This is written for meesasometimes's prompt, on the December Days meme. If you feel like it, you can prompt me too, here.
She prompted with "glitter". It turned into a story about not having a place. And also plenty of glitter/ Images aren't by me, linking back to where they came from.
I loved shiny things as early as maybe a year and a half old. I'd announce them happily ("shiny!"), as I do these days too, actually. I remember lying in the back seat of the car, looking for glittery passing lights through the windows, following them through the windows and all the way to the wide back window. All lights were perhaps shiny – had to find out whether my mom considered them fit to be called shiny in the yay sort of way. But lights that blinked, or were colorful, or best – both! were the jackpot.
I loved glittery candy wrappers, theoretically collected them, though I didn't so much actually save or arrange them, just tended to them with care, tried not to rip them while straightening them out. I vaguely remember my mother discouraging me from keeping them right after encouraging me to do all the other stuff. We were living with her parents, she'd left my father, perhaps there wasn't much room to keep things. My grandfather sometimes gave everyone individually wrapped chocolate cubes, sometimes with animals on the extremely shiny wrappers. The chocolate was good, but the shiny... some of the colors were even unusual, some were pink!
When I was maybe 13-14, I had a dream in which I was walking through some back alley with a group of people, people like me. It was late, 02:30-03:00 at night. It was filthy, the road was wet, puddles of rain that the filth of the road melted into a bit, coloring it dark. There were backdoor metal steps, it was an area of bars and clubs. They were backdoor places, places for people who didn't fit in. Like us .
The bars had signs, lit up and colorful, and they all reflected beautifully in the puddles of soot and filth where we walked. Freddie Mercury was there, and just a group of wonderfully unusual people. And I was part it, celebrated.
It was about six years before I found anyone who understood what I was talking about, when I dared to explain my gender.
So, for years, I loved this thing, this vibe. It was strong in Ziggy Stardust. It smelled of dark allies and people wearing glitter, and illicit identities where I could find people to belong with, perhaps. It was somewhat Rocky Horror, it was in the way Steven Tyler was sexual, that wasn't the normative way, but I couldn't explain why.
When I was 18, I discovered it was something known. I wasn’t just my imagination, not meaningful just to me. It was called Glam Rock.
For years, I found a home and adventures in Rocky Horror. I wore so much glitter, on stage and off. Made myself clothes, cause there wasn't anything to buy, and the very few things available were expensive, and made for thin girls.
I dressed my guy friends in my clothes and told them they were awesome the way they were, and that if anyone said otherwise I’d kick their asses.
Don't have that sort of black and white certainty about things these days, anymore.
Nail polish was a way for me to express my guy side. Putting together shelves and stuff was a feminist woman side thing, nail polish was a guy side thing. When I was feeling exposed and vulnerable, when it was hard to make myself leave the house, I put on nail polish, as a sort of ritual shield.
I wanted colorful nail polish, but it was hard to find, to get, to allow myself to have, too. When I was 17, I took a trip to visit my dad. I'd been trying very hard to get along with my dad, for years, and would return from each visit more broken up. This time, I was trying to protect myself more than before. Promised myself I'd just get a room at some motel if I had to, not stay with him. Also, a short while before I left, I extended my trip to San Francisco, I realized I *could*, there I was "allowed" to take something like that for myself. That trip ended with not talking to my dad for about seven years. I was incredibly relieved, though for years I waited for the other shoe to drop, waited to feel horrible about it.
I traveled alone. Met people there – a darling gay couple I hung out with for most of the trip. A lovely bi guy who gave me his sweater cause I had no idea San Francisco was going to be that cold. I met my first drag queens in person. I went to a gay bar and got hit on. I got lost somewhere there, hard evening and unknown streets, and happened to get to a drugstore that had a huge huge range of nail polish colors, in prices I could afford. I bought maybe tens of them. Still have them.
Years later I got my sister to play with me, and made up names for them – Lothlorien, Monarchy, Naked on Your Chain, Filthy Sheets, Clockwork Orange perhaps came later. There was a banana popsicle colored one, a metallic forest green, several liquid glitter silvers...
Pretty much right up to the Winchesters, my ideal man, and mostly, the only men I would date, were glittery men. And in every fandom, my biggest kink was cross dressing, always. With Winchesters, I don't mind it, but it's not my thing. It's a bit weird to lose a kink like that.
Glitter is still an identity and a signifier to me, of gender, and to some degree, a-normative sexuality and mostly kinks. It's often a way to find other people like me, too.
[ETA: PSA: reminding you that LJ is annoying these days, copy replies before posting, in case LJ forgets what they were along the way]