Another issue of the online magazine I published in the early 1990s
“Where Dreams are the stuff Reality is made of”
DECLARATION OF PURPOSE
“This journal exists to promote the concept that each human is a unique individual, intrinsically entitled with an equal right to pursue her own destiny as far as it does not inhibit others in that same right. The Subversive shall serve as a ready forum for the free expression and exchange of ideas that do not violate this mandate, in the belief that tolerance grows from a familiarity with variety.”
Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor
HOW TO GET THE SUBVERSIVE:
The Subversive is available FREE as a download on America Online,Compuserve, Genie, several servers on the Internet, and various BBS around the world.
For those who wish to Subscribe, contribute articles, stories, personal experiences, information, jokes, or whatever Email email@example.com or write to:
Melanie Anne Phillips
150 East Olive Avenue
Burbank, California 91502
Only original material will be accepted unless quoted in the context of an original work or submitted with credit to the original author along with permission to reprint the material.
Submission of original material for publication in The Subversive constitutes a NON-EXCLUSIVE license to Melanie Anne Phillips by the author/copyright holder to reproduce all or part of the material in any media.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free specific license for your purpose.
by Melanie Anne Phillips, Editor
This is the season of hope. Yet, as we all know, hope is often tempered with fear. Speculations can run wild as we contemplate the future. We might accept a terrible situation because we hope it will lead to a better one in the future. Or, we might turn down a real opportunity because we fear it will cost us what we already have.
Problems arise when we look at hopes and fears as certainties, for they are anything but that. Our projections into the future are merely indicators of the direction of things, if the present course remains.
Dickens understood that in A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge is shown that his bleak future is but a shadow of what MAY happen if he does not change. The key here is that hope and fear show us where we are headed, not where we have to end up. In this way, they can guide us to better choices in the here and now.
It is only when we assume that these “shadows” MUST come to pass that we make poor decisions for the present.
I penned a phrase the other day that sums this up nicely:
“Never count on Inertia,
Never depend on Change.”
Things seldom turn out as well as we hope nor as bad as we fear, because we CAN take action to alter our course. As we approach this season of hope, we might (like Scrooge) better appreciate what we have by comparing it to what might have been. In this spirit, I offer a reprinting of a short book published by my writing partner, Chris Huntley, and myself in 1983, when the future looked a lot darker than it turned out to be.
THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
by Chris Huntley & Melanie Anne Phillips
‘Twas the Day After Christmas
And all through the house,
Not a creature was living,
Not even a mouse.
The Children were hung
By the chimney with care,
To spare them the horrors
Their parents would bear.
The day before Christmas
The warning had come:
The bombers were airborne,
The WAR had begun.
Our Christmas eve dinner
Was silent with dread,
While Visions of A-bombs
Danced in our heads.
We toasted, “The End”
with a potent nightcap,
While the world settled down
For its long, final nap.
Suddenly – Outside the house
There occurred the explosion
That set all of Mankind’s
Demise into motion.
The panes of the windows
Blew in with a crash,
Tore open the shutters
Revealing the flash.
I saw, to my horror,
The gray, ashy snow
That buried the bodies
That lay down below.
Then what to my watering
Eyes should appear,
But a nightmare in red,
His intent all too clear.
He seemed so obsessed
That it could be no fluke.
I knew in a moment
It must be Saint Nuke.
And perched ‘top his coursers
Of thundering flame,
He fondled his missiles
And called them by name.
“Now Helmut, Now Thatcher,
Khomeini, and Reagan.
On Castro, Chernenko,
Kadafi, and Begin.
“The land we shall scorch
With a great fireball.
So blast away, blast away,
Blast away all!”
As bodies before
A great holocaust fly,
When hitting a wall
And are thrown to the sky,
So up to the housetop,
The missiles they flew,
Saint Nuke at the reins
of his great Pershing II.
As I covered my head,
Barely stumbling aside,
He blew off the rooftop
And tumbled inside.
He was dressed all in lead,
From his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all glowing
with 50 rad soot.
From his smouldering coat
Formed a small mushroom cloud,
And the smoke it encircled
His head like a shroud.
He hadn’t a face,
But the hair on his belly,
Fell out when he laughed
As his flesh turned to jelly.
He reached in his S.A.C.,
But the presents were scrambled,
(And so was our future,
his presence preambled).
He spoke not a word
But went straight to his work
And demolished the house.
Turning round in the murk,
The look in his eye
And the twist of his head,
Gave me to know that
I soon would be dead.
He sprang to the air,
And ignited a missile;
Away we all blew
Like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim,
In the moment I died,
“On the Day After Christmas,
There’s nowhere to hide!”
Always remember that day by day, moment by moment, each of us creates the future – for ourselves and all those we touch. If there is to be true hope, it will come from all of us joining in and working toward a common vision of understanding, tolerance, and kinship as brothers and sisters – every one.
Happy Holidays from Melanie, Mary, Keith and Mindi.
Copyright 1992, Melanie Anne Phillips
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
To: Melanie XX
Hi…during the election results on the Comedy Channel Al Franken mentioned, as an aside, that 1 in 40 men are “crossdressers”. How close to true is the statement? Where does the info come from? How can it be used in a positive way?
Worked out thats 2.5% of males or 1.25% of general population.
From: Marsha J
To: Melanie XX
(As if it never happened to you)
Did you ever have a time where almost every other thought was about transition, even when you should’ve been think about something else? In my case even to the point of trying to figure out how to phrase this question. (Mainly rhetorical by the way).
From: Melanie XX
To: Marsha J
Of course! From the moment I first considered transition seriously, it occupied ALL my thoughts until just about 6 months after surgery!!! Now, its down to about 50% of my time and slowly dropping. I hope that by the time I’m two years past surgery, I will find I hardly ever think about it, but all together, that will make it about a seven year phase!
An open letter:
My reply to a contributor who was amazed that I had asked if I could publish her letter as an article in The Subversive:
“I do, indeed, feel your letter has a lot to offer the readers. Its an interesting phenomenon that the most ordinary and mundane experiences, well spoken, seem to be the most intriguing to those who have only dreamed, but never done. The headlines are filled with the flashy and the bizarre, but the day to day petty frustrations and triumphs of the individual as every(wo)man go unwritten. The Subversive is not about the esoteric accomplishments of some fortunate elite, but rather seeks to find the common ground we each must tread and sometimes claim for our own. Thank you for sharing of yourself – truly, the most honest gift any of us can offer.”
That though goes out to all our readers – share your journey: it is as special as you are!
And now for the next installment in a serialized presentation of the book:
RAISED BY WOLVES:
A Transsexual Diary
Melanie Anne Phillips
The pages beneath, chronicle my 18 month journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.
Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment.
Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I’m sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.
December 6, 1989
I plucked all the whiskers from my face, one by one, with a pair of tweezers. It hurt.
December 9, 1989
I am falling in love with Andy We date twice a week now. When we go out, I don’t wear a wig any more or any padding. I am what I present myself to be, real and true. After my first “au natural” experience at the drive-in, we went to a Chinese restaurant. Last night he took me miniature golfing.
My joy at dating as a woman exceeds the most grandiose speculation I may have earlier entertained. I curl up in his strong arms while we listen to his folk music collection or watch comedy tapes on TV.
One night we just drove for an hour up into the hills where Andy had lived and worked for a while. Then we lay together on the front seat, staring up through the windshield at the stars that shine so brightly beyond the city lights.
Last night I stayed all night, wearing a borrowed nightgown. Several times I awoke, snuggled up under his protective arms and drifted off again. This morning he drove me back, and I hid my painted nails as I darted into the house.
Nicki is still in my office building, but has rented the office next to mine to live in. She (as Mike) is organizing my business, collecting overdue bills, handling advertising, and keeping the offices tidy. I got Mike a job on the set of a high-tech video shoot I was technical director for, so now he has a little money to play with.
The Aldactone Dr. Smith Prescribed for me is beginning to work. Body hair is thinning in density and becoming more fine. The Premarin is also showing significant growth in the breasts. The 25 day on, 5 day off cycle really seems to work. With my hairless face, I need much less make-up and appear very feminine, even without it.
I have started wearing my base make-up daily, even in male mode. Permit me to gloat that I look about 12 years old!
I am in the running for a supervisor job in video production for an aerospace company at $850 a week plus benefits. I have also been asked to edit a feature film by a director who knows about me. Also a producer is setting up a ten million dollar fund for filming two projects, one of which I am to write and direct. Usually, these deals fall through, but one of these days….
This is my last Christmas with my family and the first Christmas since my mother’s and grandfather’s deaths. I think seldom of them, yet feel no guilt at this slight.
We picked out our last family Christmas tree today. It is a fine one.
December 19, 1989 6:55 am
Okay… I’m completely remiss. I admit it! Here it is, right smack dab in the middle of the most crucial and volatile period of my life and I stop writing. I mean, God! I pour my life out to you guys, sucker you into caring and even anxiously awaiting the outcome, and then slam the door! I feel as if I just pussy-whipped an entire audience! And the feeling of power is not all unpleasant.
But seriously folks, I DO apologize for my remissasity (?) There IS much to tell, but as you shall see, I have been and remain incredibly busy, and I cannot find the time to complete an entry at one sitting. Therefore, I shall glop this one onto the page in spurts, listed by time throughout the day. And I shall catch up with the latest poop on the life and times of Melanie Phillips, even if it kills both of us!
December 23, 1989 – midnight
Well, obviously THAT didn’t work out! But I DO have news. Last night, Andy asked me to marry him. It was a “what if” kind of thing. We had gone out late for fast food. When we returned, we sat in the car for a while, drinking in the darkness that melted through the windshield from the thick night that surrounded us. Greasy wrappers crumpled between us, we spoke of future scenes that might become, one day, reality. Andy asked that if I did have the operation and Mary kicked me out and WE got married, would my kids call me “mom” and him “dad”? “After all”, he said, “I’d be the only father they had….”
I glommed onto that concept like any lovesick female. I told him that was a pretty heavy duty “what if”! As the evening progressed, the two of us intimately (but non-sexually, as usual) intertwined on his bed, watching a documentary on John Lenon. We progressed to where I was trying on his last name to see if it fit. I asked if he was serious, and he told me I was the person most compatible with him out of everyone he had ever met.
We fell asleep, then shared a morning movie before I left, just before noon. Now, I have to admit, the night before, I had brought him Christmas presents in a stocking, a batch of my home-made chocolate chip cookies (a bit of cookie to hold the chips and nuts together) and my guitar, which I strummed in the folk style we both love. And I must also admit to thinking (as I planned these things) that this would be the night I would make him fall in love with me. The rest is history.
I arrived back home at noon, almost exactly, to be greeted at the gate by Mary with somber news: my grandmother had died during the night. Now this is a year to remember: My mother dies in January, my grandfather in June and my grandmother at Christmas. I start hormones, grow my hair, tell everyone I know, and get serious about SRS. I enter into an intimate relationship with a guy, who asks me to marry him. The IRS gets on my case for two years of unpaid back taxes, I get six months behind on my credit card payments and I inherit a house. Ah, but there’s still one more week left in this year!
Anyway, I miss my grandma, but at least her suffering of the past two years is over. And we no longer have to sell the house. So I guess my money worries are finally over. And the money for my surgery is at hand. Decisions must now be made, by Mary, by Andy, and by me. For each day of hormone use brings me closer to my life-long goal, and the simultaneous death of my relationship with Mary. It’s been one hell of a year….
December 24, 1989
Last night I cried in Mary’s arms. We had gone to bed, bull of an unspoken tension that smothered us both. Or perhaps bursting from the inner pressure of suppressed tension that could no longer be contained, now that the outer pressure of having to move had been removed, upsetting the delicate equilibrium.
We spoke more frankly than we ever had. Without blame or recrimination we touched on the dissatisfactions that have silently spanned our fourteen year companionship. My need to be female collided headlong into her inability to remain in the same house with an altered me. And all at once, the frustrations of the past, the hopelessness of the future combined and multiplied, welling up from the core of my heart in an explosive upheaval of sorrow and devastation.
But she came to me. She cradled my head in her hands, held me against her breasts and told me it would be all right. My sobs diminished until I drifted away in the cocoon-like protection of her embrace.
When I awoke, my tension had left. The future looked clear and bright as the crisp December sunshine that drove the chill from the morning air.
We went to church to see our children perform in a Christmas music program. This was our first visit to the house of God for other than funeral purposes in several years.
There was, in the pew at the front of the church, a woman, about my age, but the incarnation of my inner vision of the perfect dream girl of my youth. She smiled almost continuously, not inappropriately, but as if she truly found joy, almost exhilaration at everything that fell within her gaze.
I began to wonder if I could avoid the path I was taking if I could only become close to a woman such as she. Was my once-cheerful disposition dimmed and tainted by Mary’s ever-dwelling on the negative? Had my career been ham-strung, perhaps permanently damaged or even destroyed by the lack of encouragement from my spouse? Is the real need of my life not to be female, but to free myself of the emotional vapor-lock of Mary’s dulling influence and latch onto a rising star whose eyes shine with hope and daring?
But then, Mary took my hand and clasped her fingers around mine. And the love I have always had for her surged from its concealment and re-enveloped my soul.
Our day has been wonderful. Easily the finest Christmas Eve I have ever known. We have shared and cuddled, reminisced and planned. We have reaffirmed our common determination to make things work until they can work no longer.
The tension is gone for now, but there truly is no status quo. Reprieved from the financial sword of Damocles, we rejoice in our current good fortune, yet pensive with the uncertainty of tomorrow. But for the moment, life is a good thing and worth living, and doing it together.
“Day at a time”, Mary says. And in truth, that is all any of us ever really needs.
December 25, 1989
One can, I have discovered, have it all. The reality of our new found financial freedom is finally beginning to sink in. And against this background, perhaps because of it, Mary and I have reached a final, codified, compromise agreement. As we both love each other, and neither one of us wants to jeopardize our good fortune that we have waited so long for, we have come to the following terms:
1. I shall continue on hormones for the rest of my life.
2. I shall grow my hair to whatever length I choose.
3. I shall seek surgery as soon as possible.
4. Both before and after surgery I shall maintain a male role around Mary and the kids at all times.
5. When not around them I can do as I please.
6. We shall remain in and improve this house.
7. We shall build our personal and financial futures together.
8. Should I be unwilling to live here as a male after surgery, I will leave and they can stay.
The only questions remaining: can I pull off appearing as a male past surgery? Can I obtain surgery without truly going full-time? Will I be content at that point to live mostly as a man?
The answers lie in the future, and it is futile at this juncture to speculate. But I DO know that the impending dissolution of our relationship has been at least temporarily stayed. And for the first time in years, I feel no tension within myself at all.
December 29, 1989
Yesterday we buried my grandmother. And, hopefully, along with her, much of the pain and sorrow of the last few years. As I sat with Mary and the children in the viewing room, grandma’s face was hidden by the wall of the casket. But technicolor memories of my early years rose like specters from that eternal box and played themselves like movie scenes in the thick air of that all too familiar room.
I remembered the sound of burnt toast being scraped into the sink, every morning of my childhood. And the crumbs that always garnished the butter in the butter dish. I do not believe I met a pristine stick until we moved out of the house when my mother remarried.
I remembered a night I spent at grandma’s house – placing my fingernail against her upper arm as we lay in bed for the night and pressing it hard and deeply until it left a mark that lasted until the next day. I still do not know what possessed me to do that. Neither do I yet understand her reaction, which was to act as if nothing was happening – no response at all. I did apologize later, but to this day, I still feel ashamed that I would continue to press deeper until she would yell, “Stop!”, which she never did.
And other scenes danced above the coffin: At age eleven, as she took care of me during the days of summer while my parents worked. I lay in a hammock in the backyard, covered with a sheet to offer shade. Grandma brought me out a pink lemonade, ice-cold and over-sweet, which I nursed and savored as if I would never have another. And in fact, I did not, as that was the last lemonade she ever brought me. And that very week was when I snuck into the neighbor’s house through the fireplace
Then, I drifted back to the tepid reality of the corpse in the box. That body had not contained my grandmother in over two years. And even then, only portions of her.
The kids left the viewing room in search of candycanes upstairs, and Mary began to speak of remodeling the house. Inappropriate conversations perhaps (in the presence of the body from which we inherited the estate) and yet, I realized she was making long-term plans for our future.
I turned to her, tears in my eyes, and said, “Does this mean what I think it means?”. To which she replied, “We’re going to try to make it.” But her plan-making has convinced me that we WILL make it, that is if now that I am secure I don’t call the curtain down myself. A dirty trick to be sure: using all my persuasive skills to be accepted, only to reject in turn….
And my mind is filled with confusion once more. Now that the threat of financial disaster is passed for all my life, the lure of toys and goodies undermines the frustration that drives me to a sex-change. And the job interview with the aerospace company; a salary of $45 thousand per year; creative opportunities galore… To watch my kids grow, give away the bride, play with THEIR kids… This security is almost worse than the pain.
That I want to be female, of this there is no doubt. But the depth of my need varies with my life situation. And my need is also stronger toward the physical than the gender. So what lifestyle would give me the best chance for happiness? I love Andy he is a rare human being. But I love Mary too, have more invested in her and the kids. But Andy will accept me as I am; Mary only as I appear to be.
So what am I to do? I guess I will do as Mary says, and take one day at a time. But always lurking in the back of my mind is the certain knowledge that time waits for no man – or woman, and days become weeks become months become years. And every day I take at a time brings me farther from my physical prime in which to enjoy being female, and closer to an end of options to ever experience it. So, day at a time it is (for now), but not for long.
(Copyright 1992, Melanie Anne Phillips)
(The Transsexual Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)
I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.
MY COMING OUT PARTY
by Dancer P
THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME OUT DRESSED AND WITH MAKEUP. I had on a beautiful white blouse, black knee length skirt with goldtone chain belt with pearls and chains hanging in front of skirt. Black Mist stockings and patent black 2.5″ heels. Large faux pearl and gold necklace with matching earrings. Faux diamond bracelet. Also had a black thigh length black ribbed jacket. Since I didn’t have a wig, my makeup lady suggested a velvet hat which I got at second hand store for $15. Classy velvet hat. Perfect for executive business woman. The outfit was what I felt most comfortable with, especially for my first time out.
Sexy comes next, although I think I am always sexy!
Didn’t have a wig as I said, damn it. I subsequently bought one yesterday –it’s called “Pretty Girl” and has black loose curls, length reaches shoulder blades of my back–sexy and love it!
So now to the party: It was held on Thursday, 10/29. It was a main event of the year — the big Halloween Party thrown by ETVC. ETVC stand for “Educational TV Channel” and is San Francisco’s main TV organization. ETVC has approximately 400 members of which 78% are TV’s. Balance are family members.
I left directly from my apartment in large apartment building, fully dressed, and took elevator to street level and took a taxi that I previously called for. I took a chance in that I was not ready for my neighbors to know of my secret, but what the hell I did it anyway and it worked out! Guess I am a strong-willed women!! 🙂
I had to explain to the driver how to get to the party, but felt okay with it, he was okay. There were approximately 100 people at the party and I knew NO ONE. I had spoken to someone on the hot line ETVC has, but she wasn’t there yet. I did have some other names to ask for and found people to speak with. The party was in a large private room of a supportive gay bar, with outdoor covered patio. I had never previously had any, in person, contact with any TV’s. Yet here I was dressed, as best I could, and immediately felt ok with everyone. It was in fact lots of fun and I met some really nice and understanding people. Wound up exchanging phone numbers with a couple of people.
My next big step came when I was “encouraged” to participate in a costume contest. I was classified in the elegant category, there were many categories ie sexy, scary (this was Halloween), funny, etc. Can’t believe it but I got up on a stage and then onto the main floor and was introduced by the MC of the party. I told everyone that this was my first time out. Then I paraded around the floor and in front of the judges. What an “incredible experience” for a first timer.
Photo’s were taken at the party as well as a separate photo of myself. Waiting for photographer to call me to get copies. No, I didn’t win, but that was not the point for me. The fact that I participated was incredible. I was rewarded though. The president of the organization gave me a prize anyway. It was 2 hours of voice lessons. Some girls got jewelry and other things. For me the voice lessons were perfect.
My first contact with ANY TV or TS was on 10/12 on AOL. I had nothing at that time, no clothes, nothing. I have come a long way in a short time. I just want to thank all of you girls for being fun to speak with, supportive, and instrumental in “triggering” my coming out. It was my conversations with you girls coupled with the honesty of your own experience that helped me to accept my experience as a TV. God and AOL certainly know how many hours I have spent online with AOL — my bill, ouch!! Could have bought a wardrobe!! But, alas, things happen the way they are meant to happen.
Well there it is, talk to you girls soon.
Luv and Hugs to all of you,
DancerP (or Paula my female name)
MY FINAL WEEK LIVING AS A MALE
Preface On the morning of November 5, 1992, with the stroke of a pen, the Honorable Virginia Q. Beverly, Circuit Court Judge, Fourth Judicial Circuit, in and for Duval County, Florida, made Denise Anne Fell a legal person and with the same stoke made Tom a nonperson for all legal purposes. I am filled with mixed emotions. I am thrilled that Denise is alive, well and legal, but at the same time Tom died.This is going to be an account of my last days living in the male world. It will start on Monday morning, November 9th and end Sunday night, November 15th.Monday
November 9, 1992.
I awoke as usual this morning. As I prepared to get out of bed, glanced into the mirror. I had on my purple nightgown. I know that within a week I can stay in the femme dress. I will not have to put on the usual pants and shirt to go into work. It is a very exciting time.I arrived at work at 6:30 and smiled as I entered the snack bar. Next Monday, Denise will be entering the snack bar. I cashed a check, signed by Denise Anne. I love it.
I arrived upstairs and started my morning chore of uploading from system (District) and prepared to download to the main IRS Computer System. The download was going smoothly, when it dawned on me that after Wednesday when I have my 3 hour session of electrolysis, there is no reason as to why Denise cannot start to work on Thursday or Friday.I played around with this idea for a time and wrote a memo to the 3 managers that are over me and to the Labor Relations Specialist that is handling the paperwork for Denise. I told them once I passed Wednesday and had jumped this little hurdle Denise could report on Thursday or Friday. I said that it all depended on how I felt that morning. But the transition would begin no later than November 16th.
We had a meeting across the street concerning employee safety. A manager was mugged a couple of weeks ago and her pocketbook was stolen. The mugger broke her finger and hit her hard enough to cause her to have to get stitches above her eye. It was a very upsetting experience for the entire Branch.
My day went smoothly. As I was ready to leave, I crossed Monday, November 9th off my calendar. This was my last Monday in the male mode.When I arrived home I had a package waiting for me. The sweaters that I had ordered had arrived. They look nice. I had a long sleeve pink sweater, a royal blue shell and a royal blue regular sweater. They all fit. The slacks that I ordered did not fit. I think that it was the style rather than the size. I sent some more notices to different companies that I have accounts with about my name change. This task is almost completed. I hope that by next month I will have new cards and my bills will be coming to Denise.I spent a relaxing evening and prepared for my next work day.
Tuesday, November 10, 1992
I woke up this morning with a feeling of total contentment. I do not remember feeling this good and this relaxed in a very long time.I have about made up my mind that Full Time will start on Thursday. The only problem that I can foresee to prevent this from happening is if my face is too irritated from the electrolysis that I am scheduled for tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will not happen.It was a typical day and not much really happened. I guess that I spent the majority of the day trying to get myself mentally prepared for the big step.I talked to Melanie in the early afternoon (Florida Time) and felt very good after our conversation. I find her a totally remarkable woman who is always there to help. Her support has been a tremendous boost for reaching my goal.I spent a relaxing evening watching a movie when I got a very pleasant surprise. I received a telephone call from someone that I have wanted to talk to for a very long time.I had a nice chat with Elaine and I hope that there will be many more in the years to come. I thought that Elaine had a cute little southern accent, and I envy that. I could easily take her voice as feminine. I am still hoping that I will come up with something. I guess I will try a voice coach and failing that I will try with some voice surgery after studying other alternatives.The day ended on this pleasant note. With that I will close and prepare for a full day tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 11, 1992 (Veterans Day)
I awoke this morning at my usual time. I wanted to get some chores done before leaving the house for a days adventure.I started out with 3 hours of electrolysis. I can honestly say that I can think of far better ways to start a day. This was a necessity in order to begin my Real Life Test.After 3 hours of torture, I went to Regency Square Mall and shipped a couple of packages UPS. I then had an ice cream treat at Swensons. I felt that after my 3 hours of torture I deserved an award for being such a good girl.At the appointed time I arrived at J.C. Penneys. Robbin Briggs, the nail technician, was ready to give me my first pair of acrylic nails. This took approximately 2 1/2 hours. For the most part it was very enjoyable.We selected a length that was about average and a white nail polish that had a pink opaque tint. This was a nice color that would go with anything and yet not overpowering. This is what I was looking for.I came home and spent the evening shaving and preparing for what could be a RED LETTER DAY.
Thursday, November 12, 1992
I woke up this morning and listened for the rain that they had predicted. I did not hear any noise of rain on my skylights. As I got out of bed, I made the decision that there was no reason to delay any longer.When I selected my underclothing I put out a bra and panties instead of a tshirt and panties. I went into the rest room and washed my face, brushed my teeth and took off my nightgown. I put on my undergarments and returned and put on my makeup. I only had one small part to correct and I chose my dress for my debut as Denise at work.I wore a royal blue pullover knit dress. Any of you that know me know I am an amputee so shoes were not an issue unless I put on my prostheses, which is not likely since they weigh so much. I fixed my wig and prepared to meet the world.
I made my usual stop at Burger King and got something to drink on the way into town and arrived at the Federal Building at about 6:20. I stayed in my van until 6:30. The next couple of minutes had to be the hardest of my life. I wanted to get back in my van and go home, but that would have solved nothing.I entered the building where the security gave me a good morning and that was all. I went to the snack bar where I usually read the newspaper before work. Again, nobody said anything. They had been forewarned, but did not really expect me to come in dressed until Monday.As I sat reading the newspaper and eating my morning toast, a coworker from another branch came up and said, “I guess that Denise is appropriate.” I said, “I think so.” That was that another coworker said good morning and that was it.
The true test was going to be going into my branch. This is on the sixth floor of the Federal Building. I went in and absolutely nobody said a word. A few people finally came up when I was doing my morning upload/download and said that they were surprised. They did not think that I would look this good. People then began to call me Denise, although a few did slip and call me Tom. I answered them. I guess that I have to get use to it also.
The only problem that arose was the rest room. I had planned to use the ladies rest room on the ground floor. One reason it is one of the only two that are wheelchair accessible and also I only knew of one or two female employees from the Army Corps Of Engineers worked on the ground level. Most use came from people coming into the building and going to Immigration. I soon found out that there were 17 female employees on the ground floor and they were not happy about this.The next solution would have been the nurses office. However, since this is also used by sick people it could not be tied up for long periods. The final solution was that for a short time I would use the nurses office and a private rest room on the ground floor would be altered to accommodate me and that would be a rest room for me to use that would not upset male nor female employees. Also, since I came out and have started full time they have no idea if someone else will come forward now or in the future. If so, then this rest room will also serve to accommodate them. That made everyone happy, especially yours truly.
Other good news that happened today at work is that I was notified that my personnel folder had been changed to reflect my new name. The payroll records have been changed and all my computer logons have been changed or are in the process of being changed. I am on 3 different systems, which is 3 separate main frames. This does not include the PC.All day I expected the hammer to fall, but it did not. It was one of the best days that I ever spent at work. One that I will always remember. The day I went to work in a dress.
I found that my nails were too long. They needed to be trimmed. I called Robbin and made an appointment after work. I guess the biggest surprise is that I went through the mall and did not get read. I think one lady was unsure, but there was no laughing or pointing. I don’t expect this to happen all the time, but it was nice for a first time out.I came home and I was emotionally exhausted. It has been a long and wonderful day. I can only compare it to the days my two daughters were born. It is a day that I will treasure always, and I know that tomorrow morning I will have less of a problem going into work.I can honestly say that today is the first day of the rest of my life (female life).
Friday, November 13, 1992
I went into work this morning. It was much easier to enter the building than it was yesterday. I noticed that for some reason there are some people that I go out of my way to avoid. I don’t know why. Maybe it is that I have such harsh feelings towards them. I really know of no reason to do this. Today, I wore a rose color dress that had a large button on the collar. I received compliments on this outfit. One coworker make the comment unf***ing believable. I guess that was a compliment.My manager told me that a few people were shocked. They never thought that I would go through with the transition. They figured that it would blow over and that would be that. Surprise, surprise.
I left early in search of the elusive driver’s license. It was a comedy of errors. First of all they would only take original documents or certified documents. The only elusive document is the name change. It is still being processed.The clerk said that if I would produce the original letter from my doctor he would change the sex on my driver’s license. I said fine and went home to get this letter. By the time I got back he stated that the office had called again and until the surgery is complete no gender change on the license. This is a different story than what I was told earlier.After about 3 hours I gave it up and went and had my van repaired.
That was fun. The Service Manager was my neighbor at one time. He had one surprised look on his face when I went in the service department in a grey skirt and royal blue blouse. In all reality he handled it very well.I also had the misfortune of breaking a nail today. I made an appointment and had it repaired after my van was repaired. I am really beginning to appreciate what women go through for their entire life. I have had the mood swings, I no longer just jump up, wash up and get dressed. I now have to decide what to wear. Make sure that the makeup is on correctly, the hair looks alright and still get myself to work at the normal time. It does take us girls a little longer to prepare ourselves.
While at the mall, waiting to get my nail repaired I strolled around, so to speak, and I don’t think anybody paid me any attention. The only place I know I was read was at the little hot dog stand that I frequented when I was at the mall.All in all it was another great day.
At this point in time, Denise is enjoying life to the fullest and is still mindful that she must be careful to make this a success.My weekend is planned and I am preparing myself for the upcoming full week at work. It is going to get cold, so I am going to look for a pair of dress pants tomorrow. I have a nice pink sweater that would look very good with some navy slacks. I will see what I can find.I am ready to go full forward and I am looking up the road to the day that it will all be accomplished.
Saturday, November 14,
I am not sure how to explain today. I guess that you could compare it to major surgery. I was once told that the 3rd day was the worst, well, I woke up this morning and realized that I had to go out of the house dressed.I procrastinated. I vacuumed, mopped the kitchen and finally went in and put on makeup and got dressed.
It was not my typical Saturday when I threw on a pair of cutoffs and a tshirt. Those days are over. Even after dressing and getting ready, I put off going out.Finally, I took the plunge. The only thing I can think of is that during the week when I leave the house it is dark. I have my ride to work to get ready to face the world. This morning the sun was out and there were people around.I don’t know what the big deal was. I may never find the answer as to why I was so reluctant to leave the house. The reason is important, but I went to the grocery store, filled my van with gas and then went to the mall. I took one of my wigs in to have it styled. The other I needed to wear.I had an appointment with the television at 12:30 to watch the Florida Gators play football. I came home watched my game, this is when the day began to get interesting.
The first was my neighbor from across the street came over to see me. Her husband had been over the other night and told her how good he thought that I looked. She said she was surprised and thought that my makeup looked very good.Next Elizabeth came over. She is the wife of a person that played wheelchair basketball with me. She was impressed and we talked about my attitude of expecting too much from me. She said I had the wrong idea of what a woman should look like. She said that she hoped that I would be more than a lady, she hoped that I would be a woman. We also discussed that women wear casual clothes on weekends. I had on a camel skirt with a white pullover shirt. This shirt and a blue pullover shirt are the only male clothing that I kept.
Just as she was getting ready to leave my next door neighbor came by. He is the one I thought that I would get a hard time from. The first thing he said, was can I speak to oh, you’re pretty. I don’t think it registered with him at first. He was just letting me know that he had talked to the post office and I could have a curbside box put in front of my house if I so desired. I thanked him, but it was information that I already knew. I like the idea of a locked mailbox, especially when I am out of town for a weekend.
After the game, I went back up to the mall to get a manicure and it was the first time that I went shopping for clothes dressed as Denise. I picked up a couple of pairs of pants. It is supposed to get into the 30’s and may be a little too cool for skirts or dresses.I made another purchase also. I had a few samples of fragrances that my Mary Kay representative had given me. I was not real crazy about them. I went and got some SHALIMAR. This has always been a favorite fragrance for me. I hope it smells as nice on me as it does on the ladies I gave it to over the years.After my manicure I came home and spent a quiet evening. I have a big day tomorrow. It will be the first time that Denise will play basketball.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1992
Today was going to be a wonderful day, but I guess it has turned out to be a total BITCH.I went to Gainesville to day to play some wheelchair basketball. The first as Denise. I was looking forward to a nice day of exercise and seeing some old friends.Needless to say I did not play in a wig or makeup, and I really did not like going back to semimale for even a few hours. Sure I put on a bra (a necessity these days) and other feminine underclothing, but still I missed seeing Denise dressed in the mirror.It ended up two games. I broke a nail. I was afraid of that and I guess that I played some good basketball. It was a good day up to this point.
I arrived home and took a shower and put on a nightgown so that I could relax a little while before Gender Chat. I signed on Prodigy to see if I had any email. I then went to Frank Discussions. A subject of AC/DC TS/TV WHATEVER was mentioned. Out of curiosity I looked at the message. Lo and behold, I knew who it was from and who it was directed at. It was from my sister’s sisterinlaw a person that can’t keep her face out of other peoples business and who has carried stories to a former spouse about me.To say that I was ticked off is an understatement. I was livid. I have no doubts about it being directed at me because of certain things stated. Only information that she knew first hand or had heard from my sister.
I am ashamed to admit it but I wrote her as close to a nasty note as I thought that I could get away with and told her to stay out of my face.Do I feel better. I don’t know. I just know that it seems I have no family members left. That too is fine with me. I could not go on forever living my life to please others.
I really need to compose myself and get ready for what I hope is a pleasant evening on gender chat.I only know that I am going forward and each day will have to get better. Denise will survive this upset. It is really sad that the happiest week of my life has to close on such a sour note. CONCLUSIONI guess that I did not make it a full week. I started four days early and have no regrets.All in all this has been a wonderful week. I have started full time. I am able to dress and be the real me. I have been to the mall and from all indications I am passing. I feel that some people may wonder if I am a male or female, but that is almost as good as passing.More will be written as time passes on my transition to womanhood.DENISE ANNE IS ALIVE AND WELL IN FLORIDA
“The Reluctant Girl Friend”
Copyright 1992 Melanie Brown
“Before you ask, the answer is no!”, I told my best friend Ed, in what I hoped was a stern voice. Ed and I were still friends, even though he was 16 and was in High School and I had another year to go in Jr. High. Most of the guys I knew who were either in or were going to start High School in the fall, were already acting like I didn’t exist.
“Whaddya mean, no?”, Ed asked in an irritated voice. “You haven’t even heard what I was going to ask.” He sat backwards in my desk chair and took a bite from the apple he swiped from our refrigerator.
“Eddie, we’ve been friends since before the 1st grade. You’ve never asked me to do you a favor that didn’t require giving you money, or getting into trouble….or both.” From where I sat on my bed, I watched the June morning grow old and itched to get on my bike and head down to the park.
“You got me all wrong, Chris. You’re the only friend I got who can help me with this. It’ll be easy, you’ll only have to do it for an hour, tops, and I’ll give you fifty bucks.” He tossed the remains of the apple against the wall, and it ricocheted into my trash can.
I figured the park would still be there later and brushing the hair out of my eyes asked, “What could be easy to do and worth fifty bucks, which you ain’t got no how anyway?”
“Ah, I see I have the gent’s curiosity piqued.” Ed rolled the chair closer and his voice took on a conspiratorial tone as he said, “Now this is gonna sound a little weird at first, but hear me out, okay? And don’t tell nobody about this, neither.”
I nodded and Ed continued. “There’s this party, ya know, tomorrow night at Lisa’s. I know, I know, whadda I care, right? After all, she just dumped me Saturday. I still ain’t got that one figger’d out. But I thought I’d still go to her party with another girl and show her I didn’t need her anyway.
“But you know what that little bitch did? She musta called every friggin’ girl at school and got them on her side. Not a single one would talk to me, much less go to the party with me!”
“Did you ask Blanche Snoddgrass?”, I said.
Ed pretended to poke his finger down his throat and said disgustedly, “I might be desperate, but I ain’t that desperate!” Ed paused a moment, then added, “Besides, she said `no’ too.”
I knew I was going to regret asking this question, but I still said, “So, what’s all this got to do with me earning fifty bucks?”
Ed licked his lips and swallowed audibly, and after a few seconds hesitation said, “I want you to pretend to be my date tomorrow night.”
I just sat there a moment or two, probably looking stupid with my mouth gaping open. I thought for sure that I misunderstood what he’d said. Then I was sure I hadn’t misunderstood and sputtered, “Are you outta your fuckin’ mind!?” I was glad my mom was at the grocery store. Otherwise, she would’ve been in my room in a heartbeat.
Ed just calmly said, “I kinda figger’d you’d feel that way, Chris. But the situation is not without precedence.” He leaned back and folded his arms.
I pushed myself a little bit away from Ed and glowered, “Just what do you mean by stupid remark?”
Ed grinned like an idiot. “You couldn’t have forgotten the Halloween party at Jamie’s last year, when you went dressed as Debbie Gibson. You could’ve been her twin, and all the girls thought you were soooooo cute. Not to mention that on at least two occasions you helped my sister make dresses by modeling for her.”
“Hey, it was Mom’s idea that I go as Debbie Gibson,” I blurted, and naturally my voice would have to break. “And I helped Gwen with her dresses for a Metallica concert ticket.”
“Look, it probably won’t even be for an hour. All you’ll have to do is look cute and stand next to me. Gwen’s already agreed to dress you up. She thinks it’ll be fun. Besides, I have enough shit on you, that your parents will ground you ’till you’re thirty.”
Ed was right. Dad never did know how the leather seats got ripped or where the dents in door came from on his not-even-24-hours old Porsche, had come from. Nevermind the fact that Ed was usually the instigator, my dad would still blame me, because I should’ve “just said `no'” to Ed’s stupid ideas. I was a broken man.
“Okay Eddie,” I mumbled. “But only for an hour! You’ve had some real shithead ideas before, but this one really tops them all! But you better have fifty bucks!”
Ed reached back for his wallet, pulled it out and opened it, showing more than fifty dollars. “Summer jobs are great. I guarantee it’ll only be an hour. But listen dude, if you wanna live to see that fifty, don’t screw this up. If anyone finds out that you’re a guy, they’ll kick me off the football team and my life will become a living hell.”
Ed was always melodramatic, but this time he wasn’t too far from the truth. If word of this got out, both of us would be shunned by friends and nerds alike not to mention becoming a target for humiliation. As Mom would say, kids could be so cruel.
My heart was in my throat as I walked up to Eddie’s front door. Ordinarily on a sunny summer afternoon, I’d be out riding my bike, or heading for the park to go to the pool. This was one Friday afternoon that was going to be decidedly different.
The plan was simple enough. Gwen would perform the transformation. Ed and I would make a brief appearance at Lisa’s party. Lisa would become jealous and want Ed back. Ed would take me home where I’d sneak into my bedroom window which I had conveniently left unlocked and removed the screen.
Ed’s mom and dad both worked, but often came home for lunch, so we decided I’d come over at 1:00. We should be undisturbed all afternoon until around 5:00. Ed’s sister, Gwen, didn’t have to be at work at the movie theater until 6:00 on Fridays.
Gwen had decided to come home over the summer. She and my sister had both been away at the same college, but my sister decided to stick around at college because she wanted to be with some local jerk she’d met.
Feeling like I should be running away, I rang the doorbell. Gwen answered the door. She took me by the hand and pulled me inside and then led me toward her room. Along the way, between giggles, Gwen said, “I’ve sent Eddie away until 4:00. I figured he would only make things worse for you if he was here. Chrissy, we’re going to have so much fun today!”
“Come on, Gwen, lay off! It’s bad enough as it is, without you calling me `Chrissy’. And you don’t have to be so jolly about it either”, I said as she sat me down in front of her vanity table.
For several minutes, she paced around me, biting her lower lip and “hmmmm”ing. She ran her fingers through my long hair a couple of times. Then she told me to strip down to my shorts.
“Well, you don’t have a lot of hair on your legs and underarms yet, but what’s there’s gotta go”, she said matter-of-factly. She felt my face. “Smooth as a baby’s butt. That’ll work out fine.”
I didn’t care for this at all. I thought again of the threat Eddie had made. At worst, Dad would kill me and at the moment, I couldn’t decide which was worse, being dead, or being Eddie’s date.
Gwen held up a furry object and said, “I was going to use this wig, but since your hair is so long, I think I’ll perm it. Don’t get excited, Chrissy, I’m just going to add some wave and large curls to it.”
She then dragged me into the bathroom. She told me to take off my shorts and get in the tub. I protested, but she just jerked the shorts off me anyway. I was nervous as hell, and when she looked at my naked body, Gwen said, “This shouldn’t be hard to pull off at all. You’re just a little fella.” Then she started giggling.
Sulking, I sat down in the tub and after she had me suds up, she handed me a razor and told me to shave my legs and armpits. While I was busy with that, she would perm my hair. I had shaved my legs before for my Halloween costume, but not my armpits. They felt sore when I was done.
Over the next several hours, I endured a very humiliating and occasionally painful “transformation”. Instead of just putting makeup on me, Gwen insisted I do it myself. She wanted me to be able to make “repairs” to my makeup if need be. She didn’t seem to care that I had no intention of “being a girl” any longer than it took to get to the party, say hello, and leave.
She had me try on a variety of dresses, having me walk back and forth and rotate in front her each time. She finally decided on a tight, black, minidress. I balked when she handed me the shoes that went with the outfit. The heels were only about two inches, but that was two inches more than I wanted.
“Look Chrissy, Eddie’s expecting you to look pretty and sexy for him. And it’s my job to see that you do. You’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon in those heels, so you can get used to them.”
No sir, I didn’t like it. Gwen had me practicing walking, standing and sitting while we were waiting for my hair to set. Being a girl was definitely a lot more work.
While Gwen was making a final inspection and fluffing my hair with a blow dryer, we heard the front door open. Gwen set the dryer down and motioned for me to stay put.
“I’ll make sure it’s Ed. If it is, I don’t want him to come in just yet.” Then she left and closed the door.
I just sat there for a moment, consciously keeping my knees together. I looked around Gwen’s room for a moment and saw the reflection of legs in her full length mirror. Up to this point, I hadn’t had much chance to see what had been done to me. I got up to examine the damage.
Quite frankly, I was shocked. Instead of a 14 year old boy, I saw what looked like a 15 or 16 year old Robo-babe. The tight black dress was a perfect fit. With the black pantyhose, black pumps, large silver hoop earrings and makeup, I had a difficult time forcing myself to remember that that fox in the mirror was me.
When the door opened, I almost fell off my heels as I whirled around fearing I had been discovered. I sighed with relief when Gwen came in.
“It’s Ed all right. I told him to wait out in the hall until I say to come in.” She motioned for me to stand in front of the door. “Now, strike one of those sexy poses I taught you.” As I did, she called to Ed.
“Hey dude you take as long to get ready as a real g…” Ed stopped in mid-sentence as he entered the room. He stood there for several seconds, looking me up and down with one of the silliest expressions I’ve ever seen.
“Holy shit!” he finally managed to say as he walked slowly around me. “Gwen, I can’t believe what you did here! You didn’t have to cut off any body parts did you?”
“Wasn’t all that hard”, Gwen chimed in. “He already had delicate features. I just emphasized them.”
“Oh, thanks a lot!” I was hoping she’d say how difficult it was to mask such obvious masculinity.
Looking at me like I was a side of beef, Ed said, “You’re perfect. This is just perfect! I can’t wait to see Lisa’s face when we get to her party.”
“What time is this party anyway?”, I asked. “I don’t want to stay dressed like this any longer than I have to.”
“Around 7 or so. But I didn’t want to show up until around 8 to give all of Lisa’s friends a chance to get there.”
“8 o’clock! It’s only 4:30 now!”
“What are you going to do until then?”, Gwen asked. “You can’t stay here, unless you want to introduce your new girlfriend to Mom an Dad.”
Now wouldn’t that be just peachy keen. There was a pause as Ed pondered this hole in his otherwise perfect plan.
Gwen broke the silence by saying, “Why don’t you just go to a movie first? I’ll even sign you in so you two can go for free.”
“Take Chris out on a date? No way!”
“So? You’re taking Chrissy to a party as your date. What difference does it make? Mom and Dad will be here soon.”
“You’re right. Okay. There’s a movie I’ve been wanting to see anyway.”
“Don’t I get any say in this?”, I asked.
“No.” said Ed and Gwen at the same time.
Gwen picked up a small black purse and started dropping items in, like a compact, lipstick and various other items. “Here, Chrissy. You’ll need to take this with you.” Then she turned to Ed. “You better get going. Mom’ll be home any minute.”
We walked into the living room and Ed went into the kitchen and started dialing the phone. Gwen and I followed him in.
“Just remembered I need to call Fritz and tell him what time to meet at the arcade tomorrow. He’s at work, so I’ll just get his machine. It’ll only take a minute”, Ed said.
As Ed was standing there leaving his message to Fritz, the back door of the kitchen that led to the garage suddenly opened. I turned and to my horror saw Ed’s mother come through the doorway.
“Hello!” Ed’s mother said pleasantly to me. “Are you one of Gwen’s friends?”
Ed almost broke the phone as he quickly hung up the receiver. “Mom!” Ed said excitedly. He hesitated for a moment then said, “I’d like you to meet Chrissy.” He put his arm around my waist and continued talking. “We’re going out for pizza, maybe a movie and maybe swing by Lisa’s party.”
“Hi”, was about all I could manage to say.
“Pleased to meet you!” Ed’s mother beamed. “Ed didn’t say anything about having a date tonight.”
Ed forced a chuckle and said, “Yeah, well, it was kinda on the spur of the moment. Chrissy is Christopher’s cousin from up state. She’s here for the summer.”
About that time, the front door opened and in walked Ed’s dad. Oh Joy! It was becoming more than I could take.
“Hi Dad”, croaked Ed. “Gee, this is great, everyone is here at once.”
“Hello everyone. Got out of there early for once”, said Ed’s dad. He hadn’t taken his eyes off me since the moment he stepped through the door, the dirty old man. “Gwen, is this a new friend of yours?”
“Dad, meet Chrissy, Ed’s date”, Gwen beamed. “She’s Christopher’s cousin from up state.”
“Pleased to meet you!” Ed’s dad looked at me like a grizzly sizing up a doe. “Where is old Chris? Haven’t seen him lately.”
“Who knows”, Ed said. “He’s just a little kid anyway. Probably out playing with his magic nose goblin collection.”
Then Gwen said, “Hey, we should get going. Ed’s going to treat us both to pizzas in exchange for me letting them into the theater.”
Ed shot Gwen a dirty look, but said, “That’s right. We don’t want to be late.”
Before any of us could make a mad dash to the door, Ed’s mom said, “Oh! Chrissy, I have a necklace that would go just perfect with your outfit if you’d like to borrow it!”
“Well, I…” I started to say, then my voice just trailed away.
Then Gwen said, “Oh Mom, yeah! I know the one you’re talking about! That’ll look so lovely! Go for it, Chrissy!”
“Sounds good, thanks”, I squeaked.
As Ed’s mother led Gwen and me down the hall, I could just barely hear Ed’s dad say to Ed, “Hey Tiger. You’ve caught yourself one hot little chick! She’s a lot cuter than that Lisa Whats-her-name.” To think that my life would come to this.
A little over ten minutes later, wearing a necklace that I was now terrified of losing, and after having to have Ed’s and my picture taken with us holding hands (I kept wishing I was dead), we were on our way to Pizza Hut in Ed’s Suzuki Samurai. Actually it was his dad’s second car, but Ed got to wash it. The top was down and the wind was messing up my hair. I kept trying to talk Ed into putting the top up – not because of my hair, but because I didn’t want anyone to see me.
Just as we pulled into the parking lot, a group of teens around Gwen and my sister’s age, a mix of boys and girls, were already making their way to the door. Several I recognized from their visiting my sister. Gwen made the mistake of waving to one of them, so they stopped and waited for us.
“Hey Gwen”, said one of the boys in greeting. “Who’s your friend?”
“Hi Stewart. Stew, everybody, meet Chrissy. She’s visiting with her cousin this summer. She got bored and decided to go out with my brother. You remember Ed.” Ed shot Gwen a withering glare, but nobody noticed.
“Well, if you ever get bored again, let me know!” said Stew, with a toothy grin.
Resembling the cast of Beverly Hills 90210, we all started to enter the Pizza Hut. Gwen whispered something in Ed’s ear and he grimaced. She seemed pretty adamant and so Ed took my hand as we walked inside. I wanted to throw up.
As we were waiting to be seated, Gwen leaned over and whispered to me, “Sorry, but Ed has to `claim his property’ or else these other guys will spend the whole time trying to hit on you. They might still do it anyway.” Happy happy joy joy.
Of course we sat with Gwen’s friends. At least Gwen thought to place me between herself and Ed, much to Stew’s chagrin. The hour we were there passed pretty much uneventfully (thank the heavens!)
I watched Gwen and the other girls carefully and tried to emulate how they ate and wiped their mouths with their napkins. Also, I usually pig-out on pizza, but after the second slice, Gwen would poke me in the ribs if I tried to reach for another piece.
Gwen finally took a look at her watch and saw that she was about to be late to work, so we said our good-byes and left. As we were walking across the parking lot to the car, I asked Gwen, “I saw Stew asking you a lot of questions and looking at me. What was he saying? It was so noisy, I couldn’t hear.” “Oh, he was just asking about you.”
The thought of Stew asking about me made me nauseous. As we climbed into the Suzuki, I asked, “Well?? What did he say? And what did you say?”
“He just asked about you. I told him you were starting high school in the fall and that you were a cheerleader. He’ll be at Lisa’s party.”
“A cheerleader!? Eddie, stop by the hospital first so I can get a lobotomy.”
Gwen frowned. “Hey, your sister was a cheerleader.”
“I rest my case.”
“I’m just trying to help.”
“I think you’ve helped enough.”
We drove the rest of the way in silence. I was very conscious of guys in passing cars looking at me and it made me feel very self-conscious. I was also aware of the wind in my hair and the earrings dancing against my neck and the wind swirling around my legs.
We arrived at the theater without incident and with only a minute to spare for Gwen. Gwen signed us in and at her insistence, Ed bought me a softdrink and box of popcorn that we could both share.
During the movie, even though we sat in adjacent chairs, Ed sat as far away from me as possible. That was okay. I was sitting as far from Ed as I could.
* * *
I was starting to feel really sick. Ed had parked the Suzuki in front of Lisa’s house. Well, as close as he could get. There must have been thirty cars crammed around Lisa’s house. Yep, Lisa really knew how to throw a party and her parents probably hated her for it. I know I did.
“Okay Chrissy. It’s show time,” said Ed. “I’m not so sure this is a good idea after all.”
“Gee Eddie, and I was so looking forward to the party. But if you don’t want to go, hey, who am I to argue? Let’s go home.” I reached over and turned the ignition back on.
“Sorry dude…er dudette. We’re here. We might as well go through with it.” Ed turned the ignition back off and removed the key. Then he smiled his evil grin. “If the reaction to you so far is any indication, Lisa should shit bricks when she sees you.”
He paused a moment then said, “If you could, flirt a little with that football jock she’s started dating.”
“Flirt with a football jock?! No way!” I sputtered.
“Way. That should really get her riled. And don’t yell. Geez, you’re supposed to be my girlfriend.”
“That’s right. I should be screaming at you.”
Ed opened his door and said, “Cut the crap and let’s get this over with.”
Ed shut the door and started walking towards Lisa’s house. I just sat there. It took him a moment to notice I wasn’t with him. He turned and said, “Well? Aren’t you coming?”
“Aren’t you going to open the door for me?” Without thinking, I pulled the compact out of my purse, opened it and checked my makeup in the mirror.
Ed raised his arms in frustration and muttered, “Women!”
As we turned up the sidewalk, I suddenly noticed that I had gotten comfortable with the clothes I was wearing. That really bothered me. Then I became aware of the clicking sound my high heels were making on the sidewalk. Then Ed looked over at me, arched his eyebrows, coughed uncomfortably, then put his arm around my waist.
We stood in front of the door and Ed pressed the doorbell. I clicked my heels three times and said, “There’s no place like home…There’s no place…” then Ed pinched me and told me to shut up.
As the door cracked open, we were suddenly blasted by the latest top 40 chart buster at a decibel level exceeding a 747 at takeoff. Silhouetted in the door frame was a girl with long blond hair and a short dress. There was a pause for a moment, then the girl stepped forward into the glow of the fading sunlight and said, “Eddie? What a surprise.”
“Hi Lisa,” Ed grinned. “I wouldn’t miss one of your parties!”
He pulled me closer to him and added, “Lisa, meet Chrissy.”
Lisa looked me up and down and said, “Eddie, how could you ask Gwen to talk one of her friends into coming with you?”
As Ed retold my story for the fortieth time, I sized up Lisa. I’d seen her before of course and had always thought she was a babe and a half. Now I couldn’t figure out what Ed saw in her.
Ed finally said, “Well, Lisa. Are you gonna let us in or what?”
Lisa frowned but said, “Sure. Come in. Just don’t fall in the dip this time.” I wasn’t sure, but if looks could kill, I would have been a greasy spot on the porch.
Ever the gentleman, Ed held the door open and let me enter first. I was dreading this moment from the first time Ed made his proposition. But I’ve never been so overwhelmed by mixed feelings before at just entering a room. I was both terribly embarrassed and I surprised myself by also being elated when just about every boy in the room turned to look at me. And they smiled. I didn’t know whether to be thrilled or hurl.
Being a little too polite, Lisa told me where to leave my purse and asked if I wanted a soda. My throat felt dry and so I said I would. Too bad it was just soda. This was the first time I wanted to get drunk. Then I looked around and saw all these guys looking at me and decided maybe getting drunk wasn’t a good idea.
“Chrissy!” rang a voice out from the noisy crowd. I looked up and saw Stew hurrying over to greet me. I felt sick. He took me by the hand and said, “Hey, come on and meet the guys. They’re all dying to meet you!”
I looked over my shoulder at Ed, hoping he’d come to my rescue, but he was leaning against the wall, talking to Lisa. I got to meet the guys and the girls. I had my story down pat by now and was able to lie convincingly. Actually, I was starting to have fun. I floated from group to group, the girls accepting me as an equal and guys slobbering over themselves. One part of my brain stared in shock disapproval as I found myself flirting and giggling.
I didn’t really pay attention to it at the time, but one guy there was not only watching me, but was watching Ed talk to Lisa. This guy, who towered above the other guys and looked like a wall of muscle, finally walked up to me and introduced himself. Except for the fact that I wasn’t supposed to know him, his introduction was unnecessary. He was “Tank”, the star football player and Lisa’s latest squeeze.
“Hey babe”, he said after introductions. “Let’s dance.” I looked up at him and felt very tiny. He could kill me with a spit ball.
“S..sure.” was about all I could manage.
There was a clear spot (sort of) in the middle of the room where some other kids were dancing. Tank cleared a spot for us and we started dancing. I was just glad it wasn’t a slow dance. We danced for several songs, then he wanted to sit down and talk. We sat on a couch, and Tank sat close and put his arm around my shoulder.
“What’s a fine babe like you doing hangin’ out with a slime ball like Ed?” Tank is no Fred Astair.
“Well, I’ve only just met that slime ba..I mean Eddie.” I swallowed hard before continuing. “He seems like a nice guy to me.”
“Look at him.” Tank pointed to where Ed was talking to Lisa. “He’s spent the whole time here talking with Lisa. He’s ignored you completely.” He ran a finger down my cheek and said, “Now, if I was with a babe like you, I wouldn’t be ignoring you.”
I’m sure Tank thought that that statement would make me incensed against Ed. Actually, up until that moment, I had been having too much fun being popular to even think about Ed. I glanced down at my dainty lady’s watch and was shocked to see we had been here for almost two hours!
Tank was pulling me closer and was starting to nuzzle me. I said, “I want to dance!”
Tank frowned, but helped me up and we stepped back out on the “dance floor.” We danced as before for the rest of the song that was playing. Then a slow song started. Tank pulled me to him and put his arms around me. We started swaying back and forth. He put his head down next to mine. I tried to disengage myself, but Tank is a big guy. Then he placed his hand on my butt and I felt something wet on my neck! I tried harder to push myself away.
“Tank, stop it”, I tried to whisper to him. He just held me closer. “Tank, please…don’t”, I said a little louder.
Suddenly, Tank let go and I stepped back. There was Ed. He had pushed Tank around and was looking really pissed.
“That’s my girl, ass hole!” Then he pushed Tank back.
“You little shit…”, Tank started to say as he took a step towards Ed.
I yelled, “Eddie!”
Tank took a swipe at Ed and missed. But Ed landed one solid punch on Tank’s jaw and Tank fell back on the couch. Everyone stood there, staring with disbelief. Nobody, and I mean nobody, had ever decked Tank.
Ed took me by the arm and said, “Come on Chrissy, this party’s a drag.” He led me through the crowd of kids standing around to the door. Lisa’s expression looked as though someone has skewered her with a hot poker. Without a word, we left Lisa’s party.
“Thanks Eddie”, I said softly.
“Shut up”, snapped Ed. “It wasn’t your ass I was trying to save…it was mine! I told you to flirt with Tank, not pick him up.”
“I didn’t! I…”
“Just when I thought I might have talked Lisa into giving me another chance, you had to start coming on to Tank!”
“I wasn’t! I…”
“Do you realize what would have happened to us if he had started fondling you? What’s wrong with you?”
“Shit! Now Lisa thinks I care more about you than her!”
Before we got to the Suzuki, we heard running footsteps behind us. I was sure it was Tank coming to finish off both of us. Ed turned around, but I couldn’t.
“Hey Ed. Where you going?” It wasn’t Tank. It was just one of Ed’s friends.
“I dunno. I guess I’ll just take Chrissy home. The night’s kinda ruined anyway.”
Ed’s friend said, “Don’t do that. That party was getting dull anyway. A bunch of us are going to go to Harvey’s. Why don’t ya come too?”
Harvey’s was a teen hangout, with a dance floor and loud music, video and pinball games. Ed always referred to it as a training bar.
I figured Ed would turn down the offer, but instead said, “That sounds good. Sure, we’ll meet you there.”
“Eddie!”, I said in a shocked whisper. “Are you nuts?”
“Maybe.” He started leading me back to the Suzuki. “Did you see the way those guys looked at me?” I shook my head. “For the first time, those clowns were looking at me with respect!”
I waited impatiently as Ed tried to unlock my door, which wasn’t locked (and the top was still down). “Eddie…I don’t want to go to Harvey’s. I want my $50 and I wanna go home! My feet hurt.”
Ed jumped into the driver’s seat without opening the door.
“Sorry babe. But I have to go bask in my glory! That wuss Tank had just better watch his step from now on!”
“Eddie, I’d be careful if I were you. Next time, Tank might not be drunk, tired from dancing and trying to give someone a hickie.”
“Naah! He’s toast.”
I was feeling pretty miserable as we drove off. I never would’ve thought that I’d be the cause of two guys fighting. It was awful. This was taking much longer than planned and the party had been a disaster. I felt some tears well up and when I wiped my eye, I saw the black smear on my finger. I opened my purse and started digging around for a tissue and my compact.
We drove in silence, and in a few minutes we arrived at Harvey’s. From the looks of the parking lot, ol’ Harve was raking in the cash from us poor, jobless teens. The place was packed. Ed and I stood in the entranceway for a few moments surveying the mass of pimpled humanity. I was no longer self-conscious about how I looked and had become complacent about being mentally undressed by all these pubescent perverts.
Someone called out, “Hey Ed!” and we turned in the direction of the pinball machines. A group of guys gave Ed a thumbs up. You could actually see Ed’s hat size increasing.
“Come on, let’s dance!” Ed said as he pulled me to the dance floor. As we danced through the crowd, people who just yesterday wouldn’t even have wasted spit on Ed were greeting him like life-long friends. Girls told me how lucky I was to have a guy like Ed. I started to feel sorry for Tank. All this time, I’d thought he was popular.
We danced several times and during the slow dances, I was starting to feel kinda dreamy. I had always been considered a dweeb, but now I felt intoxicated by all the attention I was getting.
After we had finished with a dance session, Ed looked down at his watch and said, “Guess we better get, if I’m to get you home by midnight.”
“Do we have to?” I whined. “I’m having too much fun!”
Ed grinned, “And you were the one who didn’t want to come. But I think we’d better go.”
We were both silent on the way to my house. The events of the day kept playing through my head and I kept finding it hard to believe any of it had actually happened. I just sat there and enjoyed the summer night as the wind blew through my hair. Ed put the radio on the classical music station. I think they were playing the Bee Gees.
Ed pulled the Suzuki to the curb in front of my house and turned off the ignition. He looked out the windshield a moment then said, “Well, I certainly had a good time tonight.”
I was looking at my hands in my lap, then looked up at Ed as I said, “Yeah, me too.” Then I looked back down at my hands.
Ed moved closer to me and in sudden horror, I thought, oh no! He’s gonna kiss me! There was a long pause, and I was shocked to find myself thinking, oh no! He’s *not* gonna kiss me! I looked up at Ed and then his lips were pressed briefly against mine. At first I thought I was seeing stars, but as Ed pulled away, I saw that it was just a passing car. Ed smiled shyly, looked into my eyes, then kissed me again. Longer this time.
It was a kiss like no other. There was a flood of contradictory emotions. I’ve kissed girls before, but they had been nothing like this.
Ed finally pulled away, slowly, and began an intense study of the steering wheel. He said, “Well, I guess I had better get home.”
I looked at Ed for a moment, not sure what to say or do. I said, “Okay, Eddie. I really enjoyed tonight.”
“Yeah, me too.”
We told each other goodnight, and I got out of the car and watched Ed drive away. Feeling both giddy and dreamy, I walked up to our front door, opened it and went inside.
I’m not sure, but I think it was the expression on my dad more than the one on my mom that belatedly reminded me of my plan to sneak back in through my bedroom window. My dad sputtered a few times in a vain attempt to say something. My mom didn’t even try.
It was a Maalox moment.
End of Part One
AMERICA ONLINE GENDER GROUP STATISTICS
Contributed by Marsha J, Gender Room Secretary
Attendee Stats as of November 1992
AK. 1 AZ. 1 BC. 2 CA. 25
CO. 1 CT. 5 DE. 1 FL. 12
GA. 2 IL. 9 IN. 4 LA. 4
MA. 8 MD. 4 ME. 1 MI. 3
MN. 2 MO. 4 MS. 2 MT. 1
NC. 2 NH. 1 NJ. 7 NM. 2
NV. 1 NY. 7 OH. 5 OK. 2
ON. 3 OR. 1 PA. 5 TN. 1
TX. 8 UT. 1 VA. 5 VT. 1
WA. 4 WI. 3 WV. 2 WY. 1
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 154 MEMBERS FOR HELPING TO CREATE A SAFE HAVEN OF SUPPORT FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED WITH GENDER ISSUES!!!
Don’t forget to attend the Gender Room Meeting on the America Online BBS in the Gay/Lesbian area in the Community Room at 9pm ET every Sunday evening. For specific information, directions, or to order back logs of the chats, Email Marsha J, the Gender Room secretary.
A Holiday Prayer
Melanie Anne Phillips
Thank you for our memories,
That brighten our pleasures and dim our pains.
Thank you for our dreams,
That in the midst of darkness we might see light.
And most of all, Thank you for THIS day,
That guided by our memories, and inspired by our dreams, we can improve the quality of both.
“May you never find occasion to say, ‘If only…..'””
EDITOR’S NOTE: It is my desire to make this publication available free online to all who wish to read it. However, due to copyright laws, any overall license would allow unscrupulous individuals to excerpt portions and use it for their own personal gain. Therefore, should you wish to upload this publication on your BBS or simply generate hardcopies for support groups and friends, please write me about a free license for your specific purpose.
(Copyright 1992 Melanie Anne Phillips)