In “Who Cares?” (I find myself constantly saying that) I wrote a chapter about men. But what about the BOYS in my life? The ones who I socialise with. The ones who I’ve grown up with. The ones who I usually encounter. The ones who are in my age-group. The one’s that I interact with in a non-romantic way?
I could probably count the number of boys that I’m currently particularly friendly with (or should I say that are particularly friendly with me) on one finger. Does this upset me? A tiny little bit. But I’m not interested in trying to impress boys. Because boys have almost always tried to avoid me. And I don’t really feel the need to compensate for that.
I really do wish it weren’t so, but trying to impress boys would almost be like accepting that I’m the one at fault. And I’m really not.
If I wasted time worrying about the reasons behind this, then I’d probably be angry. I mean, what is different about me apart from the obvious? My personality? My demeanour? My attitude?
I don’t know the truth and frankly, I don’t think I want to know. The modern boy has a lot of work to do in terms of equality. All of the current human rights issues are sadly lacking in young male support and it’s my opinion that that’s a result of the intense expectations that are put on boys.
I believe that in a few years I will be running in circles that have members of both sexes. But, until then, I’m not going to worry about it. If boys are going to be idiots when it comes to me then that’s their business. I’m never going to associate my self-confidence with other people’s issues around me or my transition.
Boys, I implore you to get over yourselves when it comes to me. I really think you should stop being afraid of being judged for simply associating with me. Because that’s what I believe it is for most of you. You’re afraid. Afraid to be nice to me in case you’re judged. Afraid to be seen with me in case you’re laughed at. Afraid to even fucking like my pictures on Facebook or Instagram in case you’re accused of being attracted to me.
I recently found my hidden inbox on Facebook. The one that contains all the messages that Facebook doesn’t want me to see. I, perhaps foolishly, decided to check who had tried to contact me. I discovered that I had (weeks before) been added into a group chat.
It was full of 16-year-old boys (and some girls) who were discussing what 16-year-old boys usually discuss. Sex came up (obviously) and one of the boys referred to me in a horrible way. From the statement he made it was clear that his “attraction” to me was a running joke. They discussed my YouTube video in which I spoke about my transition and they also shared pictures of me; Some from my social media and some that they’d taken when they’d been in my company. It was at this point that one of the boys decided to add me into the group chat so I could read what was being said. How charming.
Truth be told, that actually didn’t affect me too much. It happened while I was on the way to an interview and a photo-shoot with HotPress magazine so I only felt sorry for them.
I have no idea what the way forward is for boys. I really do believe that it is improving but I don’t know how to act in the meantime. I cringe when I think of the possibility of boys in my life reading this. The ones who are in my course or who I went to school with. But is it better to just accept this as my fate? I will always call out any unjust treatment that I experience because it’s in my nature to stand up for myself.
As much as I gave out in this chapter, please remember that there are exceptions to this and there are boys in my life whom I respect and appreciate. I’m sure that even the ones who I don’t interact with are good people and I’m sure that there are reasons other than their discomfort with my transition for their resistance to speak to me.
Read about my experience of being stood up here.
Watch my experience of online dating below: