Tomboys, 90’s Teenagers, Acceptance and other Ramblings

I’d like to begin this blog with a disclaimer if I may? I will probably mention gender, sex and sexuality in the following post. I apologise if I get some things wrong. Please just comment and help me to understand, if it seems like I don’t. Anyway onto the content.

Hello folks, this time I want to talk a little about the concept of the word Tomboy in UK society and the childhood I remember. For any of my overseas readers who may be unfamiliar with this term, there is every possibility that you have your own country specific word that means the same thing.

The Oxford dictionary definition of the Tomboy is as follows:
noun: tomboy; plural noun: tomboys
a girl who enjoys rough, noisy activities traditionally associated with boys.

As a child I can’t remember a lot. I mean, it’s not much at all. I remember certain aspects of it. Mainly smells. If I smell something familiar from my childhood I will instantly attach the correct memory. If I never smell something similar I doubt I would think of the memory ever again.

Sadly the thing I remember the most is guilt. That is still the same today, it is probably the emotion I have the most difficulty with. I remember things I feel guilty about from when my age was still in single digits.

I only started remembering music when I was around 10 or so? I only know I started to really sink into music when I started secondary school (High School)

The one thing I do remember though very vividly is being called a Tomboy. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I have an older brother which may have contributed to it psychologically I guess but it would only ever be a guess. I remember never really loving conventionally girly clothes. I know I liked jeans, I knew I liked comfy t.shirts. That was about all of it.

I truly believe that my biological sex was never something I ever thought about. Ever. I always preferred the company of boys, and that is something that has persisted throughout my life.

I accept completely that I, being a white CIS gender woman has granted me the privileges not given to many, and being a tomboy was never an issue in my life.

I think it also helped that I was raised in (and bear with me) a more tolerant time. I was a teenager of the 90’s. We were just learning about computers, we knew life without the internet and with it. We were still jealous of friends that had more than 5 TV channels and could order music videos on the phone to The Box music channel. It was a beautiful decade for me.

Back to the tolerant thing? Right, prepare yourself for some tea.

Many, many people would say that we are living in a time that tolerance is insisted upon and more people have the freedom to be themselves. To that I would say that yes on the face of it, it seems that it’s better than ever for people of colour, non binary people, trans people, queer and gay people, and women. (Sorry if I’ve missed any out)

I agree that as a society we have moved forward so very much from bigoted times of old, but my memory of the 90’s was that we could be anyone, and nobody batted an eyelid. We could be anyone because we didn’t have the constant barrage of images on the internet showing us what perfect should be, we could be anyone because we had close knit friendships forged in real life that embraced every aspect of us, and finally we could be anyone because we didn’t have to defend our lives to rampant internet celebrities and trolls on a daily basis.

I’m a fucked up adult. But I wasn’t a fucked up kid; and for that I will always be grateful.

I know I completely lost my thread in this post, apologies for tangents and going off them. I’m trying to cleave a point here hang on…………

Ok here’s one!

It has taken me 39 years and counting to get to a self image that I can live with in relative contentedness and I will keep working at it.
I hope that everyone who struggles with who they are can take one thing from this, and that is, live life like a 90’s teenager if you can. Turn out the internet lights if it’s fucking with your mind and self image. Be with people in the physical (Not suggesting for a second that online friends aren’t real, I have some great internet friends) but know people in the physical world where you can, and always keep trying to find your tribe.

Thanks for reading if you have got this far.
I appreciate you.



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