Queer theory informs my politics and journalism – and made me understand Robert, my childhood alter ego”You were very particular about growing your hair and wearing trousers, and we certainly had to call you Robert.” This is how my father remembers the four or so years of my childhood I spent as a boy. It was prompted, my parents think, by a local farmer’s son called Robert, who I was drawn to as a child.I remember a photograph from this period, of me standing next to my older sister. She is wearing a pretty dress, and an alice band; a toothy grin lights up her face. I have on the most gorgeous deep blue velvet trouser suit, a white frill-collared shirt, and a terribly serious expression. One of my proudest moments, I am told, is when on a family outing to the theatre I am mistaken for a “young man”.What was this about? I dismissed it, later, as a rather embarrassing phase, best forgotten or else laughed away, to do with being a tomboy, whatever that meant. Others had imaginary friends, or teddies with personalities. I had Robert. I was Robert.Then at university I came across a clutch of books, …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books