I’m not like a lot of people you’ll meet. I’m different. Very different. How? Well, for a start, I’m a guy who wears make up and has long hair. I’m not exactly what you’d class as “manly” and certainly not a “typical” male. So why now? Well, a few months ago something happened that really made me realise a few things. I know I’m different and I know everyone around me thinks the same. Only, I never realised it’s a difference which they’ll never understand or accept. A difference not even I can understand, let alone fully accept.
I was talking to some customers at work when another came in. I let him know I’d be with him as soon as I was finished with the customers I was already with, and to take a seat in the meantime. Simple enough. Whilst I was with the other customers, I noticed he was getting a bit fidgety. Like he had stumbled across something which he needed to share with his world. It was a matter of life and death. What was it that grabbed his attention? Me. He’d never seen a guy wearing eye make up before. Most likely never seen a guy with long hair either. Most people just stare. I’m used to it. But this guy needed to do more. Nobody was going simply take his word for it. He needed evidence. A trophy that he could show off to his friends. I’m not going to lie, he didn’t appear to be the sharpest tool in the shed and his subsequent actions certainly proved that as he took a photo of me. Thing is, the genius didn’t turn off the sound on his phone so I (and the customers I was with) look up and stare at him. He looked shocked and tried to style it out like nothing happened. But we knew what happened. Afterwards, I asked him why he took a photo of me. He denied it. Later on, he changed his story, saying that his phone was playing up. Of course!! I mean, the last time my phone was playing up it lifted my arm up for me, navigated to the camera app, forcing me to frame a shot, focus and take a photo. Happens to us all!!
At the time, I didn’t really think much of it. I get stared at a lot for looking the way I do anyway. This was just another example of ignorance. Yeh it pisses me off, but I can’t change that without changing myself. So I put it down to yet another person being a complete dick and moved on.
Thing is, I didn’t move on. Without realising, it’d actually kick-started something in me. Questions. A fuck tonne of questions. Why do I look the way I do? Why do I act the way I do? Why do I think differently to other males around me? Questions to which I had no simple answer.
Then it hit me: I’ve always felt like a square peg in a round hole because I’ve never felt 100% male.
Featured image: via CCTV at work