When I grew up in the seventies and eighties in the north of England, transgender wasn’t a thing. Men were men, and women were women. Heteronormativity was king. In fact it wasn’t just king, it was everything. It didn’t even need a name back then.
Where I grew up, nobody was gay. Faggots, puffters, bum-boys, up-hill gardeners, queers, trannies, gender-benders, dykes, lesbos and their ilk would not have been welcome or tolerated.
These things were shameful. Unacceptable. Wrong. Unnatural.
I’d seen cross dressing on the TV. I’d seen “that perverted faggot” Danny La Rue. I’d seen Kenny Everett’s ‘hilarious’ bearded lady ‘Cupid Stunt’. Being a ‘tranny’ was not a good thing. It was not something I wanted to be. It was something to hide and deny. I lived in fear. I was afraid. I was scared to be a tranny. Society had instilled in me a deep-rooted, intense internalised transphobia.