Over time we learn many things, how to eat, how to talk, how to walk, how to play with other children, go to school and learn more, obey our parents, and eventually, we learn many lessons regarding right from wrong. Sometimes the right and wrong lessons can be gentle and sometimes harsh, especially for slow learners, which I have always been. Make no mistake about it, when it came to learning certain areas I was slower to learn than many kids were. Take arithmetic, for example, 2 + 2 equaled 4, that I got! But then along came decimals and algebra that sent me for a loop and it was all over for me. No more medium grades for me in math. Yet I was astounding in English and History. Those were my babies, I was at the top of the class in those two areas. Why? Not sure, other than they were something that inspired me and for some reason stuck in my pretty little head no matter what. My penmanship came to look exactly like a girl’s penmanship. In fact, one time I was accused of letting a girl do my school work and the teacher had me write my name in front of her to prove it was mine. In jr. high school, I got into an art class and into photography; I quickly came to love both and scored with good grades. So I always received an A in those subjects. The one class that I signed up for, which brought even more attention to myself, was I think called ‘economics.’ Some of my first projects in that class required learning to sew and I would bring things from home to hem, sew and create. I would sometimes listen to the news at night with my mother, if she were home, before I did anything else. I grew up in a time of war, protests, racism gone rampant, and our good ol’ president being caught for his part and role in Watergate and witnessed his impeachment! It was a good time for a kid to be a kid and a bad time to be a parent or an adult. Hmm, where am I going with this? I did seem to lose my train of thought here, damn a.d.h.d anyway. Oh I know, why and how I am Jackie.
Here’s the thing, in the 70’s it just wasn’t real cool for one to admit or be recognized as gay and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have set too well to tell anyone I checked out other boy’s, wore makeup and girls clothing after school, and on weekends became a little queen. Though I was looked upon and seen or acknowledged as being gay and feminine and doing what I did I never came right out and admitted it to anyone until the day came that I would tell all to my sisters. But up to that point, everything was speculation and here say. I have spoken a lot in other articles and shared conversations with many here at CDH regarding my sisters and her infinite love and support. My sisters always supported me in one way or another but how were they to support me in the gay and crossdressing areas when I couldn’t even foresee what lied ahead.. or had any kind of notion or understanding myself. All I did know was that I had no wish to be with the girls like other boys were. I would overhear boys bragging at school about being with this girl or that girl and what they did together and where they did it. Of course, it was one more topic and conversation I couldn’t jump into for obvious reasons. When I was 12 I put my foot down with my mother and refused to let anyone cut my hair ever again. This insane rule and notion had to go and it did. Seemed like forever but my hair grew long in a short matter of time and I got to hear about it every day.
I was 14 years old when my first encounter with a guy came about. I was full of ‘unsures’, fear, confusion and guilt in so many ways. I won’t go into that affair or any affair for that matter, but the one thing I will say is that when it was over I had no other decision to make other than the one I had made that day to be with another male. I’m telling this because I get messages asking how did I know. How did it evolve from wearing makeup, my sisters’ clothes, fighting to keep my hair long, my nails long, plucking my eyebrows and feeling like a million dollars doing so? I often say that we who crossdress, do drag and transition didn’t decide to do any of them. That would be the ultimate dumb ass decision to make. Think about it, why would you or I make the foolish decision to be humiliated, judged, discriminated against, abandoned, hated, talked about, physically assaulted, maimed, mentally and emotionally destroyed and even murdered? I myself can’t think of one reason other than one realistic reason, “we were born this way.” I realize not everyone who crossdresses or even does drag is gay or bi-sexual. Many of you are heterosexual and have wives. You don’t understand me and I don’t understand you. That’s okay, we all have a common thread whether you agree or not. I was asked to shorten this article because I got so long winded so if some parts join other parts you know why. I believe, and I truly do believe we will all be in the same place some day. Till that day we are all here at once. A poem by Robert Frost said “Home Is Where You Go And No One Asks You To Leave” which was a truly meaningful lot of words put together by a very talented man who faced diversity every day. Guess what? Robert Frost died at home surrounded by those who loved him and never asked him to leave!
As time went on…