The true story of a 15 year old girl named Daphne who was put in a mental institution for delinquent behavior. It's like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, only this story is real. Daphne was diagnosed with gender identity disorder just because she was a tomboy.
A good book showing how sane people get locked up, while real violent people are free. And the doctors that are supposed to help the patients just label them and don't believe their honesty or take them seriously. But the patients can easily fake diagnoses and the doctors believe that. Sad.
Her father was violent and messed up mentally due to traumatic experiences in the Vietnam War. Her mother never loved him and resented her life as a mother to kids she got stuck with. So Daphne grew up without love and attention.
Daphne had to be tough in her environment, because otherwise she'd crumble. She made herself tough to survive. It's a natural response. When depressing things happen in your life, what's your response? You gonna curl up in depression and defeat? Or are you gonna stand tall and strong and fight whatever's coming?
Daphne didn't want to be a boy, just liked doing boy things (rough play, clothing, dream careers). "I wanted to be free to run" (30). She doesn't like looking girly because it makes her look like a dork (110) or an idiot (124). Obviously when you have a low opinion of how girls look, you're not going to want to look like one.
There are hints that Daphne might be intersex. She said she had a mustache and hairs on her chin (182) and didn't have rounded hips (123).
She says several times in the book that so-and-so boy is cute. Later she says she likes girls and got a tingle in her stomach while roller skating with them. And in adulthood she claims to be a lesbian.
Makes perfect sense why she wouldn't wanna get close to any men when so many men have sexually abused her. On p. 199, she describes a painting she did of herself looking out the window at Michael Reese, dressed in a "hospital gown with 3 ties in the back and a snap at the top. Fred the lech hasn't yet snuck into my room and rubbed his hands over my body while i'm tied in restraints, but he will. . . . Often i have to think hard to find a title for a drawing but not this time. The name just came to me. I wrote across the bottom: the last time i wore a dress." Guys abuse her for the simple fact that she is a woman. It's not even that she's an attractive woman. Just that she's a woman. Why would she wanna dress like a woman when clearly being a woman has brought her nothing but abuse? I don't blame her for not trusting men, and not wanting to look like a woman. I think if she grew up in a more loving home, she would've been a completely different person. Probably straight and at least a little more feminine. Her personality is almost completely a product of her upbringing.