birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Child, Girl/Boy, Woman

Until I started first grade as a little girl, I preferred to not wear shirts on warm days. Apparently, it was fine with my family, too. I can remember being told, "Susie, put a shirt on," only if we were actually going somewhere- like in a car.

Later, I much preferred boy's styled shoes over those sold for girls. I've never owned a pair of high heels nor worn make up. Ball caps have been a part of my wardrobe since I can remember- and I'm 63 now.

I wore my hair long until I got it all cut off during 7th grade. Then, I started getting a regular boys' haircut at Juan Guiterrez's barbershop in San Antonio. I think you get the picture of "my image" as a teen. But yet...

I grew my hair long during my Junior and Senior year of high school and had my first boyfriend. My boyfriend and I talked a great deal and I can remember telling him that I felt more like a "person" than a girl. He told me that he saw me much more as a girl than just a person. He was my first love.

But, back before then, back when I was 8 years old or so, a girl across the street and I experimented with touching one another. Mostly, I was encouraged to watch her be sexual. She loved to dance and strip her clothes off in front of me. I enjoyed the way it made me feel. She liked me to touch her body. We kept it a secret. Until, one of my sisters found out and said she would "tell on me unless we stopped."

During college and in the years after, I was very close with women, but not in sexual ways. I stuck to men for that. I sometimes wonder if I was a young woman in today's times I would have experimented more with bisexuality? I'm glad to know that people have more opportunities now to allow themselves that freedom to explore.


I'll Stay on my Team