I’ve Been Called Worse

By CJ, age 13.

In middle school, one of the worst things you can be called is “basic.”

Basic is when just follow trends and don’t have your own style. You’re unoriginal, but you think you’re original.

Some people at school call me basic.

It doesn’t bother me; I’ve been called worse.

When you’re LGBTQ, you get used to being called names and other mean things.

I never thought I’d be called basic, because basic means you are too much the same as everyone else and for so long I was called things because I wasn’t like anyone else because my gender identify is male and my gender expression is female.

Being basic is new to me.

It’s kind of like if someone said you couldn’t wear black. And, then, they said you could. And, you wore black all the time because you could finally wear it. And, then, they made fun of you because they said black was boring. But, you were so excited to finally wear it. You knew you’d move on from wearing black eventually, but you were enjoying the newness of wearing black.

If you could never be basic, being basic feels fun and new.

At my elementary school, I had to edit myself. I couldn’t wear whatever I wanted because I didn’t feel safe.

I go to an art school now that is super accepting. I’m finally free to totally be myself. That means I finally feel safe to wear the clothes that my cisgender female friends have been wearing for a few years. Baby doll tees. Crop tops. High waisted cargos. Headbands.

At first, when kids at school called me basic I felt annoyed. Then I realized something.

It’s the first time in my entire life that I can be basic. It’s the first time I can follow trends. I’m just now getting to put together and wear outfits that I really truly love. I can finally look like my girl friends. I can be basic because I’m safe and accepted.

I know my style will get more original, artistic, unique, creative and weird. I just need time to catch up. I admit I’m a little behind on mainstream styles because I haven’t ever had time to give them a try. I’m just now getting started.

For so long, I stood out everywhere. I finally have a chance to be the same a little bit. Well, the same as a boy can be when he’s in all girl clothes.

To some people seeing me (a boy) dressed the way I do is anything but basic. It just goes to prove, you can’t make everyone happy all the time.

What I can do is keep on being myself, catching up on the latest mainstream trends, being creative and finding my own style again.

My mom says sometimes LGBTQ people get a late start in some things because they have to hide their true selves, true style, true feelings and true love.

She’s right, if you think about it. It doesn’t seem very fair, but that’s just the way is.

And, if the worst thing I’m ever called in middle school is basic, I’m pretty lucky.


About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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16 Responses to I’ve Been Called Worse

  1. Julie A says:

    CJ I am SOOOOOOOOO glad you are at a new school!!! I have always thought it unfair that my daughter (who identifies as female) can wear all boy clothes and look like a boy much easier than you can wear all girl clothes and look like a girl. I am super happy for you that you have found a place to feel safe being YOU!!!
    Keep up the good work sharing your story.

  2. Ed says:

    It’s so good to hear from CJ, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a post. Your looking good CJ. So proud of you. How is Mom, Dad and Chase doing? Would really enjoy hearing from you.

  3. Tara says:

    Thank you CJ for continuing to be your genuine, authentic self and sharing your journey with us. You are an amazing, intuitive and beautiful human!

  4. turtlewords says:

    I haven’t been reading the blog for awhile, but I am so glad I came back. Thank you CJ and your mom for continuing to tell stories and inspire trans people and inform allies. My wife is trans, I’m a (basic) cis-gender woman, and we’ve been together for 15 years.

  5. Richard Cadena says:

    yes it is annoying dear, but its kinda cool that your fellow students see you as non-threatening and maybe a bit of a nerd…but they accept you….

    stay yourself and i am always happy to hear about you and your families journey.


  6. Joe Casadonte says:

    Keep being you, and let the rest of the world try to keep up!

  7. Peach6972 says:

    You look gr8🌻😍

  8. Bennett says:

    Thank you for writing about this, CJ. My thought is, “Basic / Fabulous, Fabulous / Basic: it’s all drag of one sort or another.” Sometimes we dress for show. Sometimes we dress for our own comfort. Frankly, I don’t see the point of commenting on someone’s clothes that are not worn for show at a public event. That’s not fashion assessment; that’s petty…… or put another way… THAT is being basic.

    I am so glad to be able to read your writing. I am inspired by the accounts of your life. Thanks, again.

    Bennett / Sister Unity

  9. Kellie says:

    I loved the example of wearing black, great post ❤️

  10. Kathleen says:

    I would love this if I could. Have fun being basic!!!

  11. Carol says:

    I think you are wise beyond your years. I love the photos. You look amazing to me. 🙂

  12. Nancy says:

    Sounds fabulous. Who knew being basic would be so exciting! Your outlook reflects your increasing maturity. The best thing now (in my opinion!) is that you can relax a bit and enjoy yourself more without having to worry about what people are thinking. Basic sounds pretty cool right now! Enjoy!

  13. Lisa says:


  14. Barbie says:

    I love you and while you may be dressing “basic” right now, you will NEVER be basic.

  15. Tracey McGee says:

    Thank you, CJ, for sharing your perspective! I loved reading it.

  16. Dawn Briscoe says:

    What a wise way to look at this – and what a beautiful way to look at “basic”! You are amazing!

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