It was how I was raised – to be risk averse. Don’t make trouble, don’t hang out with trouble-makers/trouble venues, when trouble presents walk away.
At school, bullies tried it on. I retaliated immediately, forcefully. Immediately the teacher would appear and the bullies said I started it and I got the blame.
Next time it happened I didn’t retaliate. I waited for the bullies to do something they couldn’t wiggle out of. I waited. The bullies waited. No teacher arrived. The bullies in the end walked away. Their game was to start something then make their victim take the blame.
In my teens, in peasant Northern Ireland the street harassment from men started. You couldn’t go through a week without being harassed for simply walking down the street. When I was feeling low I thought very seriously about going out.
As a teen when I started to experiment with dressing…
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