trapped and don’t know what to do.
I’m Sue, the mother of a 12-year-old boy, named Charly, who is my only child. Last year I got divorced, and it was a very difficult time for us. I feel better about it now, but even though I know it was the best for everyone, it turned our lives upside down and the separation still hurts.
I’m an adult and I can cope, or rather, I must because I have a lot of weight on my shoulders. But having to be a mom and a dad at the same time is not my only concern right now. I notice that Charly is quieter, and a mom knows when something is bothering her kid, right?
I thought that seeing his parents fall apart had a negative effect on him, but he assures me that he feels better now than when his dad lived here because we were fighting a lot. He told me, “Now there is calmness, Mom, and I get that sometimes it’s best if parents get divorced. I hated when dad was so angry with you and thank God that’s over.”
Ok, if it’s not that, what is it? I can’t think of anything that could be bothering him that way, even making him stay at home instead of going out. Lately, he prefers to stay at home watching airplane videos for hours. He’s still that very intelligent and lovely kid, but he used to be a happy kid who laughed all the time and now he isn’t.
Well, to be honest, and this is something I feel ashamed to say, there’s something I´ve been avoiding and putting away since he was very young: he really likes girly stuff and maybe 80% of his friends are girls. Maybe it’s nothing or I just worry about everything because he can’t be gay. I mean, there’s this kid, a neighbor’s kid, he’s always been completely girly, there’s no hiding it! Poor kid, I think he’s so lost because his parents are old and he only has a sister maybe 20 years older. What do you expect?
I’m not criticizing or anything, I mean, to each his own, I´m fine with gay people and I know a percentage of the population are gay, I get it. But Charly is not like that, he’s always been manly, he even plays rough sports like hockey! Maybe as he said, his father´s anger put him off and he’s overcompensating and protecting me.
Maybe he just likes girls so much and he’s been clever to have many girlfriends and, on top of that, he’s now having to deal with adolescence and hormones and God knows that’s confusing for everyone. Am I getting paranoid? The other day he was wearing a girl´s watch and I mentioned it to him, but he said he borrowed it from a friend and it was just for fun. Maybe they’re even dating! Silly me, I should quiet my mind, Charly isn’t gay, period!
Go to Part 2…