Crossposted from GentillyGirl
Last week a 15-year old was murdered by a 14-year old in Oxnard, CA.. All of this was because the kid sometimes wore make-up, high heels and nail polish to school. The murderer is described as having a slight build and looking effeminate.
I wanted to write about this last week, but the tale brought up many issues from my Past… my teen years. Last night Betts and I talked for hours about that era in our lives, and finally I can start on this topic.
My teen years were a living Hell in SW Alabama. It didn’t help that my father was a Labor leader or that I had been raised to have my own viewpoint by my parents. Mom had just died, and my sibs and I had just spent the Summer in Houston with the aunts, uncles and our cousins being part of the South’s “Summer of Love”.
My hair was growing to my waist, puberty was hitting… I was one confused kid, ovaries and testicles operating, and my body looked femme (no boobs though). I was into music, literature, math, physics and history. I was a Gentle Freak who tutored kids, helped them along and worked full time as a fast-food manager. I bought my own car, paid room and board and lived an individual life. I was also scared shitless over anyone finding out about my other life.
I had been a school Quarterback: third string brought in for the first game of the season because the starter and the back-up were wiped out. I won the first three games of the season, and then quit because my body wasn’t large enough to face the defensive lines. (Dad insisted that I play sports, but he was the one that signed the paperwork to assign me as “male”.) That was never forgotten by the rednecks. I was also the Class Valedictorian.
Every month, I would carve out 3 or 4 days in which I didn’t have to show for work and no performances for our jazz-rock band. I’d pack and head to Panama City for a “Chelsea” weekend (my nom de plume back then). I’d book a hotel and just spend those days wandering around the place and just being myself. (Same as the Navy years later, but the location was Monterey)
The girl lived at least for a time every month.
Each and every day I had to live with oppression: it wasn’t about being “Gay”, but about being “Different”. The only reason I didn’t get bashed is because my mind and mouth were faster then that of the ogres that wanted to beat me to a pulp. I counted on others to speak out in support of me as friends.
And being beaten is a Hell-of-a-lot better than being executed, but it still wasn’t high on my list for life experiences.
Though my soul screams in pain for the slain 15 year old, my heart also aches for the effeminate boy who pulled the trigger. It’s obvious that Societal pressures created this action. Maybe he couldn’t deal with what is going on inside his psyche. Maybe he is Straight, but his appearance opened him up to all kinds of hassles over mis-identification. I don’t know.
Our Culture MUST GET OVER THIS CRAP! There are Gay boys, Lesbians, Trans folk and Queers. There are also Christians, Jews, Muslims, Pagans and atheists. There are men and women. Folks come in every shape, form and fashions. Same goes for skin color. We are all Human, and that’s the way it freakin’ is.
A young boy is facing many years in prison for a murder that came out of his conflicted sense of self (my interpretation), and another kid is dead. What a fucking damned waste.
When will we learn, and then just live?
What does it take to achieve a Human Culture?
My answer is to live and let live.