I hated waking up. All it did was remind me how much I hated my body. Every morning, when my foster mom called me down for breakfast, I felt my long hair tickle my shoulders and my back. Every day I was filled with dread that I would someday have boobs, like my foster mother. People saw me as Tia, a five-year-old girl. But I knew who I was. I was Cameron. And I was a boy.
I shared a room with my foster sister, Mahaylee, who was seven. Her sisters, Priscilla and Sutton, who were twelve and ten, slept in the other room. Both rooms blushed pink and were filled with dolls and lace and things that I hated. They loved dresses and bows. I loved superheroes because they could hide behind a mask and be whatever they wanted. And they saved people and made people happy. All I wanted was short hair, superheroes and trucks, and to be allowed to wear boys’s clothes. That did not make my foster parents happy.
Apparently, I didn’t know how to make anyone happy. My parents birth abandoned me and my first foster family gave me up. Nancy and Phillip, my current foster parents, never failed to remind me that I showed up at their door wearing boys’ clothes and holding a trash bag full of more boys’ clothes and superheroes. They threw all of it away except my Batman action figure, which was my most prized possession.
To Nancy and Phillip, I was a ‘tom boy.’ And that was a problem, because I stuck out like a sore thumb. For as long as I was there, they tried, and failed, to kick the boy out of me. All it did was make the urge to be a boy stronger.
Every day, they fought to get me to put on clothes and go to school. My favorite outfit was what I slept in. Underwear. I loved the feeling of not having a shirt on, even if my foster sisters made fun of me for being chubby and it made my foster parents cringe. For school they forced me into dresses and bows, and for that I hated them.
At school, I always played with the boys. The boys that didn’t think girls had cooties, anyway. I tried to tell those boys that I didn’t have cooties because I was a boy, but they didn’t believe me. I really liked one of the boys who thought I had cooties, and it made me sad when he ran from me.
One Saturday morning I accidentally walked in on my foster dad when he was going to the bathroom. Instead of being embarrassed like I would be if I walked in on my foster mom, I just stopped and stared. I couldn’t help it. Who knew boys had something that allowed them to stand up to pee? Whatever it was, I wanted one.
My foster dad yelled at me and called me a pervert for watching him, but I didn’t care. Next time I went to the bathroom, I decided to try and pee standing up. It didn’t go well. I missed the toilet. I tried to clean it up, but Sutton knocked on the door.
“Come on Tia, I have to go!” she whined. Before I could get everything cleaned up, I heard the key click and the door open.
“Oh… Did you have an accident?” Sutton asked.
I was too ashamed to talk about it, so I just nodded. My foster mom was furious with me and I had to sit in time out, but I knew I had to try it again. I’d just have to aim better next time.
But every time I tried ended with the same messy result. Why hadn’t I been made as a boy? I hated my girl body and my girl hair and my girl clothes. I wished I had what my foster dad had so that I could pee standing up like a boy. I started punching myself between the legs I was so angry.
Finally my foster parents sat me down and asked me why I kept having accidents, and I had to tell the truth. My foster mom got so angry that she hit me and kept screaming “You are not a boy!”
I was a boy, and I knew it. Nancy and Phillip told me that they couldn’t take care of me anymore, and soon a social worker showed up at the door to take me away. It wasn’t a sad good-bye.