Idol - 1975- Age 6
Grannies idea was to raise me as a girl, and then be the female version of Michael Jackson. Dad would not accept this as he thought it would be a sin wanting to be a gender that God had not intended. However, he did think it would be good that I had an image that people would remember. He thought it would be good to be a little controversial. Dad decided that I would be gender fluid. Most would see me as a boy, but some may wonder if I was a boy or a girl. He hoped that most would be confused about it.
So it was decided that my hair would grow down to my shoulders. All my boy’s clothes were thrown out and Dad spent all our savings on clothes that a tomboy would wear. Some clothes were even very girly. There was a lot of pink and frills, and hearts. I loved the new clothes as they reminded me of how much I looked like my mom. They also felt good and I liked looking pretty.
I knew I should have been born as a girl and had the wrong body. I loved life as a girl and would love to experience it in its full. I just wish I was asked if I wanted to be a boy or a girl. I felt comfortable when I was a girl at grannies house, but now Dad wanted me a girly boy. This would be in public and I wonder how would people react. Would I be teased like I was at school?
I had all summer holidays to get used to being gender fluid. I was no longer a boy. I was not a girl either. I was both and I was happy during the summer. I even went to the beach wearing a girl one-piece. It was one of the happiest times of my life. My brothers kept on calling me weird and a sissy. I suppose I was and it did not bother me. I felt like a girl in public and everyone thought that I was a girl. It was at the beach that I knew that I was born in the wrong body.
Summer was too short, and it was time to start at preschool again. Once again, I was left alone and had no friends. The teacher tried to get me to play with the others, but it was obvious that they had no wish to be seen with me. It was strange being so lonely while I was together with children my age. The only contact I got was when they teased me. They still asked if I was a boy or a girl. Sometimes they would stand around me and say where they thought I was a boy. Other times they would say why they thought I was a girl. The common factor is that they thought I was weird.
When granny visited, I told her that I was being bullied a lot. She would smile and say, “you are a very special boy. Your mom knew that you were no ordinary boy. I was gender fluid and I was most happy when I was allowed to be a girl. As long as I knew who I was and let the others guess who I was. It is important that you are happy with your identity.”
I had no clue what granny was trying to say. She was saying I should be happy. She continued by saying that she was sure that I would be famous. Everyone in the world would know who I was and many would love when I would entertain them. I would make people smile and bring a moment of happiness to their lives. I was not famous yet and it would take a lot of work and dedication. Granny was sure that I was old enough to deal with this.
It seemed as if I practised every chance there was. I rarely had time to play or watch TV. I practised old songs and new songs and how to sing songs without messing up. Dad also wanted me to look cute when I was singing. I had to smile at the right time and try to “sparkle” as he called it. When I sang a song, he would tell me to do it all over again. It is hard to smile when you had to sing a song 7 times! It was also hard when you looked in a mirror. The agent said there was no chance that I would ever be famous. I wondered what was all the practice for. Why could I never be like my brothers? They were free to do as they wish. They had freedom!
One good thing happened though. Dad had a new girlfriend. I liked her a lot. She reminded me a lot about mom. She would let me cuddle against her as she talked to me about normal things. I loved when she would brush my hair, which was now becoming quite long. We would talk about everything except fame and being teased at school. She treated me like a normal 6-year-old and did not think that I was weird.
It was good news when Dad announced that he was getting married to Mary, his new girlfriend. I jumped up and down and thought it was torture that I would have to wait for the wedding. I was excited about everything and made sure that I was around when it was being planned. I was told that I would be a pageboy and be responsible for the ring. Waiting for the wedding was just as bad as waiting for Christmas.
I wish things could be so good at school. The teasing continued. The boys could not understand why I wore clothes that girls could wear. They would tease me and ask if I had dressed. They wanted to know why my hair was long. They were frustrated that I did not answer. If I did answer, I would tell them that I was not a sissy. This was just the way
Our teacher was not very understanding. She kept on telling me that I was a boy. When I replied I knew that, she would ask me why I dressed like a girl. Even when I answered this by saying that boys can wear pink, she would get mad and tell me that it was not normal what I was doing, and sissies like me always ended in hell. This was something that scared me. I had no wish of going to hell. I did not consider myself to be evil. I sang songs that praised God. He was my friend.
Dad was very religious and he was happy that no one could tell if I was a boy or girl. He sent some pictures of me to the agent in Dublin and he loved my image. He described them as provoking and was a great image for me.
The agent should have told the boys at school. It was no longer just teased. They began to push me around and even hit me. I never did like pain and I think that when I cried, it made the bullying worse. They would take pleasure in making my life hell. I started to wish they went back to just teasing. The worse thing is that the teachers would not help. Maybe they thought the bullying would make me become more like the other boys. It all resulted in that I dreaded going to school. I would think every day that I had some tropical disease until Dad would convince me that I was fine.
The time came when Dad and my new mom was to be married. I had two jobs that day. One was to carry the ring on a pillow. The other one was to sing a song during the wedding. I was dressed as an old page boy, with a shirt with a lace collar and what looked to be like leggings. I looked like I jumped out of a history book. I did what I was supposed to. I carried the ring on a pillow and didn’t yawn because the ceremony was so long.
Then it was time for me to sing. It was a long time since I sang at a Church. Dad stopped letting me do it when he had the bad news from the agent. I was now once again singing a gospel song in front of people. They were all thrilled with my performance and I got a standing ovation in the church. I also sang a few songs during the reception. I was in heaven as it was obvious people liked my singing. They were entertained by me and it was so rewarding when they clapped.
After I performed, Dad told me that this was proof that people liked my talent and wanted to see more of it. He said that we would need to practice, as we had to be perfect for when I hit the big time.
My new mother hugged me and said, “It looks as if I am your mom now. I never want to replace your mother and hope that we get along. I think you are a special boy and the only thing I want is for you to be happy.”
The practice was different after the wedding. I would of course practice singing, but Dad also wanted me to listen to famous bands and people like Elvis, the Beatles, Jackson 5 and Tom Jones. I would be observing their movements and how they entertained. I think that Elvis was best at entertaining. He did not have to sing. He could just tell the audience that he loved them and they would go crazy. There was something about him that sparkled. He was a true entertainer.
The priest visited our Dad and told us he would love it if I sang at the church once again. Dad was against this, as he had higher goals for me. However, it is hard saying no to a priest. It was agreed that I would sing a song after the homily every Sunday. We would not get paid for it. I suppose we would get a special place in heaven.
I was dressed as the page boy every time. Sometimes the legging pants were not ready, so I had to wear tights. While I loved the feeling of them, I did feel very girly and wondered what people thought. I do not think that they had any negative feelings about it. I loved singing at the Church. I do not know why I ever stopped and love being able to capture peoples attention. I relished when they stood and clapped after I sang. When we were leaving the church, no one would be teasing me about clothes or long hair. They all wanted to shake my hand and praise my talent.
The priest said I was a sensation, and more people were coming to Church. Despite this, Dad could see some mistakes and I had and this meant more practice. Dad also was impatient. He thought that I deserved more than just singing at a local Church. Despite that the agent said I should be happy with the experiences I had, Dad could not accept that this was my destiny. He started to drink more. No one noticed this, except that there were a lot of bottles in our house.
I should have been happy. I got what I always wanted. I was allowed to sing for others. I was not happy though. At first, I thought it was because Dad was never satisfied. Then I found out that I was. I could not remember how my mom looked. I tried to close my eye and could not remember how she looked. I thought this was a sign that I did not love her enough. I went into a depression and no one could help. They all thought it was because I was being teased at school.
I told my stepmom that I could not remember my mom. She took me to see my moms grave.
“Your mom is looking down from heaven.” she said, “She knows you love her and she is always with you. She is in your heart. She does not care if you become famous or not. She does not care if you consider yourself a girl. Your mom loves you for who you are!”
The next day at school, I was surprised. This girl from my class came up to me. She did not tease me. She asked if we can be friends!
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