connrrr This reminds me of one specific incident from around the same age. I needed some new shorts and convinced my mother to let me pick something. Up to that point she had just done the clothes shopping by default but I was starting to become more self conscious than ever about the fact that her choices never seemed to meet the expectations of my peers as to what was cool or even acceptable. Well, I found a pair I immediately liked in a surf store. They were relatively short, but not unusually so (I thought), some sort of nylon activewear material, in a beautiful rich purple-maroon sort of colour. Emblazoned on the bottom of one leg in black was the Mossimo logo, which I felt ticked the boxes of both being a respectable brand, and an aesthetically pleasing minimal logo I could live with.
I loved my shorts. I felt good wearing them. I actually looked forward to my peers seeing me in these shorts! Of course that was naive. The first and final time I wore them around the guys from school was devastating. Apparently I was wearing “girls’ shorts” and there was much literal pointing and laughing.
I continued to wear them to my extracurricular drama classes. I was the only ‘guy’ there.
A quick note about my high school for clarity: it was a single-sex boys school, one of the oldest and most prestigious where I live. Obviously very expensive, but I was there on a full scholarship. From my first days there, I was targeted as different. Some of that was along class lines, but of course the big problem was I was nerdy, “effeminate”, and the label that stuck was “f***ot”, which I heard often over the following years, not infrequently accompanied by physical violence. I never finished high school.
You know it’s been a long time since I gave any of this much thought and now that I type it out I think it may have been more traumatic than I gave it credit for lol