My Life as a Boy — Preface


Relaxing as myself on summer vacation -- the rest of the year was spent as a boy.
Relaxing as myself — LeslieAnn — on summer vacation — the rest of the year was spent as a boy.

I didn’t like life as a boy; oh, sure, you got all the rights and privileges and perks of being a boy in a man’s world, but I had to constantly hide my gender. I bound my breasts down, wore socks to make a bulge and luckily or unluckily, my voice was naturally deep, like a 60 year old cigarette smoker — like, really deep.

My girlfriends used to make fun of my voice, and even though I could sing high harmonies in a perfectly fine soprano voice — and I can still hit the high notes today — I couldn’t make myself speak comfortably in a high squeaky voice, and I never did.

I can still feel the hot metal of that car, but I sat there because that was where Uncle Bill wanted me to sit.
I can still feel the hot metal of that car, but I sat there because that was where Uncle Bill wanted me to sit.

I know a lot about genetics, but I’m always amazed to see family resemblances — this shot,. above, looks exactly like two of my daughters. Oh, yes, I’ve got the stretch marks and the aggravation to prove that I’m their mother, all right, and when they heard my deep baritone voice purring, “you better cut it out or I’m coming up there to give you what-for”, they settled down fast.

I never hit my kids or raised my voice to them, but I was almost tempted, plenty of times. My deep voice helped in raising kids, but it’s been ever so much more useful than that — I’ve always used my naturally deep voice to make my comedy work.

When I dress as a man, nobody pays attention to my voice, nobody notices anything wrong, although a fairly careless examination would reveal that I am plainly female, in spite of the horribly itchy and uncomfortable “bald wig” I wear onstage as Gorebagg. You can see the absence of bulge and the taped down DD bosom behind the shadowshow, or that is to say, you can’t see it, because I always wear black as a male.

I have always worn black as a male, to make it easier to hide the big breasts. There’s not a single girlfriend of mine that hasn’t asked me a dozen times how they can get the cleavage, and I keep telling them the total truth, that there is no secret, that’s the way they are.

I like the Victor-Victoria approach to comedy, and so I appear as myself, telling my stories as a woman, with the deep mellow baritone voice of a man; I’ve been told by several comedians that I am a Freak of Nature, and I welcome the opportunity to exploit it onstage in a comedy setting.

This is me just a few days ago, at the age of 73, still active in comedy and theater, with my friend Amy
This is me, on the left, just a few days ago, at the age of 73, still active in comedy and theater, with my friend Amy, on right.

So, having lived in two camps, both the male and female camps, and having seen and heard many strange things throughout this exotically woven timespace, I plan to let loose on many, if not all, of those ordinarily impenetrable secrets between the sexes. I no longer hide my boobs to get past the glass ceiling, but that’s because I KNOW THE SECRET.

There’s a lot more to being a boy than you’d guess, especially if you live among them. They tend to be pretty chummy and familiar and rough and playful — we’ll talk about ass-grabbing football players in a later chapter — and sometimes they get over-abundantly aggressive and downright mean. There’s a lot of body contact I had to skillfully avoid, and I did.

I’ve never been in danger from male aggression, because I soon developed the Ultimate Weapon Against Brutality — Humor.

Oh, I can’t say it always works. I avoid contact with rage-filled gorillas, and hope you can do the same. You learn to see two or three blocks ahead, and where there’s trouble or distrubances, you go the other way.

Of course, if you’re hungry for sex or companionship, or you’re lonely and fear-driven and you’re sitting in the bottom of the self-esteem well, I guess you’ll settle for anything, even a raging bull in a china shop, which describes most domestic scenes, and you might wander into a dangerous scene now and then just for the sake of excitement, curiosity and in the throes of boredom.

For most women, it’s the household — it’s all a matter of keeping the peace and making everything harmonious and easy for the man of the house, the king of the castle, to have his comfy chair and his smoke and his favorite ballgame or downloaded porn.

It’s all about attracting and pleasing and keeping men.

That’s what girls learn first and foremost, because they’re not allowed to have their own lives. I know, there are exceptions. But the fact is that those exceptions fought tool & nail to get past the male domination. A woman is always on display.

Men are totally threatened by competent and artistic women, even more so by liberated women with talent. Scares the hell out of them to have a beast of burden show intelligence and wit and wisdom.

An independent woman who agrees with Gloria Steinem that “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” throws them off-balance.

Raw facts invariably threaten to destroy any prejudice, and men will do anything to protect their prejudice. Um, pre-judice, meaning “to decide without evidence, before knowing anything about it, and ignoring any solid and irrefutable evidence to the contrary”.