So when I was a kid about 6 years old my parents sent me to camp in St. Martin, another island north of Guadeloupe. It was carnival time and everyone dressed up. My fearless camp leader, a woman friend of the family, decided to dress me up as a little girl and may I say that I made a great little girl.

She decided then to parade me on front of all the people around the neighborhood showing off my pretty dress, earrings and make up. The disguise was so convincing that no one believe I was a boy so in order to prove that I was one she would just drop my skirt down and show them my little penis as proof of my gender.

So, fast forward to last year. I created a painting that would hint at this event. Here it is:

Image

I was asked to explain it during critique and when I did. I saw the horrified look on people’s face. I think someone said that it must have been horrible.

The truth is that I really don’t know. When I think back, I remember that I was mildly annoyed but only because I just wanted to go play with my friends and not be paraded around however when I think about it with an adult mind I guess I am horrified which brings me to this point. What defines an actions or feeling, your state of mind then or your judgement looking back. And it makes me wonder about people coming out as adult that seems to be in agony and pain about their past. I wonder if they were in such agony as a child when all this was happening or if most of the psychological trauma comes as an adult looking back at the past and evaluating it with an adult mind.

I hope it’s clear that it is not my intention to belittle people feelings or to make light of child abuse. I’m just raising a question, throwing it out there and see what comes back.

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