I’ve been a tomboy since I was 3. I started at playgroup at that age and made friends mainly with boys. I decided that I hated pink and red, began wearing exclusively boy’s clothes (including underwear/swimwear), and had a short haircut. My mum is a tomboy and totally got it so always let me do whatever made me comfortable, which I am incredibly thankful for. It wasn’t fostered in me by her though, I have two older sisters who are both practical people but were very much more girly girls growing up. I wore a suit to my Uncle’s wedding when I was about 6. I vividly remember picking it out and being very proud of my waistcoat.
Throughout primary school I continued living to all extents and purposes as a boy. Until year 6 when my sister told me I should grow my hair so I didn’t get bullied in secondary school (something that had never been a problem for me, but had for her) so I wore my hair in bunchies after that.
Secondary school was a strange transition. I was still the same as ever but as puberty began to kick in it was no longer possible to fit in seamlessly as a boy, and nor did I find myself wanting to so much. I fostered closer friendships with girls and drifted gradually away from the group of boys I had been friends with since Reception. I began to wear skirts and to experiment with make-up.
Now as a 24 year old woman, I have reached a comfortable middle ground. I have gradually found what makes me comfortable and happy during my time travelling, studying and working. I now work in tech with a physics degree under my belt – not the standard female route but it’s nice to bring some variety into the sector! These days I rarely wear skirts or dresses as I find myself less comfortable in them – I don’t feel like myself in a dress. I wear make-up a few times a year for a special occasion, and I never wear high heels because I don’t see the point in being uncomfortable. Usually I just wear jeans and a jumper. Being more boyish has not held me back from finding partners – my longest relationship was 4 years. I am certainly not mainstream and to everybody’s taste – and nor would I want to be!