Mini skirts and biker boots, sharp flat top bleached to white, close fit black Basque, lace and leather – passé now but this was way before Madonna flirted with the S/M gender fuck ideas and confessed to snogging Sandra Bernhard just for the publicity.
I knew fuck-all about history, fashion, pop, art or being queer. Dressing up and being gobby was all, the first time I had any real sense of being looked at because of what I wore.
The power of teenage tits and style had passed me by, awkward fashion sense a blessing some may say, but hey I had my own struggles going on. You ain’t supposed to properly fancy yer mate, yeah of course we say we love each other, besties and everything, even that practising kissing thing that made me blush with shame and ache in places I couldn’t even name.
Well I caught up 10 years later, now I’m right there, bleach bottle in hand, buzz of clippers round my ears and who ever thought of the fucking Basque? Was it me, some alter ego struggling to get out? Of course it was me, dressing up, relearning the scary joy of the power to turn heads!
Then the agony of are you a boy or a girl shifts, we’re way before Trans here, and way too rural!
A slightly thrilled (who knows why?) recognition that yeah the guy in the skin tight jeans with the scrubbed crotch and the slightly too colourful shirt really was trying to catch my eye. His turn to blush as I turn the corner in the Ikea lighting department and he realises I’ve got tits and a girlfriend. We both smile, friendly, not an ‘I’m gonna kick shit out of you’ look you get from some straight men if you happen to be outside the wrong pub at the wrong time.
In the 90’s I used to wear a T-shirt with ‘look no bollocks’ and an arrow pointing to my crotch printed on it, ahh radical days! Has it all changed now? Is it easier these days to move through gender and time? I still struggled just for a second, when I heard ‘sorry love, I thought you were a bloke’, sometimes if I was feeling strong I could manage a quick response, ‘that’s OK sonny, so did I for a while, but actually I’m a Dyke!”
JJ 08, 49, Brighton