My Blog List

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Past secrets

Perhaps the strangest change is how I look back on my life. The bare facts remain in memory but the meanings are now so elusive. What kind of a man was I to slip so smoothly from that chrysalis ? Can I lump my various discontents together and say that those were really gender constraints ? Do I have a secret history, one I was never aware of, that now becomes visible in retrospect ?
Anyway, to start with facts. I was born in London in the early '50s, brought up on the SE outskirts and then moved back in for about 20 years. My parents were prosperous middle class, my father an east end boy made good in business, my mother a teacher. I was a hot housed child ; the sort that had read most of Shakespeare and had a fair grasp of 19thC novels by secondary school. My mother had been precluded from going to university to read english by faulty timing,( entry scheduled in 1939 ), and was determined that I should vicariously fulfil her ambition. I attended a minor public school as a day pupil and, given that it didn't change from single sex before I left, am possibly now the oldest old girl extant.
I was an odd child in many ways. I rarely had a fixed group of friends and had no love for male competition. At about 11 I stopped putting much effort into school work because most was too simple. This was not an attitude which found favour with my parents, who promptly shipped me off to an educational psychologist who further perplexed them with an IQ test - generally I've been a lot closer to 200 than 100. I'd also worked out that school sports were really evolution in action, and devoted considerable efforts to avoid the most obviously homicidal ones,rugby,cricket etc. I did join the school cadet corps and on a camp at the age of 14 the sixties really opened up through the benevolent actions of a couple of members of the parachute regiment who were happy to sell some of their marijuana to a group of schoolboys.
And that helped usher in a lot of difference. In terms of the values and life style I had in later life, much came from '60s counter culture. Necessarily somewhat of a weekend freak, still remember Grosvenor Square, the concert in the park, etc etc.There was music - I had a friend whose father was an assistant bank manager. He got hold of the tickets his manager didn't want that were received automatically because of owning a box in the Albert Hall, so nearly every rock concert there... I helped groups involved in helping draft dodgers get to europe, read Oz and IT religiously, got clothes from  Lord Kitcheners Valet and Biba and shared a dealer with the Pink Floyd. Academically I gave up literature after half a degree and then got a bsc phil / psych. Qualified as a teacher, did some further courses and work as a therapist and then ran my own business for the Thatcher years reading newspapers. I produced homemade newspapers from the nationals and internationals based on relatively complex briefs for multinationals and government. For a period Maggie would be reading my selection on waking, but I really do disclaim any responsibility for any consequencies. Lived opposite Di but would often hang out in Irish or Carribean neighbourhoods.
And then there were the other things. Always had some kind of property involvement from renovating my own places to helping out with a couple of family owned housing. My drug life was limited in quantity but high on quality and engagement. Mental exploration through psychedelics was a serious thing, and I mixed with a number of psychologists and magic chemists of similar persuasion. I don't particularly like to go into spiritual values, so simply I was buddhist by philosophy, an initiate within the western hermetic tradition by practice.
Relationships I came to late. Lived with and married one of my first girlfriends, divorced with one child. Never been anything but straight sexually, though experiencing the occasional threesomes and the odd group. Some of my very best friends have been dominas, but I never really made that scene. Never went for one night stands, never hugely into PIV sex, and my friends have been more female than male, and included a fair number of lesbians, though few gays.
When I think of trans precursors, there are a few things. I've always felt isolated from a lot of people around me, certainly never placed a value in being macho or on identifying as male whilst I did on having feminist attitudes, went for emotional rather than sexual connections.Conformist is a word never used about me, eccentric only too frequently - think you have to be English to understand just how insulting that is. One of the most fulfilling relationships of my 30s was with a lesbian separatist. Still and all, never crossed my mind that I wasn't male. Were times when I found it hard to think of myself as human, but then I'm a serious science fiction /fantasy fan/critic so....The only time I can actually remember ever wanting to be a woman was in order to attend Sara Lefanu's feminism in sf course from which my anatomical sex barred me.
Never had any desire at all to cross dress. But was one of the Kings Road exotics (just before punk hit the scene) and my clothes sense has always been different. A good friend, who's now a fashion blogger, once told me when I complained of people looking at me when I wasn't trying to make any sort of fashion statement that '****, you are a fashion statement'. Never had to wear anything for business more than a couple of times a year so it just...evolved that way. I'm rather more conservative now, and do not, for example, wear antique kimono jackets on the street.
I guess that goes up to the late 80s, early 90s, so to be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment