Of course, I’ve tried to fit in, especially as a kid, but it never really fit me. I felt it even then. I detested the boys’ brainless attempts to show off power; to man up or toughen up or whatever, which mainly consisted of being cruel, boorish and vulgar. I always found their attempts pathetically transparent. However, sometimes I’d take the simple, down-to-earth (however testosterone-charged) workings of the boys than the equally mindless, however different power games of the girls. Boys can be nasty, but girls can be even worse, because it’s psychological warfare on a whole different level; much more subtle and harder to detect or report and can become physical as well. Girls can taunt with a saccharine smile and back-handed compliment and hit harder and deeper than a boy’s evil leer and angry fist shoving one’s shoulder. However, I shall not compare myself, since I’ve not been physically bullied by boys to the extreme extent I know others have. And boys can lead a fair game of psychological warfare as well; I know that from personal experiences. I soon learned how frightened and ignorant many kids were, especially bullies whether they were boys or girls. Some didn’t come from very supportive homes, some weren’t good at school, but most were just confused and clung to systems of rather shallow values on which they judged everybody else: sports, clothes, appearance, heteronormativity etc.. I was confused, too, (hell, it’s called growing up) but I didn’t channel it through cruelty or any of that other stuff. Sure, I guess I tried out various attitudes to see how well they fared, but mostly I was just the passive observer who couldn’t even hurt a fly and not even that conscious of my appearance. So I was somewhat surprised to find myself in the center of random attacks from bullies which were either total strangers (kids younger than me..!) or my very own classmates which had no cause of reason other than a bad day, pathetic jealousy and the need of a scapegoat. Projection at its most random and hurtful, I guess (and I only first learned about defense mechanisms in high school..). Pity me not.