My mother just sent me some drawings I did when I was 7, on the ship that brought our family to Australia in 1969. She reminded me of the exhibition they held of the children's drawings, and she thought mine had not been included, until she discovered the special room that had been dedicated to my artworks. I took it for granted, other children seemed very dull to me, and wasn't surprised that the art teachers had been so impressed with my productivity and artistic skill that they dedicated a special room to my artworks. "That's when I knew I had a genius on my hands", she told me today, when we talked by phone. Well, you kept that a secret for forty years, I thought, and remembered the battles between my parents and me, with them insisting on my obeying them, and me not seeing any reason to, for most of what they wanted from me seemed extremely uninteresting. And if they knew I was artistically talented, why did they periodically destroy my comic book collections? If they appreciated my intellect or talent, why did they abuse me for wanting to stay in my room writing and reading and drawing? It seemed they did everything to steer me away from my sensitive artistic nature, for fear that I would otherwise be more effeminate or gay. My parents were so scared of having a homosexual child that they put real efforts into opposing my nature, depriving me of affection for fear i was too sooky, refusing to compliment my intellectual achievements for fear this would give me a "big head", leaving me to think that in their eyes I was unwanted and useless.
But it's a package deal isn't it. The same people that passed on their emotional deficiencies to me also passed on the genes that made me such a clever clogs. If only they had risen above their homophobia and been accepting and supportive of my nature when I was a very young vulnerable child... But then I may not have had such a raging fire in my belly against discrimination based on sex or sexuality or gender expression, and a raging fire against stupid and unjustifed authoritarianism, nor be in a position to challenge the legal sex binary. I may have just been a well adjusted queen with a loving husband and a florist shop. But, as Judge Judy says, "If I would have had different parents, I would be six foot tall." The world needs people of varying heights, and it was my turn to be me, with all the antisocial quirks that also make me socially influential ;)