As a young girl I was often called a “Tomboi” but I never thought much about it. It was just who I was and I knew that it meant that I acted and dressed like a boy – and of course did boy activities. Although there were times I tried to do boy activities and I was told over and over again that I couldn’t or was restricted in some way. This often confused and frustrated me. But I was often a quiet child and just wouldn’t ask questions.
I was also influenced by my empowered divorced mother and her friend. Two single moms raising a bunch of kids – the girls often got talks about how not to have sex with men under certain circumstances and so on. I took all they said in but had questions as time went on that no one could answer. I was also empowered by other women in my life including some of my caretakers (my mother was often absent) and some women I was mentored by at the Girls Club.
I remember the one that was a sports teacher – at the Girls Club. She was strong and she dressed like a boy. She was a tomboy like me, I noticed her… she noticed I was different. I seen it in her eyes when she tried to help me with sports. She showed me how to hold the bowling ball, hold the baseball bat, wear a glove, kick the ball really hard, dribble the balls, bounce on the trampoline, and generally have fun playing sports. She made it more comfortable for me. She was so smart, nice, and she seemed to care about me. Many of the women recognized that I was a troubled youth at the Girls Club and that I had zero parent involvement and was often alone. So in the evenings after school she would have various sports activities. I hated sports but loved her classes…. of course many of you are smiling right now because you realize she was my first crush. Well the Girls Club was a local building just 3 blocks away from home and I knew what time her last class was. I often had no supervision as a child and was often alone. I watched from across the street as she left the building through the door that all the teachers left out of…. she walked. She had no car but she was walking in the opposite direction of my home. I began to follow a half block away, I was curious where she lived or what her car looked like. I followed her on those familiar city streets of Wilmington, Delaware for about 10 blocks. She approached her house, began searching her backpack for her keys and another woman opened the door. She smiled, they kissed, and she closed the door.
That was a simple glimpse of her, I was always in a state of wonderment around her and then one day she never came back to the Girls Club and I never seen her again.
That was then… I was about 9yrs old, maybe 10. It didn’t occur to me that she might be a lesbian, even though I seen her kiss that woman in the doorway. I simply felt that it was normal – even though I suspected it wasn’t. But how could I even tell her I followed her or explain why I wanted to talk to her more. Then I was simply a boi, I had no idea what to say to her or how to even hint that I wanted to talk to her more.
7 years ago, I approached my now wife with confidence. Where did I get that? My time with men taught me one thing, most of them were just too insecure to approach me. So I learned to approach the quiet nerdy guys in the corner, they were softer, sweeter, and less creepy. So I practiced with the nerdy guys and I was successful in most cases. Then I went to the gay bar and I would flirt with and approach the transwomen, drag queens, and super femmy gay guys and often I was successful. But in both cases I was rarely satisfied. Then one day I just couldn’t stop watching this girl. Curves, large breasts, fag hag, smiling, tipsy, and just plain fun. I watched her, night after night…. I was in an open relationship with my husband and he encouraged me to pursue her. I did. I was successful again but this time I walked away satisfied…. it worried me but I had to do that again. Time passed and so did many girls, couples, and gender benders of all sorts. My world opened as I discovered that it was mostly just Confidence, Competence, and Charisma. I built them over the years.
7 years ago I talked to my wife in the smoking court at a spiritual holiday celebration – she seemed happy I was talking to her. We shared intimate talks near the wood stove and I was again successful. I was so happy I had that skill – to help someone feel comfortable and no matter how nervous I am beneath my skin I appeared confident. I was so nervous. She was a lesbian, but I had to have her. She was a butch, but I had to have her. My gut knew she would lead me to change, but I had to have her. Hours and hours was our first time and each time it was like something was changing inside me. Something was awakening – the tomboi had grown up. Now as the hidden butch inside me began to emerge my wife revealed her hidden femme. She told me she had to be butch to get lesbians to pay attention to her… interesting perspective. We had this part of us that was so good for each other. I honored her femme and she honored my butch. Roses, music, and tons of kisses were tools for showing her the romantic butch. The first time we took down a tent together she was impressed at my ability to do it better than she did. I knew my way around a campsite and I was an amazing camper. She hypnotized me with the swing of her hips in a skirt, the way she curled up in my arms – it made me feel so strong – and her sweet smiles each time I was romantic. We fell deeply in love in that forest and today it is the best thing we took from that forest. I left my husband and we both left some unhealthy situations and now we have found health and happiness in each other.
Today I am all grown up, no longer that tomboy secretly following behind my first crush. Today…. I can approach with confidence, competence, and charisma. I no longer try to be a boi, instead I try to be me. I no longer struggle with sports, they just aren’t for me… well maybe skateboarding. I instead found my place in the outdoors and gardening – and I love who I am. I love romantic music – even country – and I love to do romantic sentiments for my wife. I even got down on my knee and asked her to marry me when its legal, and yes I gave her a ring…. and of course she said yes.
I think many of us can remember our tomboi days and I am sure many of us are grateful for the growing up we have done and will continue to do.