I was very much a”tomboy” as a young girl; it was probably partially a natural response to being sexually trafficked, but I was also drawn to cars (my father raced) and tools and trains and what, in the 50’s, were “boy things.” I was small and slight and pretty flat chested and the only girl on the block.
In art college in the 60’s I found a liberating space where I could be a go-go girl in white boots at the school dances and a cute young gay guy when I tucked my hair up in a jeff cap and wore jeans and boots around the in the daytime.
That “cute young gay guy” stuff ”ended unceremoniously, though, on an escalator in Wanamaker’s when an actual — and somewhat older — gay guy who’d been right behind me on the tightly packed, moving stairs, grabbed my ass, startling me so profoundly that I knocked my cap off as I attempted to spin round in order to confront him, and my thick, long, brown hair tumbled down over my shoulders.
He let me have it. Verbally. I think he was trying to explain to me — through anger — that I could get myself in more trouble than I might be counting on by ‘pretending’ to be something I wasn’t. Terrified me. That ended my amateur stint as a cross-dresser.