Get up. Work. Chores. Sleep. Repeat. This was my life. Welcome to the life of a 16-year-old boy in the 1880s. Expected to work constantly to support the family and later find a spouse to be the breadwinner for. Despite my many protests, my father continuously kept trying to shove possible suitors for a wife in my face. The man had high expectations for me and expected me to be married sooner than later. Grandchildren were wanted by both him and my mother. Impatient as they were, they weren’t too fond of the idea of waiting for me to surpass the age of 20 for their fantasies to happen. They were already getting pushy about me staying in the house. No 16-year-old was supposed to be staying with their parents according to them. Constantly, I was reminded of how the guy down the street just got married, or how the other down the road had his second kid and pulled in a good job. Being compared to them hurt me greatly but I kept quiet and didn’t say a word about my feelings.
My feelings were something I hid from my family. From a young age, I learned they wouldn’t be listened to. As my father would say, ‘men weren’t made to complain about their feelings. They were made to work and provide for the family.’ With that definition in mind, I was failing as a man. Miserably. My father didn’t hesitate to make that known either. Over and over, I heard how I was letting him down as his only son. Occasionally, he would bring up my childhood and my past actions as a way to get under my skin.
Around my early teens, I had a sudden change in fashion. Instead of wanting to wear suits or button-ups, I leaned towards the dresses. This want for a dress drove my father insane and he beat me numerous times for it. Mum was a lot more accepting and would occasionally let me try on some of her old dresses. Never did she think it would go any further than a curiosity, but she quickly learned how much I loved them. Wearing a dress made me feel so much more comfortable and I was much more out there than I normally would’ve been. Unfortunately, Dad found out about the dresses, and out of anger, he burned them all right before my eyes. After that, talk of my desire to appear more feminine was banned unless it was used against me in an argument.
In order to shut me up if I ever argued, he would threaten to send me to an asylum as they would happily take me in for being ‘insanely obsessed with girl things’. I could’ve sworn the man thought I was a pervert or something. Femininity in men was frowned upon, especially by my father. He was already disappointed enough in me. Not wanting to disappoint him any further, I stayed relatively quiet and kept my feelings to myself. Being feminine got me beaten one too many times, so there was no way in Hell I would be admitting that I actually wanted to be a woman. Dealing with the discomforts and emotions would just be something I would have to live with. Maybe in the future, I would be able to be myself, but I highly doubt people would get to be more accepting in my life span.