I think that most of us pass through an extremely narcissistic phase in late puberty-early adolescence, and that effects us all very differently. Like so many boys of the Fifties and Sixties, I had quite an abusive childhood and my first recognition of myself as having a real and unique identity came via my exploding awareness of my own sexuality – and especially watching myself naked, performing in the mirror during endless episodes of my ‘sinful self pampering’ – as my mostly perverted religious carers called it: And that definitely influenced my sexual identity.
I fell in love with this beautiful, androgynous, lightly muscled – but also feminine, sylph-like boy, performing for me, and giving me so much pleasure, at a time when I was fantasising constantly about girls. And I believe that I absorbed a lot of that desire for girls into myself.
I had been incarcerated in violently authoritarian Catholic Boarding Schools from the age of 5 and only escaped at 18, so long before I lost my virginity to a girl, I had lost it to my hand, that of other boys, and to my female alter ego.
I had become both the object and the subject of own desire.
I was terrified of growing up and deeply resented having the demands of masculinity and adulthood being thrust upon me before I’d experienced any sort of childhood.
I was a very athletic 15 year old, a good boxer and I never ever took a backward step, but God, being a fearless, heteronormative guy was so exhausting!
I think that my crossdressing and bisexuality allows me to access that pre-stressful place again, where I feel so light and free to give rein to my femininity – when I was neither one thing nor the other and never fully a boy nor a girl, a child nor an adult, straight nor gay, dominant nor submissive, just someone who delights in sitting on the fence – rather being stuck in any one place in particular.