Faking it has never not been an option. Ever since the Anno Domini years took over and Jesus amalgamated his group of merry disciples in dresses with capes, man has faked it. The BC years proved a hairy, training-wheeled mess with unfocused ideas on sexuality and gender roles, so let's…not. To be Crystal-Carrington-clear, by "faking it," I imply owning the characteristics of a woman, for dressing in drag and walking on water naturally fall into place. That place is homosexuality. Gay men simply play women better than women do themselves. Ask Shakespeare. William Shakespeare refused to cast women in his plays not because they dallied in subordinate Elizabethan statuses as historians would lie to you; he cast gay men as women because they exude melodrama, harbor the male dominance gene to control the world and possess an uncanny knack for mixing beauty and bawdy, and screwing a male co-star behind the velvet curtain beats doing it with a woman any time. You know, I'm convinced Queen Elizabeth was a gingered tranny herself. No children, no husband: no uterus. Behind every great woman is a great (homosexual) man, and behind that man is a top.
I absolutely am not professing that I yearn to be a woman. Womanship lingers as hardship, a completely tedious lifestyle, and I simply covet silly escapism and a wider range of couture options, which is precisely what I told Mrs. Roman, my Kindergarten teacher, the first week of my elementary education. "Mrs. Roman, you seem like a fairly open-minded gal (perhaps a little naïve), so I have no hesitation being frank with you about my Kindergarten objectives: learn how to spell my name, monopolize the sandbox, and control the playhouse in the corner of the classroom," I relented. This proclamation befuddled her. While she said she completely understood my desire to spell and retain control over the newly budgeted in-doors sandbox, she asserted that the playhouse was a communal effort to explore household living with my peers and learn how to work together in a sustainable manner. A fear that Mrs. Roman wore dim-wittedness on her shoulder-padded sleeve arose, as I explained: "Okay, let's break this down into simpler constructs for you. This is not The Oregon Trail. Do you see that pink dress with ruffles hanging in the playhouse? The one that obviously belongs to the matron, or boss if you will, of the area? Well, that's going to be my dress. No one else is allowed to wear it during playtime."
The playhouse shined in the corner of the classroom, a beacon of home economics pouring over a quarter of the space. I marveled at the sheen of sweat stains from the overweight fathers who spent the week before school dumbly nailing by numbers, and the resulting patchwork of plywood, cake-battered caulk, façade-puncturing screws and a spray-painted attempt at brick trompe l'oeil would invite even the most distinguished homeless family. "Reaganomics at his best," I beamed.
My delight dwindled as Ashley Leigh walked out of the playhouse. We'd met several hours before in the cafeteriauditorium and immediately had our own Dirty Harry moment. We loathed each other instantly. Much like the playhouse, she resembled a ramshackled sack filled with caulk, extremely-gingered, kinky-curly hair and appeared covered in her father's sweat. She asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I asked if those were freckles on her pug-face or the dried smatterings of her mother's blood from a blow by her father.
After post-nap snacks, Mrs. Roman allowed groups of students to play where they wished. Kelly, Taylor and Donna huddled over their desks to color between the lines; Andrea, Brandon and Dylan hurtled to the sandbox so that Andrea could overwhelm them with her digging expertise; and Ashley, I and a few others darted to the play shed to set up house. Now, I was not so sure what Ashley's intentions were prior to playtime, but I sensed both a strong odor of Swedish fish and pink-ruffled desires pulsing through her cavernous, speckled pores. When Mrs. Roman said "go," we shot into the air. I kicked Andrea in the shin and slammed her head into the sand. Ashley pistol-whipped a kid named Marcellus with her belt buckle before landing inside the domestic microcosm and snagging the pink dress off the brass hook. The rest of the inventory included a blue polka-dotted dress, a clip-on tie, Osk-Kosh overalls, an assortment of wilted, too-large baseball hats, and brown corduroy slacks. Every flame within me wanted to bash her head against a protruding wall screw, but I had to act quickly and secure the polka-dot duds before another little whore stole the remaining women's-wear look.
"You are so transparent and desperate, taking off your belt before we even get to play. Did your mother do the same thing with your mailman? Is that why your father beats her?" I demanded. As I pondered the "kids are cruel" statements from Vacation Bible School and Mr. Roger's neighbors, Ashley retorted: "You may look and act like a girl, but you are a boy. Your name is Chad. You are blue, and I am pink. You should be playing with boy things. What's wrong with you? This dress is mine to wear…no freaks of nature are allowed in it."
Admittedly, I struggled to regain my composure and flick of the tongue after that one. I was hurt.
Mrs. Roman hurried over to assess the commotion, interrogating each pupil. As if it was not obvious, some little twat cock-blocked Chad Dooley's right to don a pink, frilly dress and serve as master of ceremonies to the playhouse, his stage. When our fair teacher circled around to me, I answered as succinctly as any five-year-old boy in my situation would. "She tucks her sweater into her jeans!" How on earth could a creature that tragic appreciate, no, work the significance of a fuchsia frock? Mrs. Roman ultimately sympathized but asserted that the clothes did not belong to any one student. We must all share, and the first to grab the outfit would be the first to wear it that day, and if her students failed to act with some modicum of decorum, she would confiscate the sartorial sundries. She later pulled me aside to stress that she supported my wearing of the garment before declaring that "the urge" to wear girl's clothes would eventually dissipate and activities like football and masturbation would seize precedence. Football never came, but for the rest of the year, I fought every day for the right to wear what I wanted.
About a week after that initial clothing kerfuffle and subsequent détente, Mrs. Roman's husband visited our classroom for whatever reason. I really did not care. He walked in, looking like an extra from a Boy George video, and I knew. Behind every great woman…
And behind this fluted, pink uniform was me: a deserving, healthy boy turning into a great, blooming bottom.