Crystal's StorySite storysite.org
by Anne Baker
I began by taking a bubble bath and shaving my legs and underarms. After toweling off, I put on my new bathrobe. I set my hair as Karen had shown me, placed my curlers properly and sat down to do my nails. I filed them and brushed on a pretty red lacquer followed by a transparent clear coat. As I waited for my hair to set, I took out my clothes for the evening. I had 90 minutes before leaving for Karen's party.
I sat down to do my makeup. I had just shaved so my face was very smooth. I shaped my eyebrows with tweezers and applied my foundation. I chose my eyeliner and a dark eye shadow to give me larger eyes. Finally, the mascara. Once my eyes were finished, I added a bit of blush and did my lips. Karen's suggestion of using the Bordeaux lip-gloss with the pencil was perfect. I looked at myself for several minutes after having finished my makeup. The look was perfect - self assured and natural. I wasn't looking at a drag queen, but at a natural woman.
I put on my ankle bracelet and took out the tuck away panty I had received a few days before. I worked my way into it and adjusted my crotch before pulling up the control zipper. Thankfully, due to the practice I had had in the last few days wearing it, there was much less discomfort. I spent the next half hour practicing my seating and crossing my legs. It was amazing how the padding changed my figure even under the bathrobe.
With a little more than half an hour to go, I put on my breast forms and bra and sat down to relax as my nervousness for the evening had returned. It was so important that I make a good impression. Karen had been such a big help, and even though Vera and Susan had not seen me since Id told them, I knew they were cheering for me.
The guys would be in for a surprise.
It had all come to a head three weeks earlier.
I was over at my good neighbor Karen's apartment watching TV one Friday night. We were sitting on the sofa and she started clicking through the channels during a commercial. She stopped on one channel and it became apparent that it was a documentary about transsexuals.
"Let's watch a couple of minutes of this," she said. "The movie doesn't start for five more minutes."
I pretended to roll my eyes and say, "Okay," but I was secretly thrilled.
"That must be really hell to hide a secret like that," she said sympathetically after a couple of minutes.
"More than you know," I mumbled, quietly engrossed in the program.
She turned to look at me. "What does that mean?"
I turned to face her, wanting to say something clever, but I froze. Nothing would come out.
A minute passed.
Karen saw the panic in my eyes. Gathering her thoughts, she reached out, took my hand and said, "Let's just watch the end of this show."
When the program ended - we hadn't said a word during the entire time, but by this point, I knew that my life long secret was out.
Karen got up and put a kettle on. Thankfully, she spoke first. "How you doing over there - doing alright?" she asked.
I nodded, got up and walked over to the kitchen.
"Did you identify with any of the girls on the program?"
I nodded again.
"Well, you realize that you can start talking now. I haven't started laughing at you or thrown you out of the apartment. Aren't we supposed to be friends or was that a facade too?"
"Tracy." I said referring to one of the transsexuals we saw. "I feel a lot like her."
"That's who I thought you'd say. She was very pretty as well. It's funny," she continued, "I didn't see this coming in a million years, but after a few minutes I figured you more as a transsexual rather than a transvestite. I don't know why, but go figure."
Slowly, over the next three hours, we drank tea and I opened up to her. Mine was the classic tale - confusion, repression, Mom's and Sis's clothes, denial, Mom and Sis's clothes again. We were both showing signs of fatigue and I got up to leave.
"Come back tomorrow for lunch if you want," Karen said as she walked me to the door. I took her in my arms and held her tight.
"I'd like that." I said.
"Shave your legs and underarms before coming over - I've been meaning to clean out my closet. Maybe I have some things you could use," she said with a smile.
She had already prepared a pasta salad when I arrived. We sat down, ate and talked about the weather. It was getting cold out and the leaves were starting to change color.
As we finished our coffee she asked, "So, did you shave?"
I blushed and nodded.
"Relax," she said. "From now on, I'm going think of you as a girlfriend and not a boyfriend. This is how girls talk, so you might as well get used to it if this is really what you really want for yourself. Do you want to check out some clothes?"
"I'd love to," I replied. I started to unwind as we got up to go to her room.
I never had much of my own clothes and what little I had Id recently purged, but I was wearing my one and only pair of panties and ivory colored pantyhose under my trousers. She had already laid out a few outfits on the bed and her closet door was open.
"Even though you're taller than me we're pretty much the same weight and build so these should fit fairly well," she said looking me over.
You'll want to start thinking about your own wardrobe, but this will be a good start." She handed me a bra, some socks, a sweater and a denim skirt. "Go into the bathroom and try these on. Use the socks to fill out the bra as best you can."
I came out a few minutes later and she smiled when she saw the pantyhose. "That looks great!" she said.
"I've never worn clothes this pretty before and no one's ever seen me like this before," I replied looking at myself in the mirror.
"No kidding, you really look very natural. Oh, this is going to be fun!" she said as excited as I was.
After an hour of trying on different outfits, I had a good basic wardrobe plus, Karen had done my make-up and hair.
"I feel amazing!" I said when we sat down on the sofa. I was still dressed and Karen had shown me how to properly cross my legs.
"I haven't had this much fun with clothes in years - you're like a real-life Barbie doll," she said evidently pleased with her creation. "I suppose for us real girls, for the lack of better term, well, these are just clothes. Okay, obviously," she said elaborating, "it's fun to put on something sexy, but I see that you're really getting something out of this."
"It's not just the clothes," I answered. "Listen to me," I said shaking my head. "Who am I kidding? Of course it's the clothes to some degree. This is wild, more than I've ever done. But it's how I feel dressed this way. This is right for me. It's so hard to explain."
"You'll get over the novelty soon enough when you get a run in your pantyhose just before a job interview," answered Karen. "Or when the skirt you spent a fortune dry cleaning falls off of the hanger during the night and you're running late the next morning."
"Sure, I realize that, but you don't wake up every morning and go to bed every night in the wrong body," I shot back.
"Touché," she replied. "That must feel really awful."
"It's indescribable," I said. "In-fucking-describable. I've really hit the wall hard, but I feel things have to change now. Especially compared to how I'm feeling right now."
"How's that?" she asked.
"Peaceful." I replied.
I stayed for another couple of hours. Karen helped me bag my new wardrobe and, after checking that no one was in the hallway, helped me take it all to my place. I was still dressed and loving every minute.
"So we're on for shopping tomorrow?" she asked after we hugged at my doorway.
"This is too much - it's too much too fast!" I said wearily.
"Bullshit," she shot back. "You've waited twenty-three years for this shopping spree. Don't give me that whiny, little too much too fast crap."
"You're right," I replied hesitantly. "I'll see you tomorrow, but I'm not sure that I'll be dressed for the day though."
Sure enough, we where at the mall by noon, but I did chicken out and was dressed in boy drab.
"Let me see your credit card," Karen asked so I pulled out my store charge card.
"Great! It's in the name of I. Baker, not Ian Baker and your signature is unreadable." She put the card to her ear, pretended to listen to it and turned to me, "Oh, it's screaming alright. By the way, pick up an application form to ask for a supplementary card for Anne. She'll be spending quite a bit of money here in the next few months."
Anne was to be my new name and I loved the way it sounded when she called me that.
"Let's start out with the essentials," she said as we walked towards the lingerie department.
As we were shopping, she gave me an invitation, "I've started working out every morning. Nothing intense - just some stretching, sit-ups and stuff. Would you like to join me starting tomorrow morning?"
"Sure, I'd like that," I answered. "A girl's got to work to keep her shape."
"We'll have to get you some work out clothes as well," she said.
After loading up on bras, panties, slips, pantyhose, slippers and sleepwear, I picked out a black unitard and a wrap skirt before we headed for a cash register.
"My, my," said the cashier. "You seem to starting from scratch with all this."
"Oh it's not mine, it's all for my friend here," answered Karen.
I freaked out. She had promised not to tell anyone.
Before I could say anything, Karen continued. "She had a fire in her apartment yesterday and everything was smoke damaged."
"You poor dear," said the cashier looking straight at me, "I hope you have insurance."
Totally confused by her reaction, or lack of it, I just nodded.
"Good luck honey," the cashier called out as we walked away loaded down with bags.
I turned to Karen. "You bitch," I said. "You swore to me that you wouldn't tell."
"What are you talking about?" she asked. "Look at you. What was I supposed to say?"
"What are YOU talking about? I'm wearing my regular clothes," I said.
"Look at yourself," she said as we walked by a mirrored panel.
I was still wearing my eye make up from the day before and my hair had kept its look. I looked like any other flat-chested, 23- year-old woman in the mall. "I didn't look in a mirror this morning. You should've told me."
"Told you what?" she answered.
I started to smile.
"Before we go home, you're going to need some shoes," Karen proclaimed.
I could swear I heard my credit card scream some more.
I had supper with Karen again that night.
I had slipped home long enough to freshen up and put on a few of my purchases. I filled out a bra with some pantyhose and socks and put on the matching panties. I just couldn't resist the lure of the unitard and skirt. After checking to make sure the coast was clear, I hurried down the hallway and back to Karen's.
Karen was five years older than me and we had met during a fire drill in our apartment building. I was new in the building and she introduced me to our neighbors, as we all waited outside the front door. There were singles and couples and it became apparent that everyone was on good terms. Karen's place was usually where a small group would gather to socialize once a month.
She was very attractive and was between relationships, but we quickly formed a friendship and soon I became one of the gang.
Karen said, "I talked to Vera on the phone this morning. She asked about us. Says we've been spending a lot of time together."
"What did you tell her?" I asked.
"Oh," she said, "I told her that we were learning more about each other and you were telling me about some future plans. She asked if we were an item."
"To which you replied...?" I asked.
"I told her that wasn't in the stars, but we were getting to be very close friends."
"It's funny," I responded. "I'm happy about what you said, but I have the same feeling as if you brushed me off. Feels weird. I must admit that when I first met you, I found you very attractive and could see myself asking you out."
"But you knew how things would end up eventually," she said finishing my thought.
I nodded. "Seeing that you just finished doing my hair and make-up again and I'm dressed like Martha Graham, I think you're probably right." Karen laughed.
I continued. "I can't believe what's been going on since yesterday. This is really fucked up, but then, if it's so fucked up why am I so happy?"
"How far do you want to take this?" she asked.
"Take what, us? You just said there is no us."
"Not us, how far is Anne coming out. Is it something that you just want to share with me or is this going to be permanent?"
"I haven't thought ahead that far. What do you think?" I poured her more tea and we sat down on the sofa.
"How should I know? I'm not in your shoes. I know one thing though, you'd need a lot of support and understanding. You can count on that from me, but it's your life - your decision. Follow your heart."
"I feel like I'm on a roll right now. If I stop, it may be another 23 years before I start again." I responded.
"By then you'll have lost your youth and everything that could have been. Are you willing to risk that? What's the worst that can happen? You tell people you owe it to yourself to try something and, if it doesn't go the way you want, alter course." she said. "But I know one thing, that documentary said that you will need counseling."
"I think that if I get to that stage, it'll happen, I'll end up under the knife for sure," I said fatalistically.
"Look, I throw a small Halloween party every year. It's in three weeks. Dress up as Anne, present yourself to the gang, and see how it goes. If it all goes well, then you'll know what to do. Any problems and it's just a costume. You won't have committed yourself," she said.
"Brilliant!" I exclaimed. "You are amazing. If this all goes well, it's the perfect way in. I feel fine sitting here with you, but that will put me in a group environment."
I grabbed her and held her tight. "I don't know how to thank you! You're the best friend I've ever had!"
"You're suffocating me with your tits, idiot!" she said straightening up on the sofa. "Ah, sweetheart, you're crying. Come here."
With 15 minutes to go, I took out my curlers and brushed my hair. Perfect. Next, the hair spray to hold it all together. I slipped on my earrings and gave another quick check in the mirror. It was more than I had ever hoped for.
I began to tremble as I pulled on my pantyhose. I took my dress and began to pull it over my head. I pulled it down around me and smoothed it out. I slipped into my high heels and went over to get my purse. It was time.
I went to the mirror and nearly started to cry. "Don't ruin your make-up," I thought as I slipped on my bracelet. I thought again about the necklace and decided to wear it after all. A splash of perfume and I was ready. I grabbed my purse and went into the hallway. There was no turning back. My heels clicked the way I hoped they would as I walked down the corridor.
My initial nervousness subsided quickly after Karen, who was dressed as a Celtic princess, greeted me at the door. Vera and Susan smiled at me approvingly from across the room and the atmosphere was light. As I looked around the room, I noticed the various costumes, as one by one, people began to take notice of me.
As I walked in, Andy, dressed as a fireman, walked across my path, took one look and said, "Dynamite legs!"
Karen and I started laughing. She leaned over and said, "Everything will be just fine girl."
We walked over to Vera and Susan who were dressed as Laurel & Hardy.
"I don't believe it," said Susan, "You look better than I do!"
"Your dress is gorgeous," said Vera. "And I love what you've done with your hair. Welcome to the better half!"
I thanked them each with a hug and kiss.
Mike walked over and asked, "Ian, is that you?"
"Buy a girl a drink sailor?" We all laughed and went into the kitchen for drinks.
I went around greeting my friends and enjoyed the different comments. Few were aware of what they were really witnessing, but that really didn't matter.
I went over and spoke to Karen on the sofa. I sat down, put my purse on the floor and crossed my legs. This small gesture, unnoticed by virtually anyone, was perfectly executed in my mind and I couldn't resist smiling. Karen winked knowingly.
"You look happy tonight," said Susan's boyfriend Dave.
"More than you can imagine," I answered.
"Looking good," he said as he walked towards the fridge. I smiled as I noticed lipstick on my glass.
The party was super and Vera, Susan, Karen and I talked at length about my shopping sprees, my make-up and hair.
It was wonderful.
Vera leaned over to me and said, "Andy's friend has been looking at you all night."
"Oh really," I answered. I turned around and winked at the sheikh. He turned away quickly.
"Maybe I came on too strong?" We all laughed.
I had been holding back from going to the bathroom, but now I could no longer wait. At that moment Wizard, Karen's cat, hooked my pantyhose causing a run.
"Sorry about that," said Karen as she shooed the cat away.
"No problem," I answered. "I brought an extra pair in my purse. I have to go to the can anyway. "
Karen said, "You thought of everything didn't you?"
"It's just that I want everything to be perfect that's all."
"I know honey," and she kissed me on the cheek.
Standing at the door waiting to go to the washroom was Andy. "Ladies first," he said.
"No, you go," I replied. " I'll need a few minutes. "
"You put a lot of effort into your costume - I mean clothing tonight," he remarked.
"A girl wants to look her best," I replied.
We waited together for a few minutes and I began to feel a little uncomfortable. I was stuck for conversation, I was starting to feel a bit nervous about what Andy might be thinking of me and I had a giant run in my pantyhose.
Andy said, "You look comfortable dressed like that. I know I wouldn't be so cool."
"I suppose you have to have the legs for it," I blurted out.
"No question about that," he replied. He looked me up and down again and said, "Like I said before, dynamite legs!"
"Thanks, I guess," I replied rather sheepishly.
"Don't be uncomfortable about a compliment like that - get used to it."
"What do you mean get used to it?" I asked.
"It's just that I get this feeling that this isn't just a costume to you and that I'll be seeing you dressed like this more often than not. If that's the case, you'll need your confidence when some guy makes a pass at you."
I just stared at him and couldn't find any words to reply.
"It's okay," he said. He took my arm and added, "It's your life. Be happy, be yourself and it will all be okay." At that point the bathroom door opened, Jerry came out and Andy went in.
"How are you doing?" Mike asked as he came up behind me.
"Fine," I replied as I struggled to regain my composure.
"That's quite an outfit," he said. "I notice a few more curves than usual."
"Thanks," I replied.
"I couldn't get into that if I tried and I don't know if I would either," he said.
"It's not so bad when you get used to it, but the guy who invented high heels should be shot," I answered.
"You're not worried what people might think seeing you like that?" he commented.
"Maybe a bit, but I'm surprised that you of all people would say something like that."
"You're right," he said. " I'm sorry."
After a short silence, he looked me up and down and said, "You do look good." That eased the tension and we both smiled.
"Thanks, that means more to me than you can imagine. I had said to myself that if I was going to do this I was going to do it right."
At that point, Andy walked out of the washroom and said, "Your turn. "
I went into the washroom and closed the door. I looked at myself in the mirror and started to tremble. I shook uncontrollably for almost five minutes before I calmed down and realized that the worst was over. People had been looking at me dressed like a woman for over three hours and nothing bad had happened. I took off my shoes, pulled off my torn pantyhose, pulled down my panty and sat down.
"Everything okay in there?" asked Mike impatiently.
"No problem - out in a second," I answered. I pulled up my panty and wrestled with the damn zipper. I took out my new pantyhose from my purse and pulled them on. I pulled my dress down and put my heels back on. I checked my make up and then touched up my eyes and lips.
"You really must be a woman with the time you took in the bathroom," Mike said as I walked out.
"Coming through," I replied as I walked past them.
"How are you doing?" Karen asked as I walked up to her.
"A minor nervous breakdown in the can, but beside that it's going great. I think some people are beginning to catch on though."
"I overheard some conversations to that effect, but they've been very sympathetic on the whole," she said. "Anyway, that's what this is all about isn't it?"
"Touché!" I replied.
"I haven't seen you much tonight Gino," I said as he walked over. "Having a good time? "
Gino was Vera's husband. A little rough around the edges, but a real sweetheart.
"Ya, it's good," he replied. "Being a mummy is not easy to move around though. I keep bumping into things. I was going to get dressed up like you - you know, like a girl, but Vera came up with the mummy thing a few days ago. I'm glad she did too. "
"Why's that?" I asked.
"Well, you know; I would have looked ridiculous. Not saying that you look ridiculous, but, well, with my mustache and the outfit that Vera had put together I would have looked like an idiot."
"It's all for fun," I said sipping my drink.
"Ya, but you look so pretty that I would have looked like a fool and maybe that would have made you look bad."
"That's awfully sweet of you Gino, thanks. Did Vera tell you Id be dressing like this?"
"Nah, she just changed the costume on me," he replied putting down his drink.
He looked at me more closely. "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you really look good like that. I mean, what I'm trying to say is that it's a nice outfit." He flushed with embarrassment and began to walk away.
"Don't go," I said. "Please, come over here for a second. The couch has freed up and my feet are killing me. Sit down over here for a second."
Vera walked by towards the bathroom and said to me with a smile, "Watch it, he's a married man!"
"Don't worry V," I answered with a laugh.
"How the hell can you cross your legs like that?" Gino asked. "You must be in severe scrotal pain."
"Just a little bit, but it's more my feet. Ah, the price we pay to be beautiful. So, Gino, do you like my costume?"
"Ya, it really looks good on you. Maybe I'll get something like that for Vera," he said approvingly.
"Well Gino," I started, "It's not really a costume. Karen helped me and I bought these clothes especially for tonight. I figured if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. Besides, with real clothes, they look better and you can wear them again. The only thing I didn't need was a wig - having long hair to begin with worked out. "
"I don't understand the curves - you know, your shape downstairs," he said.
"Oh that. It's a special panty I bought which hides what you have and fills out what you don't have."
"I can see you really took this seriously," Gino said as he took a drink from his glass.
"Like I said, I really wanted to look my best because..." My voice faltered. "Because...well I don't have the right word..."
"Because what?" Gino asked.
"Because this isn't really a costume I'm wearing tonight I suppose, but it's closer to what I should be wearing everyday."
"Are you telling me you're gay?"
"No, not at all. What I'm trying to say is that I may be happier from now on living as a woman instead of a man. Tonight is sort of an introduction to the new me."
"You mean to say that you're a transwooster?"
"No!" I laughed. "But I may soon end up being a transsexual - that is changing completely into a woman."
"Wow! Are you sure? Scrotal removal and everything?" he asked alarmed. I smiled and nodded my head. "Yikes, I'm experiencing severe pain just thinking about it."
Vera came over and sat down. "I told him," I said.
"Started by cracking the toughest nut," she chuckled.
"You knew?" Gino asked his wife.
"Ian told me a couple of days ago, but this is the first time I've seen him in a dress. He, she, looks terrific and I'm proud of him, her trusting our friendship with this type of news."
"I told him he looked good, but I didn't expect this. Whatever makes you happy I suppose," Gino said as he looked over at me.
"Thanks, I said with tears welling up in my eyes. It means so much to me."
"Don't cry," Vera said putting her arm around me.
"Everything okay?" Karen asked as she came over.
"Everything's fine," I answered. "Gino just gave me his blessing."
"Well I don't know if I would call it my blessing, but it's not my business telling someone not to do what they have to do."
"Thanks Gino," Karen said as she leaned over to kiss Gino on the cheek.
"Me too, thanks," as I leaned over and kissed his other cheek.
"Whoa - don't start going around kissing me now!" exclaimed Gino as we all burst out laughing. "Hey, what's your name anyway?" he asked me.
"Excuse me?" I said not understanding. "Oh, right. Call me Anne - short for Anne-Marie."
"Ladies and gentlemen," Gino said as he stood up. "I propose a toast to a new woman named Anne-Marie who will be taking the place of our friend Ian."
"Drinks are on me!" I shouted over the applause.
"No, no. Women don't buy drinks, they get offered drinks - remember that," said Andy as he filled my glass.
My friends around me came closer, each to ask me about my new identity. Karen took her camera and took some souvenir shots.
It was two thirty when everyone had left. Karen held my hand at the door and led me back to the kitchen table. "Cognac or something before you go?"
"Thanks," I replied. I kicked off my shoes and sat down. "I'm in serious pain. On top of my feet, I think my crotch is going to explode if I cross my legs one more time."
"I'm really proud of you. It took a lot of courage to do what you did tonight," she said, kissing me on the cheek.
"My faith in you guys made it easy," I answered. "The real courage will be doing this everyday and what comes later."
"Sure, but for now, what you did tonight was superb. Everybody has accepted you," she said as she brought me my glass.
"It wouldn't have been possible without you Karen."
"You freaked me out when you said you had spare pantyhose in your purse," she said laughing as she poured.
"Well, I heard that women do that I and I knew the cats would likely be feisty - so there," I explained reaching for my glass.
"You really looked good tonight. You aced your hair and make up."
"I had a good teacher," I answered.
"Thanks " she said. "Andy seems to have been smitten by you, did you notice?" she said coyly.
"What? Do you think so? What do I is he gay?"
"Well not if you aren't - you said so yourself tonight."
"Okay, true, but I wasn't expecting anything like this to happen. Are you sure?" I asked, very confused by this revelation.
"We'll see in the next few days if he calls you," she said sipping her drink. She could see I was taken aback. "Well girl, that's what happens when you go around with legs exploding all over the place and tits out to here," gesturing with her hands.
"You make me sound like a whore," I contested. "This is how it turned out. I didn't do it on purpose, I just wanted to look good that's all."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that. You do look good. You've turned out a lot prettier than either of us expected. It just so happens that some guy connected with you tonight - maybe. It's part of the territory. If you didn't think about it before, you'd better start now because sooner or later, you're going to have to deal with it."
"But not so soon as this surely?" I asked.
"Yes, so soon. It's likely it was just the mood of the evening for Andy, but someday, it's going to be for real and you're going to have to decide how to deal with it."
"He is sort of cute," I said finishing my cognac. " But what if he liked the girl he met tonight? What about tomorrow?"
"You are the girl he met tonight, and you will still be her tomorrow. Play it by ear."
"What will people think?" I asked.
"Probably the same as they thought tonight - that it's your life and live it the way you want."
"I want to help you clean up. Are you going to do that tonight or tomorrow?" I asked getting up off my chair.
"Are you kidding? No way am I doing anything more tonight than sleeping," she said gesturing me to sit down.
"How about if I come by tomorrow morning with breakfast and I can help you then?"
"That would be nice," she answered yawning.
"I'm sure I won't be able to sleep tonight - this has been the best day of my life. "
"What are friends for?" she answered. "It's not every day that something like this happens and it's neat being a part of it."
"How should I dress tomorrow? " I asked, stifling a yawn.
"Less formal that's for sure. I don't know. Whatever."
"But should I dress like Anne or Ian? I mean should I give this a rest and let people get used to the idea or what? "
"Well, the way I look at it, Anne-Marie's come out of the closet so to speak, so you might as well stay out. Switching back and forth will only become disturbing to people whereas staying the course will end up becoming normal. The way things are you might as well burn you men's clothes."
"I can't, I'll need them for work and stuff, but I hear what you're saying."
"Being a woman is exactly that, being," Karen said. "Being is not just dressing the part. You showed us all, including yourself that it wasn't just a fashion thing."
"You're right," I said. "I felt really good tonight doing all the little things as much as wearing the make up, the dress and the pantyhose."
"I noticed that look on your face when you sat down and crossed your legs. Very nice!" she commented.
"Like I said, I had a good teacher," I answered.
"One last thing, stop looking sexier than me. It pisses me off."
"Okay," I replied, "but keep your damn cats off my pantyhose."
I got up, picked up my heels and said, "See you tomorrow."
"Not before eleven please," she said, "or you are in trouble!"
I walked over to her and took her in my arms.
"I know," she said.
As I walked down the corridor towards my apartment, she called out, "You forgot your purse!"
I walked back for it and taking it from her said, "I've got to start remembering that."
I started taking off my make up when it happened. It started off as a welling of tears in my eyes, but soon I broke down weeping uncontrollably. I ran into my bedroom and threw myself down onto my bed. It seemed as if all the pressure I had held back for years was coming to the surface and my only release was tears.
It must have been around 9am when I woke up. I was still dressed and my make up had stained my pillow. I felt physically beat up, but at peace inside.
"So this is it!" I said out loud to myself. The cat was out of the bag and it wasn't going back in. I got up and walked over to the kitchen and turned on the kettle. I desperately had to go to the bathroom so I got undressed and went. Afterwards, I looked at myself in the mirror. My hair was a mess, half my make up was still on and stubble was pushing through.
I made a cup of coffee and went for a shower. I felt rejuvenated by the pulsating water and stayed in longer than usual. I got out and shaved. Then I shaved again. I knew that I would shave again before putting on my make up. I made a mental note to find out about electrolysis as I slipped into my bathrobe and slippers. As I went into my bedroom, I gathered up my clothes from the night before and put them all, except for my bra and panty, into the hamper.
I drank my coffee and thought about the previous evening. I laughed out loud when I thought of Gino when he asked me if I was a "transwooster." I was startled when the phone rang and assumed that it was Karen.
"Karen - how are you this fine morning," I answered.
"It's not Karen, it's Andy. Hi."
My heart skipped a beat. "Andy, hi, how are you?" I stammered surprised.
"Is it okay if I call you Anne-Marie or do you prefer Anne?"
"Listen Andy, about last night...." I started.
"No, it's okay," he said. "I just wanted to call and say that it was a super party last night and that everybody was proud of what you did."
"Thanks," I answered. "I figured that if you couldn't count on your friends, that means they aren't your real friends."
"That certainly is true. Anyway that was it and by the way it was nice meeting the new you. See ya."
"Andy?" I spoke.
"Yes?" he answered.
"Before you go, I just wanted to say that you could call me Anne-Marie if you want."
"That I most certainly will do. See ya."
I spent the next couple of minutes listening to the dial tone. I put the phone down and tried to think of what to do next. I wanted to call him, but didn't. I was so confused that the only thing I could think of was to shave again. I shaved my face, legs and armpits. I had been preparing my outing for weeks, but hadn't expected this kind of reaction so soon.
The next half-hour was spent deciding what to wear for the day.
'So this is what women go through on a daily basis,' I thought to myself. I had put on some eye make up and lipstick and my bra, but decided to go to the bathroom again before putting on my panty.
I finally chose to wear some black tights, a skirt, low heels and a wool sweater. I managed to put my hair back together and, by eleven, I was ready to go to the convenience store for some breakfast. As I walked into the hallway, I realized that I had forgotten my purse again so I went back in to get it. Back out, I locked up and went down to the store.
As I heard the bell tinkle when I walked into the store, I realized that this was the first time I was in a situation as Anne in front of people who knew me, but were not my close friends. Already in the store, I couldn't turn back. I took a deep breath and went to the counter.
The Korean owner walked over and said to me, "You boy, no?"
"No more," I said. "Now I'm a girl." I smiled and I told him what
He looked at me and said, "Okay," and began preparing my order. With everything together, he walked with me to the cash register where his wife was. She looked at me with a puzzled expression when her husband suddenly proclaimed, "Boy no more. Now beautiful girl." He was proud of his English.
"Thank you," I said blushing. As he walked back to his counter, I turned to see his wife smiling at me in a way that I had not expected from a stranger.
"You look very nice," she said as she rang up my order. After I had paid and taken my bag she looked at me again and added, "You look very happy."
"I am very happy," I said, "because of your kind words." I left to go to Karen's already looking forward to my next visit. As I walked up the stairs of the building, I met Gino and Vera coming down.
"You're freaking me out again!" said Gino as he saw me.
"Gino, stop it!" said Vera as she slapped his arm.
"Kidding, I'm just kidding - he knows that."
"She, and no Anne-Marie doesn't."
"It's okay Vera," I said still smiling. "Gino was super last night and I know he's just teasing me today."
"See? I told you," said Gino triumphantly.
"Stop by for coffee later if you want Anne-Marie," Vera said and kissed my cheek as they continued down the stairs.
"Told you that outfit would look good on you," Karen said as she opened the door.
"The thing I like most are the flat shoes," I replied as I walked in and closed the door.
We ate slowly and I described my events of the morning at the store and meeting Gino and Vera. I didn't say anything about Andy's phone call however. I was still trying to figure that one out.
The next week passed well as my main concerns were dealing with my family and trying to work out my job situation. I felt that it would be only a matter of time before my boss Freddy would find out about my new identity so, during my vacation week, I developed a strategy. My plan was to meet Freddy at a neutral location with Karen along for moral support.
We got to the coffee shop half an hour early and I had already had two cups of coffee before Freddy arrived. I saw him looking for me, but he didn't know how I would be dressed. I stood up and waved him over. The look on his face was priceless.
"What the hell is this all about?" he asked looking at me with a stunned expression.
"Sit down," I said. "You're making a scene." As he sat he apologized and asked me again what was going on. I explained to him the decision I had made in my personal life and that now it was time to face up to my professional life as well.
"What will the customers say?" he asked calmer than when he first came in. "What will the employees say? This is not a choice you're giving me here. You seem to be dictating this out to me."
I replied, "I don't feel that I have any say in this myself. I can't control what is happening to me and I don't know that I would if I could either. This last month has been really good for me. My friends have accepted me, strangers have accepted me and no one has made me feel like a freak."
"Well, I'll certainly hand it to you. Your look is natural," he said.
After an hour of discussion, we agreed that if after one month that my appearance was causing any problems in the store, I would be moved back in the office. I was determined to succeed.
As Freddy got up to leave, he looked at me and smiled, "After the last couple of hours, I have trouble remembering what you look like as a guy." Karen squeezed my hand under the table. "I'll keep everybody late after work tomorrow night and tell them," he said. "Take Tuesday off to let it sink in for everybody and come in on Wednesday."
Karen had been going through her purse and took out a picture of me taken at the costume party. "Tell them that this is what Anne looks like now," she said giving him a very flattering photo.
"This is you?" exclaimed Freddy. I smiled and nodded. He looked again and said, "Dynamite legs."
Karen and I burst out laughing.
"Anne-Marie, it's Andy. How are you?"
I had almost forgotten about Andy's last call four weeks earlier.
"Fine," I answered, "How are you?"
"Listen, I was just wondering if you're free tonight, I could pop by to pick you up and we could go music shopping."
"Gee Andy, thanks, but I just got in from finishing my first full week at work as Anne and I'm beat."
"That's okay, how did it go by the way?"
"It went fine. The staff was really good about everything. They even bought flowers for me on my first day and most of the customers were really okay with my change. There were a couple of assholes, but I put them in their place."
"Atta girl. Maybe tomorrow then?"
I hesitated, "Andy?"
"I feel really funny about all this. It's something I wasn't expecting."
"What's funny Anne-Marie? Expecting what?"
"Well the calls, the invitations. You know who I am, what I am."
"Yes I do," he replied. "You're a good person who's going through a difficult period and who needs the support of her friends."
"It's all very new to me. I don't know how to react to things yet," I answered thinking I had put my foot in my mouth. "You see, I thought "
"Listen," he said, "You surprised us all by the fact that beneath that former exterior of yours, you were hiding a very attractive woman. This is difficult for us to deal with too you know. I haven't seen you in a few weeks, but I hear that your good looks that night were no fluke."
"I'm sorry if I appeared to jump to conclusions Andy, but I never had to think about these situations before."
"I would have been insulted if you didn't jump to any conclusions," he said with a reassuring laugh. "So, are we on for tomorrow?"
"Well, I guess I'm free tomorrow if the offer is still on."
"Fine, I'll be there at 1pm sharp!"
As with his first call, I sat listening to the dial tone for several minutes before hanging up.
Andy and I started seeing each other daily and before long, people thought of us as a couple. We were intimate, but I didn't want a sexual relationship just yet. He seemed content to see what the coming months would bring.
I started my meetings at the gender clinic on my 24th birthday and within six days had begun hormone therapy. Convincing the doctors of my condition was not a problem since I'd been living full time as a woman for almost four months.
I'd been calling my family every few weeks on the telephone, but I hadn't said anything to my Mom and Dad and I was truly dreading that. I had a feeling they knew I was up to something.
I'll forever cherish the memory of my breasts beginning to grow. My mom and sister are well endowed so my breasts grew fairly rapidly and before I knew it, I was filling a 36 b bra (with only a small pad). My skin softened, my hips and rear became fuller, my body hair thinned out and I learned to soften my voice slightly.
I spent hours at a time looking at myself in my bedroom mirror coming to terms with my physical changes.
Andy and I stopped seeing each other for about six months during this period, and, in retrospect it was just as well. I was very emotionally unstable due to the hormones, but my system now seemed to stabilize. I carried on working for Freddy and living in the same apartment.
Karen, Susan, Vera and I started a monthly waxing party at my place where we would get together, wax our legs, drink wine and talk (and moan) about men. The girls used this time to teach me the ropes of being a woman and I relished in the camaraderie which grew from these meetings. The more we were together the more I grew into my role.
"So, when are you and Andy going to do the nasty?" blurted out Susan one night as she peeled of a layer of unwanted leg hair from me.
Susan was becoming a good friend, but I always had the feeling that she resented my change. As if there was yet someone else competing against her in the elusive search for Mr. Right.
"Susan," Vera said protectively, "That's none of our business."
"So when?" Susan asked undeterred again.
"Well, if you must know, after my operation," I replied seriously.
"A year and a half from now? Get serious, he'll be gone by then. If you want to keep him around, you've got to get to it."
"Andy and I agreed that..."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, when you're penis is gone and your vagina is in place...Trust me he'll be gone soon if you guys don't start stumpfing soon."
"Well Susan, if you think that's the only way to keep a man, you're wrong," said Karen joining in. "Besides, that's a very delicate subject to Anne and stop being rough on her."
"It's delicate for all of us women Karen, not just Anne. Look Anne, you've been busting your ass to be a woman and I respect that, but sex isn't only good for the guy. It's good for us too. All I'm saying is, you want Andy to feel he's with a woman and not a man, well, give him a woman and take no prisoners. You'll be surprised how much you'll enjoy it too!"
"Susan may just have something there," said the normally reserved Vera. "That may be a good step for you as a woman and a good test of your relationship with Andy. I mean, losing your virginity to someone as good looking as Andy is every young girl's dream."
"For arguments sake, how could I go about it? I mean, I'm not a complete woman." I was feeling nervous, excited, embarrassed and curious all at once.
"Well since the front door is still under construction why don't you use the backdoor?" volunteered Susan.
"Susan, well I never!" exclaimed Vera.
"Anal sex is a fairly common part of a normal man/woman relationship isn't it so why not for Anne and Andy?" asked Susan.
"It's also part of a normal gay relationship as well and that's exactly what I don't want Andy to think he has with me," I replied defensively.
"Look Anne, we know you're a transsexual and that you're not a gay man. So does Andy, so does the whole fucking world," said Karen in a slightly exasperated tone. "We know already, so stop defending yourself. Does that mean that you'll never have anal sex even after the operation for fear of being called a gay man?"
"Okay, I'm sorry, but it's..."
"Just a sensitive point with you. We know, we know. That's my point. Get over it once and for all," said Karen.
"Okay, so, what do I do girls?" I said.
"Lingerie," volunteered Vera.
"Go down on him when he least expects it," offered Susan.
I turned to Karen. "What do you think?"
"That and more," said Karen. "Like Susan said, give him a woman, a strong woman and make sure it's good for you or else there's no point. Give him a sexy woman too like Vera said. It's got to be good for him too. Let's open another bottle of wine and map this out between the four of us and make sure you love birds have the time of your lives. "
The plan ended up being as follows. I would get my hair and face done professionally the afternoon of the big event, brazen, but not tarty. This would be the day I would lose my virginity so it called for the full treatment. I would wear a red bra, panty and garter set with black seamed stockings. I would wear a black see- through negligee, a black velvet collar and black pump slippers. That would certainly send a clear message of intent. I should have a shaker of dry martinis ready and plenty of candles.
The best way to deal with my offending member was to keep my panties on, but prepare an opening in the rear to avoid unnecessary fumbling. A box of condoms and some lubrication would be discreetly at hand and the radio would be turned on to the all-night jazz station.
"When?" I asked, having firmly decided to follow my friends advice.
"This Friday," answered Susan "And we want all the details on Saturday. And I mean all the details."
Andy and I met the next day and I invited him over for Friday supper.
Karen, Vera and Susan figured I might chicken out so we all made our salon appointments together. They were also curious about how I would look. Karen and I went shopping on Thursday night for my outfit. It was expensive, but worth it. The quality was superb and the material was luscious. We stopped by at Karen's and she made the alteration to the panty and finished it of on her sewing machine.
The next day, Friday, saw us all at the beauty salon. Looking at the other girls, I started to have the feeling that they were preparing for their own special evenings. Karen had started seeing Mike and they really seemed meant for each other. We all congratulated ourselves on our looks and gave a careful group hug on leaving the salon.
"Don't chicken out tonight, and, don't forget, we want the full details," said Vera with a sly wink.
I returned home and started trembling as soon as I locked the door. What would Andy think? What would happen to our relationship? How would the contact feel? Would I enjoy it? I did what I always do when stressed out - I shaved my legs and underarms again. Even though I had just waxed. I finished off with a douche to make sure nothing would ruin my evening. I was dressed and waiting a half hour before Andy was to arrive.
The phone rang. It was Susan. "Are you dressed yet?"
"Yes I am and I feel not bad if I say so myself."
Vera was next, "Good luck honey." She sounded like she was holding back tears.
"Thanks V," I replied trying to sound reassuring.
Last, but not least, was Karen. "Is everything under control?" she asked.
"Karen," I answered, "If not for you, I...."
She interrupted, "I know sweetheart, go get him Tiger!"
At 6:30pm the doorbell rang. "It's me!" He shouted through the speaker-phone.
It seemed like an hour but it must have been only a few seconds before I buzzed him inside. I heard his steps walking down the corridor and the knock on the door. I was standing, trying to look as seductive as possible and asking myself what the hell I was doing.
I looked through the peephole and saw Susan, Vera and Karen. I opened the door and let them in. It was Sunday afternoon.
"You bitch, how dare you put a no disturb sign on the door all day yesterday?" I was surprised by Vera's language.
"Well girls, you were right all along," I said barely able to hold back the biggest grin of my life. "The look on his face was priceless. I'll never forget it in a million years. Funny thing is he said the same about me afterwards."
"Never mind that - is he hung?" demanded Susan.
"You guy's sit down, I'll open the wine." I winked at Susan and nodded.
I walked into the kitchen to get the wine. I was wearing my black unitard and wrap which had become my favorite outfit for lounging.
He couldn't believe it at first. He just stood there saying, "Unreal, unreal." I finally had to tell him to stop. It was making me nervous. That's when I took his hand and walked him into the bedroom. I was giving him a blowjob within seconds."
"Anne!" exclaimed Vera.
"What V, you wanted details," I said a bit smugly.
"Did you swallow?" she asked sheepishly.
"As a matter of fact no - not the first time," I replied
"His hands were all over me after that, " I continued, " It was scary at first. He started to slow down though after and it started to be real nice. I just let the evening unravel and we took our time to get to know each other and it went into the next day. "
"So you guys went all the way?" asked Susan.
"It built up to that and it went really well. We ended up doing it four times in all."
"Wow - not bad for a first time. You must have had trouble walking this morning."
"As a matter of fact I did and even now, sitting is sort of special."
"What did he think of your seductive look? Did your outfit drive him wild?" asked Karen.
"Like I said, he kept saying unreal at first. Yeah, he really liked it. Actually my bra was the only thing that came off. I knew I wouldn't take off my panty, but he wanted me to leave the garter belt and stockings on. That was neat because those are a fetish of mine too. He almost rubbed them off my legs though the way he was going. I think he sucked my breasts one size bigger as well."
"How did you feel having him inside you?" asked Vera.
"It was funny, because at first I thought it meant that I belonged to him, but after I while, I started to control the rhythm more and then it felt like he belonged to me. And after a while, it didn't seem to matter."
"Bravo," said Karen. "That's the way it should be."
"I love you guys so much and I promised the details, but no more. From now on it's personal."
"So, you're going to keep on seeing him?" asked Karen. I turned to her, smiled and licked my lips.
"Anything you want to talk about?" asked Karen. "Everything all lovey-dovey?"
We had just finished our morning workout and had gone out for a short walk in the park next to our apartment building. It had been a couple of days since my passionate weekend with Andy and she knew me well enough to know that something was troubling me.
"My sister called me a couple of nights ago. She's finished her semester and wants to stop by here, meet up with me, and then the two of us go down home to see our folks. I've told her a bit about how I've been feeling and about dressing around the house, but she has no idea that it's gone this far." I replied, gesturing to my unmistakable bosom.
"I've been telling you and the therapist has been telling you that you have to tell your family. Didn't you think this would happen? That your family wouldn't be content with vague phone calls and want to actually see you for a change? It's either that, or just tell them to fuck off and leave you alone forever."
"Karen, stop it!" I shouted at her.
"No, you stop it. You stop it right now!" she exclaimed. "For the last year you've dragged me into this thing of yours. It's always been - Karen, what should I do, Karen, what should I wear, Karen, when should I swallow. Jesus Christ, take some fucking initiative to figure things out yourself. You're old enough to realize that there are consequences and actions in what you're doing. It's time you start facing reality. Let me know how it all turns out."
With that said, she broke into a jog and left me there standing at the walkway of our building.
I had always turned to Karen to help me in these situations since I first confided my cross-dressing to her almost a year earlier. We had become as close as sisters and she had become my family. However, my real family had been making itself more restless and I wasn't sure if I could count on them to understand me, to help me or to love me at this major turning point in my life. I thought I had Karen for that. Now it didn't even look like I had her.
I walked into my apartment, went into my room and started to undress. I took off my running-shoes, shorts, tights and my leotard then went to the bathroom for a quick shower.
For the rest of the day, I fought off the urge to call Karen. Andy was out of town on business and I couldn't reach him. I certainly didn't want to call my family - not just yet.
For the first time since the beginning of my transition, I started to have the same feelings of solitude and deep down uncertainty that I had before Anne had come into my life, or more precisely, since Anne had taken over my life.
I got up off the sofa and went into my bedroom. I walked up to my full-length mirror and started to undress.
I had often spent long hours looking at myself in this mirror. Who had I been looking at? I had marveled at the budding breasts, the flowing hair, the softer skin....
Who was this person?
I stood naked and looked at myself. I wanted to see who I once was. I wanted to see who I was becoming. I wanted to make sure that the two images I was looking at were the same person.
All things considered, I liked Ian Baker, with all his strengths and weaknesses. His inconsistencies, his determination. After all, I had known him for 23 years.
Whose soul was being reflected back at me now?
So far I liked Anne Baker, the little I knew of her. With a year of transitioning under my belt she seemed to be a nice person. What had I given up? Was this really the new me and would this person be any happier than Ian?
The phone rang. Finally, Karen caved in and called.
"Karen, I'm so glad you called. I'm so sorry about this morning...."
"Whoa, hold on brother-o-mine, it's me, I'm at the airport. What's wrong with your voice?"
Shit, my sister Connie. I had been gradually adapting my voice through speech therapy to match my new persona, but always fell back on my Ian voice when contacting my family.
"What airport is that?" I answered, falling back on my bed.
"Duh, do you have any food in the house or do you want to call in for one of those greasy pizzas you like. I should be there in about twenty minutes."
"What do you mean twenty minutes, uh, you can't, I'm going out now and I won't be back till real late." I was trying to hold back the panic, but I knew I wasn't doing a very good job.
"What is this crap that you're trying to pull? I told you two days ago I was coming into town. Look, I'm serious; I'll be there in twenty minutes. Are you scared to see your own sister?"
"No wait, I'll meet you at the curry place on the corner of Park and Westfield in half an hour. Let me just take care of a couple of small things first. Bye."
Stay calm. I had bought an extra ten minutes of time. Big deal. It was not supposed to happen like this. Shit, shit, shit....
Connie was a year younger than I was, but she had always had the confidence and feelings of self that I had always lacked. I was as jealous of that as I was of her wardrobe.
I had filled her in on a couple of details about what I had been up to over the last year - my confiding in Karen, her giving me some clothes, signing up to the gender clinic for counseling.
She did not however know about Anne being a full-time thing, she had no idea about my hormone therapy and she would drop dead if she knew about Andy.
Stay calm. Don't panic.
I ran to my closet and started to go through what little of Ian's clothes that I still had.
I started to put on a pair of jeans, but quickly realized that I should at least start with underwear.
I pulled on a pair of boxers and went again for the jeans. It had been a good nine or ten months since I tried them on and it was at that point I realized the difference the hormones had made. I was able to pull my pants up, but there was no way that the zipper would pull up due to the change in my hips and butt.
Stay calm, don't panic.
I grabbed a shirt, but came up against another obstacle-or two.
Stay calm, don't panic. How was I going to hide my breasts? I had nothing to strap them down with. Oh shit.
I could see Connie sitting at a table with her back to the plate glass. Her overflowing knapsack was propped up in the empty booth next to her.
I took a deep breath and opened the door. I was fifteen minutes late. I walked into the restaurant, walked up to her booth and sat down in front of her.
Connie looked up from her book at me and said, "Excuse me, this seat is taken." She looked down again, but almost as quickly jerked her head up again.
"Ohmygawd!!" she shouted and got up to greet me. "It's you!"
She got up and I quickly grabbed her in my arms. I held on tightly and we both started crying. She put her arms on my shoulder and looked at me.
"Let's sit down and check out the menu," I said. "Take me for what you see. We'll talk about this later," I said sitting down.
It took a couple of minutes, but I started to get some small talk going and before long we were eating and talking about all sorts of stuff. It was the same as when we were kids. I had been coming to this restaurant for years and I figured it would be safer to meet in a public place. The food was good and Andy's younger brother Jimmy even worked there on weekends.
After an excellent meal, I said, "Let's go back to my place, you must be exhausted."
It was only a short walk and it was a nice evening.
"What the hell's in this bag?" I asked as I shifted the knapsack from one shoulder to the other.
"Just some laundry I'm bringing back. Mom always complains, but I think she likes doing it. Speaking of clothes, I must say that I feel almost jealous looking at you."
Connie was wearing her traveling clothes - a pair of old jeans and a bulky wool sweater. I, on the other hand, was wearing a no-sleeve orange dress, a print shawl, black tights, and my favorite boots.
"Tah, dah. Didn't I mention I was drop dead gorgeous?"
We got to my place and Connie sat down while I made some tea.
"Even the place is looking different." She walked around. "Make-up in the washroom? I should have given you more time to clean up."
"I must admit your call caught me off guard." I brought the tea into the living room.
"Caught you playing dress-up again. Well, at least it wasn't like the last time. Remember that?"
"How could I forget? You were getting dressed for your prom night and you were looking for your intimates."
"For the first time in my life I had garters and hose and my brother had them on before I did."
"Well, I least I didn't cause any runs in them."
We smiled at the memory. "I came this close to telling Mom," she said holding her thumb and finger close together.
"Where are you going with all this," Connie continued, "I thought you had outgrown playing Little Miss Dressup." She looked me over. "I know you're wearing make-up, but you look different somehow. You even sound different. Anyway, I know one thing for sure, Mom and Dad would just freak right out if they saw you now."
My parents were really loving and great providers for the two of us. However, even though no one could accuse them of being intolerant of anyone because of race, creed or color, they had both grown up in very homogenous and somewhat sheltered surroundings. They would give the shirt off their backs to help anyone at any time, but they seemed heavily into the concept of normal.
Images of long-haired rock musicians brought a look of disapproval to their faces, ways of life from exotic lands brought looks of bemusement and images of "alternate" lifestyles brought a look of total non-comprehension. Yup, they would freak right out if they saw their only son looking more like a daughter.
I shifted in my seat to bring my legs up. "Do you think they know anything about this?"
"I forget the details, but Mom asked me one time if I had tried on some of her clothes and when I said no she said something like, 'well I hope it wasn't your brother' or something to that effect. Anyway, we're not just talking grabbing a pair of pantyhose and running off into the bathroom to do god knows whatever, we're talking the whole works here."
Once again, as with Karen and my therapist, I found myself telling my story of childhood confusion, teen angst and recent developments. I got up to just before the hormone treatments before stopping. I figured best let her try and absorb the story so far before going into high gear.
"Wow, so you're really serious about this aren't you? You know I'm not so naive to not be able to follow this, but you're my very own big brother. This is going to be pretty tough to watch."
"Tell you what, it's still pretty early and I don't work tomorrow so I'm going to open up a bottle of wine. Let me go to the can first." I got up and went to the washroom.
When I got out, Connie was in my room. Obviously, she had taken a moment to snoop around.
"Looking for something?" I asked as I walked towards the kitchen.
"Sorry, but don't forget, you were looking through my things before this all came down. Wow, you've got more stuff than I do. Better stuff too."
"I must admit to a few sprees, but don't forget I started from nothing. I've slowed down though, can't afford to keep up with the latest fashions."
"See, it's not all sugar and spice and fairy godmothers. Being a chick is a tough job. When you find out how tough, you might just change your mind. By the way, out of curiosity, what are you doing for boobs - breast forms or what?"
"Come here and I'll show you." I drew a breath and started to undo the top buttons of my dress.
Connie walked over to examine me.
"OH MY GOD!!! OH MY GOD!!!"
I had not expected such a violent reaction.
"WHO ARE YOU? WHERE IS MY BROTHER? LISTEN, I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE, BUT IF YOU DON'T TELL ME WHERE MY BROTHER IS, I'M CALLING THE FUCKING COPS. I'M SERIOUS. RIGHT NOW!!! DON'T JUST STAND THERE GOD DAMN YOU!! WHERE IS IAN?? I WANT MY BROTHER RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!"
"Connie, calm down, it's me."
"DON'T YOU TELL ME TO CALM DOWN." She started calling out, "IAN, IAN, GET OUT HERE NOW!!! IF THIS IS A JOKE SO HELP ME GOD IT'S NOT FUNNY."
I held my dress closed and walked towards her.
"DON'T MOVE!! DON'T TOUCH ME!!! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BROTHER?"
"Connie please don't, it's me. Please don't make this harder than it has to be."
"YOU'VE KILLED HIM, YOU'VE KILLED HIM!!" she wailed. She fell into my arms and I held her so very, very close to me.
"He was so sweet and gentle and you killed him. You've killed my brother!!!" she sobbed.
There was banging at the door.
She was right- the poor bastard didn't stand a chance. He was dead as sure as if I'd put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
"You'd better let her rest a bit," said Vera.
Vera's husband Gino had heard the shouting and had come over to see that I was all right. Connie had fainted and he'd carried her onto my bed and gone to get Vera who was a registered nurse.
"What happened here anyway?" she asked me.
"Well, everything had been going okay. I told her about my transitioning, and we were talking and she asked me about my boobs."
"So you showed her?" she asked.
"That wasn't very smart. She had no idea what was coming."
"No you wait a minute V. You or nobody else can understand or make a judgment here. This is slightly out of your league."
"No you wait, Miss Baker. I am a human being and if someone laid out so clearly that someone I knew and loved didn't exist anymore, I'd be screaming bloody murder too."
"But I'm the same person. I look different, I feel different, and I probably even smell different, but I'm the same bloody person inside, in my heart, in my head, that I've always been."
I brought my hand across the kitchen table and swept everything on the floor. Vera was startled, but she didn't get up.
"I know," she said, "but people around you can only relate to an identity, a visual image, a name, a look. Do you know that I've known you longer as Anne Baker than Ian Baker? We all have around here. It's like, 'Where's Ian? I don't know, but there's Anne and she'll do just as well'. I can't even remember what you look like as Ian. I don't have a picture of you as Ian, but I've got quite a few of Anne. Do realize now why everyone was so accepting of you so quickly?
"Your sister however," she continued. "Your sister, grew up with Ian, probably has a whole photo album devoted to Ian pictures and has a very vivid image of Ian. You showed her proof positive that he doesn't exist anymore. How did you expect her to take it?"
I put my head down and held it in my hands, "Jesus Christ, what have I done?"
"You did what you had to do. Not too gracefully mind you, a little too graphically perhaps, but you did what you had to do. Now, you too, go rest up."
I lay down on the bed beside Connie and slept a bit.
I woke up after dawn. Connie was still sleeping - she must have been exhausted. I reached out and brushed the hair away from her eyes. I wasn't the only one that had changed. She had matured into a beautiful young woman. I had held the image of a crying baby, an irritating little girl, and a slightly arrogant teenager. Now she was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her.
We weren't so different her and I.
I got up, put on my bathrobe and started to clean up the mess from the night before. That done, I poured myself a coffee and went out to sit on the balcony.
"You still hum that music."
I turned around. Connie was standing there looking at me. I don't know why, but ever since I was a child I often hummed Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". No particular reason - I have always liked it.
"Go pour yourself a coffee and come and sit."
She came out a few minutes later and sat down next to me. "It wasn't a dream was it?"
I shook my head.
"It really is you. I can really see that, now that you don't have make-up on. Boy, you really changed."
"That's funny, I was thinking the same about you earlier. I need you more than ever. You know that don't you?"
She nodded. "You're going to go all the way aren't you?"
I nodded back.
"Wow, Mom and Dad are going to freak."
"I know," I answered. "At least now I know how not to tell them."
We both laughed. It felt good.
All of a sudden she reached over, put her hand in my robe and cupped my breast. She withdrew her hand and said, "Well, at least they're not silicone."
I smiled. "We take after Mom in that department."
"You're probably having fun with them now, but trust me, big boobs are a pain in the ass," she smirked.
"Well, they certainly attract attention anyway," I grinned.
"What do you know about guys?" she asked.
"Well, I used to be one, remember?" I answered.
"No, I'm serious. Have you gone out with a guy yet?"
"Well, there is someone I consider very close."
"Before or after?" she asked.
"Before or after what?" I asked back.
"You know, all the changing. Are you gay and decided that it would look more normal if you turned yourself into a girl?"
"No, as a matter of fact I never considered the possibility of being with a guy before changing. After I started being Anne, I met someone nice."
"What's his name?"
"Andy," I replied.
"So..." She looked at me.
"So what?" I asked. All of a sudden it dawned on me. "That's none of your damn business!" I shot back.
"You're blushing. I've never seen you blush before." She smiled at me. "Oooh, this is going to be fun."
"So, what about you? Tell me that. Are you seeing anyone?" I asked trying to change the subject.
"I know a few guys, nothing serious."
"Are you being careful at least?" No matter what, she still was my little sister.
"Duh, of course, spas!"
"Twerp," I shot back.
I looked at her. "Do you like me so far?"
She nodded and tears welled up in her eyes, "I'm so sorry for last night."
I started welling up myself. "Me too."
We spent the day getting reacquainted. Apart from the obvious, nothing much had changed.
We went clothes shopping in the afternoon, however, much to my dismay we bought an emergency Ian wardrobe. After my near disaster with Connie, I knew that if I was to face my parents anytime soon, it would have to be first as their son. Baggy pants, baggy sweaters. I had been going through hell to get a shape that I felt happy with and now I had to worry about hiding it.
"We'll stop by a drugstore to pick up an elastic bandage or something to strap down your boobs," said Connie "And then you should be ready to meet the folks."
"This is never going to work," I complained. "I can't spend a weekend all hunched over looking like an ogre."
"You should have thought of that before," answered Connie.
I had a good meeting with my therapist that night. He said that although my technique was rough, I had dealt fairly well with breaking the news to my sister and gave me a few pointers on how to deal with my parents.
Connie and I rented a car the next morning and made the three- hour drive to see our parents, Bob and Kathy Baker.
"Finally, the whole family is together again," exclaimed Mom when she threw open the door.
After all the hugs and kisses were over, Dad said to Mom, "I don't think we bought enough food. This one here doesn't seem to have eaten since last Christmas. Straighten up while you're at it," he said looking back at me.
"I'm fine Dad, really."
This was going to be tough.
Actually, the first day was really rather good. They were still my folks after all, kind, decent people who loved their children, and Connie and I loved them. We all sat around the living room trading stories all day.
"You should get a check-up when you get home," my mother said after supper. "You hardly ate and I made your favorite."
"Mom, I finished my plate," I protested.
"Yes dear, I know. But you always ask for seconds."
"I'm changing my eating habits that's all," I replied.
"If it was your sister talking, I'd say she was watching her figure, but I think you could use a few pounds young man," she continued.
Dad came into the kitchen for more coffee "I'm going in for a haircut tomorrow morning. Care to join me? Ponytails are out you know."
"Pretty lame, Dad."
"Just asking. By the way, did you start thinking about your New Year's resolution yet? Holidays are coming up you know."
Every year, Dad made a big deal about resolutions. The planning of, the announcing of and the keeping of resolutions was as much a part of the holidays as was the Christmas tree.
"I've been giving it some thought and it involves keeping you guys more informed of some plans I've been working on."
My mother was thrilled. "Oh, that sounds wonderful. Changes on the horizon?"
"Yeah, you could certainly say that."
"What about son, your job?" he queried.
"Not exactly that, but I've started a project and I'll let you know more about it as time goes on."
"Well, that's great son. You know, your mother and I have been a bit concerned about you this last year. You've been very distant and that's not like you. I can understand that you must have been busy with this new project of yours so I for one am looking forward to finding out what it is."
"Poor Dad, don't get your hopes up too much," I thought to myself.
"So are you going to tell them today?" asked Connie as we walked down the stairs for breakfast.
"I don't see how I can," I answered. "This is going to be really tough. I hinted about a project and some change, but other than that, I don't know what to say."
"Do you want me to help?" asked Connie.
"No way!" I exclaimed. "You'll just say something stupid and you'll blow the whole thing."
"Oh, yeah, right. I forgot. You're the expert on breaking this type of news to someone. Spas."
"Shut up twerp."
"Alright, children. That's enough of that, come to the table," proclaimed our mother.
"Mom?" asked Connie looking up from her cereal bowl.
"Yes Connie dear?"
"What would you say is worse, someone not being true to him or herself to protect those they love or those being true to themselves despite how others may feel because of it?"
I started to feel nauseous.
"Well honey, I feel that since those who love each other are inherently good, if someone is true to themselves it shouldn't hurt those they love."
She continued. "What about you, Dad? What do you think?"
"Sweetheart, if you love someone, you've got to expect some heartaches along the way, but it's part of the deal. Anyone we know?"
I put my hand to my mouth, "May I be excused please?" I ran up to the washroom.
"Ian," Mom called later, "You've been in there a long time. Are you alright?"
"I'm okay Mom, I'll be out in a couple of minutes."
Another panic attack. At least it had been a while since the last one and it was not as intense. That was the good news. The bad news was facing my parents. I couldn't see this dragging out much longer. I cleaned up a bit, splashed some water on my face and left the bathroom.
Here we go....
Connie was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs with a quizzical look in her eyes, which I tried to return. She mouthed, "I love you."
"Ian, your father and I feel you're keeping something from us. Whatever it is, we should talk. Do you feel like sharing something with us?" Mom asked gently.
We all sat down in the living room.
"Connie, can you get me a drink of water please?" I asked. She got up and went into the kitchen.
"Mom, Dad, this is going to be really hard." I said, my voice choking.
My parents were on the sofa. They moved closer together and took each other's hand. Connie came back in with a glass of water and discreetly placed a box of tissues on an end table.
The room was very quiet until my father said, "We're ready son."
"Mom, Dad, I've been guarding a very deep secret for years. Probably since I was five or six. I shared it with Connie a couple of days ago."
My father cleared his throat and I could see my mother tense up. No going back now.
"It's about who I am. What I am." I tried to continue, but couldn't. I took some water and grabbed a tissue.
After a long pause, my mother bravely asked, "Is this about your sexuality Ian?"
"Yes Mom, but not in the way that you think."
At this point my parents both started to cry quite audibly.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I'm sorry." At this point we were all crying.
Connie said, "It's not his fault."
She was abruptly cut off when my father barked, "Your opinions at not important right now." He sniffed quite loudly a couple of times and said to me, "continue."
"I'm not gay, but it's more a situation of identity. A fundamental questioning of who I am. I've actually been in counseling for quite a few months."
It was Mom's turn, "if you've got problems, I'm at least happy that you seeking out some help."
"Well son, if your telling me you're not gay, then where are you leading us with this?" my father continued.
"Like I said, it's a question of identity, of who I am, or who I should be as opposed to who appear to be."
"Cut to the chaste," said my father visibly anxious, "Tell us what's going on here."
"He's saying he'd rather be a girl than a boy," blurted out Connie.
"OH MY CHRIST!!!" shouted my father.
" DEAR GOD BOB, DO SOMETHING!!" wailed my mother.
"I KNEW IT!" I shouted. "I KNEW IT!" I turned to my sister "AND YOU...."
I got up off my chair and ran to the door.
"YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!" shouted my father.
"FORGET IT!" I yelled back. "FORGET ME TOO WHILE YOUR AT IT!!"
I could hear my mother wailing as I ran to the car. I got in, fired it up and squealed out of the driveway.
It had gone over exactly as I expected.
It was amazing that I didn't get a speeding ticket considering I did a three-hour drive in under two. I ran up to my apartment and threw myself onto the bed.
It was done. At least I didn't have to carry the secret anymore. Twenty-three years of guilt off my shoulders.
I got up, tore off my clothes, threw them viciously into the corner and unbound my breasts.
I hurriedly pulled on my favorite unitard and walked into the kitchen. I could see my answering machine blinking wildly.
"FUCK YOU TOO!!" I shouted at it.
I paced around the apartment for several minutes trying to unwind. The phone rang.
"LEAVE ME ALONE!!" I shouted.
There was knocking at the door.
Now what? I stomped towards the door and flung it open.
It was Karen. "Jesus, I've been trying to get a hold of you since yesterday morning."
"I was at my folks with my sister," I yelled at her.
She could tell by my agitated state that things had gone horribly wrong.
She took my hand, and barely whispered, "I'm so sorry, there's been an accident."
Looking back, the hardest part was when Andy's mother called.
"I'm so sorry that we never had a chance to meet you, you know, you two together. Andy spoke of you and showed us your photos. His father and I feel that it would be right for you to be with us at the service." She sounded completely devastated, but so incredibly compassionate towards me.
Andy had been killed in a car wreck during his business trip. After a particularly wet business supper, the driver of the car Andy was in had lost control.
The funeral was two days later. Karen helped me pick out an appropriate wardrobe. I chose a simple black dress, black stockings and a hat with a veil. At least I already had the proper shoes. I was flat broke, so Karen put everything on her credit card. I found out later that all my friends took up a collection to cover the expenses.
I had no choice, but to contact my therapist with all that had transpired in a little under a week since our last visit. At the end of an intense session, he prescribed antidepressants and told me that, in spite of the pain, I had to keep on going and that it was best to go to the funeral.
I had now learned that reality, whether one is male or female, could be incredibly unpredictable and quite often cruel.
My fantasy was easy, carefree, gangs o' fun transition to womanhood and all my problems would be gone.
It had started carefree, some of my deep, gut-wrenching problems were gone, however....
A whole new reality opened itself and it showed itself to be no easier than my prior life had been. The life of a woman seemed to be much crueler. However, something I had not felt before, despite my deep sorrow, was that I appeared to have the strength to carry on.
It was then that I came to the realization that Ian and Anne were indeed the same person. Meeting death so abruptly showed me that Anne hadn't killed Ian.
She was going to make sure he would survive.
I arrived at the church an hour before the service. I met with Andy's parents, Andrew and Jennifer Wilson, for a few minutes and then went alone with Andy's Mom to talk.
We sat down on a garden bench together and she said to me, "Andy said a lot of nice things about you. He cared for you deeply."
I nodded and reached for a tissue in my purse. The realization that I would never see, hear or touch Andy again had sunk in the night before and I now considered myself a "grieving widow".
She reached out and took my hand. "I can tell how much you cared for him. You know, my son Jimmy spoke of you as well."
I looked up at her. Andy had never told anyone about me, not even his younger brother. We both assumed however that Jimmy might have an idea as he had seen me as Ian before I became Anne, but we never met, the three of us, together.
I could tell by her tone of voice that she knew, but that I didn't need to feel threatened.
"You and your husband raised a wonderful, caring and understanding young man. I have changed tremendously since the first day I met Andy. He helped me through some incredibly tough moments and that did lead us to fall in love. He was aware of all that I am going through and was always so supportive. I already miss him so much and I will never forget him."
She leaned over and took me in her arms. After a good cry, we looked at each other in the eyes.
"You really are a wonderful young woman," she finally said. "And it saddens me that we will never get another chance to be as close as we are at this very moment. We both have lost someone we loved and we'll have to be strong and face life without him. I want you to stay close to me today."
She continued, "Mr. Wilson and I have discussed your participation today and we both feel strongly that your place is here with us because that's what Andy would have wanted. I must say however that Jimmy is taking his brother's death very, very badly. Please forgive him if he says anything unbecoming of a gentleman."
"I understand. Believe me, it is something that I'm learning to live with," I said.
"You poor dear. I can't imagine your situation of course, but please, continue carrying yourself with the same dignity that you're expressing now. I'm sure that everything will work out for you. You're a very lovely young girl and I'm so glad you're here with us. Can we still be friends after today?"
That did it for me. I broke down and we held each other tightly until Mr. Wilson came to tell us it was time to enter the church. We helped each other quickly touch up our make-up and we got up to go.
As we walked up the steps, Jimmy came up beside me.
He said to me under his breath, "If it wasn't for my Mom and Dad, I'd be chasing you the hell out of here you fucking freak. How dare you come here after what you did to my brother?"
Before I could say anything, he walked over and sat with other members of the family. Mrs. Wilson took my hand and guided me to a place beside her and her husband. I never looked over to Jimmy, but could feel the hatred he was directing to me.
The weeks following the funeral allowed me a chance to get back into a more normal state of mind.
I worked as many hours as I could at the store as it kept my mind off things and to give myself a chance to make a bit of money. I was flat broke and needed to start saving again for the surgeries which would be required as my transitioning progressed.
I relied on my caller id to filter my calls and put a couple of letters I received from my folks and my sister aside until I was ready.
Thankfully, Karen and I had patched things up and that was a big help. She realized that the recent events had toughened me up and I realized that I had to go forward with more assurance. We had resumed our normal "girlfriend" relationship and had even made plans to resume our weekend waxing parties with the other girls.
Now that I was a bit more focused on myself, I began to notice the subtle changes that were starting to make Anne unique from Ian.
I used to like loud rock music, but I had recently developed an obsession for the music of Kate Bush. I used to like apples, but now I ate only peaches. I was never a heavy smoker, but cigarettes now disgusted me.
What struck me the most however was that I used to sleep on the left side of the bed, but now I favored the right side.
My Mom always sleeps on the right side.
Karen and Vera stopped over one night to see if I needed any cheering up.
"We still on for the weekend?" asked Karen about our waxing.
"You bet," I answered. "There's a regular forest going on down there."
"You need to get out sometimes soon," said Vera. "You've been working too hard and it's starting to show."
"What do you mean, starting to show?" I asked her.
"Oh, I don't know, you're looking strung out a bit. You don't look like you're having fun anymore. You even skipped Karen's Halloween party," she answered.
"Lets all go to a disco or something next weekend," said Karen. "Just us girls." she added hastily.
"Look, nobody warned me when I started transitioning that disco music would be involved in any way, shape, or form. That's just sick!" I retorted.
"Look who's got a sense of humor all of a sudden." beamed Vera.
"I hate disco. You can't expect me to go out of my way to actually be in a place that plays disco music loudly. Do you?"
The colored lights swirled across the dance floor as the music blasted out. Susan, Vera, Karen and I had been dancing non-stop for over an hour and all the while attracted looks from a bunch of guys at the bar.
"Enough!" I yelled as I put my arms in the air in form of surrender. "Enough! I've got to sit down."
I walked back over to our table with Karen. Susan and Vera stayed out on the floor.
We had gotten ourselves all dolled-up for the evening and I was paying the price for the heels I was wearing.
The girls were right. I had to get a bit of fun back into my life and this evening was the start. I was wearing an outrageously short black leather mini-skirt, black fishnets, 3 inch heels, a cream colored blouse and a jean jacket. Karen had played up my hair for me and we were all wearing too much make-up.
I sat down and poured myself a glass of Perrier. I was just starting to wean off the antidepressants so alcohol was off limits.
"Having fun?" Karen yelled. I nodded while drinking my water. "See. Disco's not so bad," she said mockingly.
"Yes it is!" I yelled back.
We were both smiling and it felt good.
The following Saturday afternoon I arrived home from work and, as I was putting my key in the door lock, Karen came out of her place into the hallway.
"How are you doing?" she asked.
"Pretty good. It wasn't too busy so I've got a lot of energy if you and the girls have any plans for tonight," I said enthusiastically.
"I've had visitors all afternoon," she said. "Your sister and your Mom are waiting for you at my place."
My face blanched. "What did you tell them?"
"Basically everything," she replied. "I left out some of the sordid details about a certain weekend, but basically everything. I even showed them some pictures."
"You're joking. Please tell me you're joking," I pleaded.
She shook her head. "They already knew a lot. You told Connie most of what was going on, she told your folks. I told them you were seeing Andy and about his accident."
I put my hand out against the wall. I looked over and saw Mom come out of Karen's door. She walked over towards me with tears in her eyes, took me in her arms and held me tight.
"I'm so sorry..." I started to say.
She held me tighter. "Sshh. Don't say anything," she said. "You poor dear. I'm so, so sorry for you."
Connie came out into the hallway and said something to Karen. They hugged and Karen walked back to her apartment. Connie opened my apartment door and ushered us in.
"Not hearing from you this last month was very hard on your father and I," said my mother after we'd settled in around the kitchen table. "That was very irresponsible of you. You know that don't you?"
I nodded sheepishly.
"God knows what could have been going on. However, in lieu of the tragic events that you went through, I can't help but feel ashamed at having been angry at you," she said lowering her head.
"It's okay. You had no way of knowing," I replied.
She looked up at me, "It's going to take me a long time to get used to seeing you like that."
I nodded, "I know. Thanks for the effort you're making now."
I was wearing my favorite short print dress which was moderately low cut, ivory pantyhose and low shoes.
"I think you look great," said Connie.
"How's Dad?" I asked.
"Well, you can just imagine how hard this has been on your father. He almost came up today, but backed out at the last minute. After talking to Karen and with the death of your friend, it's probably for the best," she answered.
"He must really hate me." I said.
"NOW YOU WAIT A MINUTE YOUNG MA..." she shot back at me. "I can't say that your father or I approve, or accept, or even understand what you are doing, but I don't ever want you, or you," she said turning towards my sister, "thinking that we don't love you. I will not stand for that. You two are our children and we will always love you."
"Sorry." Now it was my turn to look ashamed.
My mother continued, "Your father and I have consulted with Dr. Freedman about this and he has helped us try to understand what you're going through."
Dr. Freedman was our neighbor and a psychologist. Many a time in the past was I tempted to speak to him.
She went on, "He said that the jury is out on the causes of all this, but he said if you've gone this far, you'll likely go all the way."
"I think he's right," I answered.
We talked for a couple of hours around the table. Sometimes we cried, but quite often we laughed. This surprised Mom.
"You're not different, but you're more charming than before," she said relaxing, "Your physical appearance, well, now that's something different."
"Do you think I'm pretty?" I asked.
"Why of course you're pretty dear, I never would have thought about you like that before. You've got, err, our bust and your legs. Well, they're to die for."
"You were a handsome young man, but this does suit you very well. Can people tell that you're a boy?"
I corrected her, "I'm not a boy mother and no, generally speaking, I've never been read as one."
"Now don't get defensive with me... oh, what am I to call you?"
My mother hadn't referred to me by name since her arrival.
"Call me Anne. Everybody else does."
"Oh, I can't," she said. "it sounds too much like your real name."
"Try Annie," said Connie. "you don't call me Constance, you call me Connie. Instead of Anne, call her Annie."
"I suppose I could," said Mom grudgingly.
"Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm starved," said Connie. "Let's go to that curry place we went to the last time."
"Before we go anywhere, I would like you to call your father," said Mom. "I'm sure that he's been climbing the walls all day waiting for your call."
I looked over at her, but knew she was right.
"Dad, it's me."
"I'm glad you called son."
"Did your mother and sister get up there okay?"
"Yeah, they're fine. We're going out for supper soon. I thought I should call you."
"I appreciate that son."
"I imagine you look a bit different these days."
"As a matter of fact, I look well, I look healthy, I look happy, I look...."
"Don't get sarcastic with me."
"Sorry, but it's true though. That's how I feel. Honestly."
"This has been going on for awhile hasn't it, Connie says about a year. Is that true?"
"That's right Dad. It was a year two weeks ago."
"Is it something I did? Something I said? You know son, fathers have to be tough once in awhile. I did it all for your own good."
"This has absolutely nothing to do with you or Mom. It's something I've always felt inside."
"You can't mean that. Tell me how something like that got into your head. Was it any of those rock stars or any shit like that?"
"Dad, this started when I was about 5. I don't know, maybe seeing Bugs Bunny in a dress."
"I knew it!! God damn TV."
"Dad! It was a joke."
"This isn't a laughing matter son."
"Dad, stop calling me son."
"What the hell am I supposed to call you? Answer me that. My only son. You know, you've got to carry on the family name. What girl will want you if she sees you mincing around in a dress?"
"I'm hanging up now Dad."
"Wait. Wait. Don't go. Your future son. Think about your future."
"My future's looking pretty good from where I'm sitting Dad."
"Connie says you've changed. She says you've got breasts. Is that true?"
"I've been on hormone therapy for over nine months now. I've changed, but I'm still the same person you've always known. The same child you raised. None of that has changed nor will it."
"I don't think I can accept this. You realize that son."
"I can't accept not doing this. If there was a way I could do this that wouldn't impact on you, you know I'd do it. But there isn't. You don't know what I've been through lately. I took all the guts, determination and strength you gave me to get through it. But I did."
"But son, being a woman is nothing compared to be a man."
"How do you know? It's actually a hell of a lot tougher. But it's what I have to do."
"How's your mother taking this?"
"She's finding it tough, but she thinks I'm pretty."
"She does, does she?"
"Don't laugh Dad."
"Sorry son, it just sounded like something your sister would say."
"I really need you and Mom and Connie more than ever."
"Dad, are you there?"
"Yes I am child. I promised your mother the day you were born that I'd be the best father I could. I made that promise to her again when Connie was born."
"Were you hoping for a boy or a girl just as Mom went into labor with me."
"You know that I always said it didn't matter as long as the baby was healthy."
"Well Dad, when I was born, they made a mistake. The doctors thought I was a boy based on what they saw, but had they taken the trouble to ask me..."
"It's not that easy. It's going to take time for me to get used to this."
"Don't think that this is easy for me. This is the hardest thing that I'll ever do. But that's why I'll need your love and support. And your respect."
"You've always had that son, you know."
"Stop calling me son, Dad. Please."
"I'd better go now. Give my love to your mother and Connie."
"I love you child."
Mom, Connie and I walked towards the curry restaurant. We were walking hand in hand with Mom in the middle.
"It's a lovely evening out," said Mom.
"I'm starting to get used to seeing you like this," Connie said to me. "You always wear dresses when I see you. Don't you wear any pants or jeans?"
"Other than over at Mom and Dad's a month ago, I haven't worn pants in over a year. I'll likely get some jeans or whatever, but right now, it's skirts and dresses for this girl. Besides, Mom said I've got legs to die for."
"Now dear," Mom said, "Don't let this go to your head. You'll get an attitude. It can be dangerous for young women these days - especially young women like yourself if you understand what I mean."
"Mom, that's the first time you've referred to me as a young woman. That's wonderful!!"
I turned to her and stopped. "I love you!"
"I said young women like yourself so I did qualify it a bit, but I love you too dear."
"Hey! What about me?" exclaimed Connie.
We got to the curry restaurant at about nine thirty.
As we walked in, I noticed Vera and Gino sitting at a table in the corner. I brought my Mom and Connie to meet them.
After a brief introduction, we said our goodbyes and went to be seated. The supper rush was over so we had no trouble getting a good table.
"I've been coming here for years. Great food," I said. We went over the menu and picked out some plates we could share.
"Your friends seem very charming," said Mom. "You're very lucky to have the support of friends like that."
"Gino's a riot," said Connie.
"He's a good man," I answered.
After the meal was over we relaxed over a good pot of tea. Mom was noticeably more relaxed although she still voiced some reservations. Connie really seemed to have accepted the finality of my decisions.
"This is great. I always wanted a sister. I always assumed that it would be a little sister, but it turns out I've got me one of them new fangled, big sisters...some assembly required."
I laughed so hard that I passed some tea through my nose.
A few minutes later, Connie turned to Mom and said "See Mom, Anne still hums that music."
Mom started tearing up.
Connie tapped my shoulder. "Hey, sexpot. That guy over there has been looking at you non-stop. He's kind of cute don't you think?"
I turned my head nonchalantly to see whom Connie was talking about. Andy's brother Jimmy was looking at me from over at the take-away counter.
I turned my head back forward.
"What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost," asked Connie.
"Annie dear, what's wrong?" asked Mom.
"I don't feel so well..."
"Here, take some cold water," said my mother. "Do you know that boy?"
"It's Andy brother, Jimmy. I don't know why, but he seems to blame me for what happened to Andy," I replied, taking another sip of water.
"Why didn't you tell me he worked here? We could have gone somewhere else," said Connie.
"I forgot, I'm sorry. Look, let's just finish up and go back to my place, I've had a long day. I'm sure you've had a long day too what with the drive down," I started rambling.
Mom called the waiter over to settle the bill. We got up and walked towards the exit. As I went through the door, I head a man's voice call out in the restaurant.
"Hey Jimmy, where do you think you're going?"
"Connie, you take Mom's other hand and walk just a little faster okay?"
"HEY, I'M TALKING TO YOU!"
Jimmy had caught up to us. He grabbed my shoulder and turned me around.
"I'm talking to you. Did they cut your ears off too?" he sneered.
"You leave my bro-sister alone you creep!" yelled Connie.
"See, your own sister doesn't know what you are. YOU FREAK!"
Mom tried screaming, "POLICE! POLICE!" but she was so terrified that the words were barely more than a shout.
Jimmy turned to Connie, "I'm like you. I had a brother once, but now he's dead."
"How dare you try and blame me for Andy's accident. How dare you!" I shouted.
"Oh, I don't blame you for that. I blame you for trying to turn my brother into a fag. That's what I blame you for," he said with a look of hatred in his eyes.
"I loved Andy," I started.
"NO, I LOVED ANDY. HE WAS MY BIG BROTHER AND I LOVED HIM MORE THAN ANYONE. AND TO THINK I LET YOU BE AT HIS FUNERAL!"
I saw him pull his arm back then I felt what was like a thunderclap on my face. I fell to my knees and then fell to the ground. I heard voices yelling.
I curled up in a fetal position and tasted blood in my mouth. Dull pain thudded all over my body.
I felt his hands take my waist and then move slowly down my hips and legs. They came back up and he pulled me tightly towards him.
His right hand went down to cup my rear while his left hand moved slowly up my back and into my hair. I could feel the throbbing of his loins as he pulled me even closer to him. We embraced. A deep passionate kiss that only broke when he suddenly scooped me up into his arms and brought me to the bed.
He laid me down and slowly undressed before me. I was already down to my virginal white lace bra, panties, garters and seamed hose. As I lay back looking at him, my hands caressed my heaving breasts and slowly moved down my abdomen. They reached into my panties to feel a silky mound. Thrilled, I probed with my fingers to discover an opening, damp and inviting, leading to the very center of my being.
I gasped and turned to Andy who was now undressed before me, majestically showing his desire.
"How?" I whispered.
"I told you we would work it all out," he replied.
He lay down on top of me and kissed me. He probed his manhood between my legs giving me sensations I'd never dreamed of. His kisses started to descend from my face down to my breasts. His hand found its way down and his fingers caressed my lower lips. Then, he positioned himself and slowly lubricated himself with my juices. He guided my legs around his waist and slowly entered me.
It felt wonderful.
He made love to me in the way a bow caresses a violin, bringing out hums and squeals, passion and desire.
I opened my eyes and looked around. I couldn't see very well, but I could make out my mother sitting on a chair reading a magazine.
I called out to her, "Mophuff!"
Mom looked up with a start. She smiled and said, "Oh, thank God you're awake! Let me get a nurse!" That said, she got out of the chair and sprinted out of sight.
"Mophuff!" I called out again. I felt incredibly tired and felt my eyes beginning to close.
"Let me know if you need anything," said the nurse as she walked out the door.
I took the pen and pad of paper she had left me and wrote, "What happened?" I tore off the sheet and gave it to Mom.
"Your jaw was fractured and your nose was broken dear because of that awful Wilson boy."
It started coming back to me now.
"You've just spent three days in intensive care. The doctor had to make a clean break and reset your jaw. I'm afraid that's why your mouth is wired shut."
I could feel that I had tubes coming out of everywhere. I started to tear up. I took my pad and wrote, "Mirror."
Mother blanched at the thought, "Oh no dear! It's much to early for that."
"How long?" I wrote.
"Well dear, you really must ask the doctor that, but I imagine it'll be a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the best thing to do is to let time take its course and to heal properly," she, answered.
I brought my hand up to touch my face.
"The swelling's going to go down dear. The doctor promised me it would," she said trying to reassure me.
My head felt the size of a pumpkin.
"MOPHUFF!!" I started thrashing about on my bed.
Mom reached for something behind me, "Can we have a nurse please in room 602? Hurry!"
"Good morning, I'm Dr. Hanson. How are you feeling?"
I pointed to my face.
"All right, let's talk about what happened here." He brought out a clipboard that was placed at the foot of my bed. "You suffered some injuries as the result of an assault. Broken nose, quite a serious fracture of your jaw as well as a broken rib. I'm the doctor responsible for making you pretty again."
I made a gesture with my hands to illustrate the size of my head.
"Now, don't worry about the swelling. It's always quite severe when we have to do the type of procedure you've undergone. We basically had to break you jaw in order to ensure proper healing. It will go down slowly over the next two or three weeks then everything will start to look normal. Some of the tubing will come out tomorrow," he said in a comforting tone.
I took my pad and wrote, "Scars?"
He looked at the sheet and said, "None whatsoever. All the work was done inside. Don't worry, I do good work."
"Speaking of good work," he continued, "It's apparent that you're undergoing gender reassignment. Based on discussions with your family prior to surgery, I took that into account during the procedures you underwent."
"Now, don't get your hopes up too high, but I think that you'll notice a small change in your features as the swelling goes down. You will have a more delicate nose and jaw line. This won't be as pronounced as if you had undergone plastic surgery in order to have a more feminine appearance however I worked in the best interests of my patient," he said looking relaxed.
I made a thumbs up gesture to show my appreciation.
"I thought that would make you feel better. However here's the bad news. We have to keep your jaw stable in order for it to heal properly. That means the wire will be on for about a month."
I frantically grabbed my pad, "Serious?" I wrote.
"I'm afraid so. Don't worry though, it will all turn out all right.
The swelling did go down over the following weeks and I could begin to see the changes in my features that the doctor had mentioned.
Mom was with me non-stop throughout in the hospital and stayed overnight in my apartment. She brought over my nightgowns and bathrobes to make me feel comfortable. She washed and set my hair each morning and made sure to do more and more of my make-up as the swelling came down.
On my eleventh day in the hospital, Mom showed up in my room as she did every morning. But this time, after fixing up my hair and make-up, she kissed me on the cheek and said, "Special visitor this morning." With that, she left the room.
"Good morning stranger!"
I held out my arms as tears welled up in my eyes. Dad walked over to the side of my bed, looked at me with a pained expression, and kissed me on the forehead. I grabbed him and held him tight. He had a large bag that he put at the foot of my bed and pulled a chair over to sit down.
"It pains me to see you like this. Battered up that is," he added quickly.
After a few minutes of small talk, made longer due to my reliance on my pad and pen, Dad said, "I've instructed our lawyer to pursue the boy that beat you up."
At that I shook my head. "Why the hell not?" Dad asked. "That guy beat the crap out of you. Had it not been for those friends of yours, this could have been much worse."
As it turned out, Gino and Vera, who had been in the restaurant at the time of my assault, suspected something was wrong when Jimmy Wilson followed me quickly as I left the restaurant with Mom and Connie. Gino, who was fairly powerfully built had no trouble subduing Jimmy, but by then the damage was done.
"I want to see him," I wrote.
"That boy beat you and now you want to see him?"
I tapped furiously at what I had written on my pad.
"All right, all right. I'll see what I can set up. Just like a girl to manipulate her old man."
"Do you accept me?" I wrote.
He hesitated before answering. "I thought I'd lost you when you stormed out of the house, and then I thought I lost you when your mother called to tell me about .... well....what happened to put you in here. I don't want to lose you again, so if that means I accept you, I guess I'll accept you the way you are now," he said it with a voice filled with emotion.
We both sat in silence, hand in hand and looked at each other with tears in our eyes.
"It still breaks my heart when I think what youre putting yourself through," he couldn't help adding.
"I've got to do this," I wrote, underlining the word got several times.
Finally, Dad said, "Well, I better let you rest up a bit. Your sister will be in town tomorrow from university to see you."
He leaned over and kissed me on the forehead again, "I'll be back to see you this afternoon." I caressed his face and he smiled at me.
"Oh, by the way, I brought you something."
He reached over for the large bag at the foot of my bed and brought it within my reach. He kissed me again and walked out the door. I opened the bag and smiled. My father always loved being ironic.
Inside was the biggest and most beautiful Raggedy Anne doll Id ever seen.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson walked into my room with Jimmy. My parents were with me and did most of the talking based on our prior discussions. I had prepared several notes just in case in order to save time.
The meeting was brief and cordial.
Dad spoke for me, "Anne insisted that we meet here today as h sorry, she feels that Jimmy's actions were purely due to his grief and, in order for her to get on with her life, she requested that no further proceedings be instigated."
Mr. Wilson replied by saying, "I believe my son James has something he would like to say."
"I have thought long and hard about what I did and I am extremely sorry," said Jimmy choking with emotion. "My actions were misguided and I had no right to judge you as I did. I realize now how my brother cared for you and I realize that you deserve more respect than what I gave you credit for."
Mom added, "Anne felt a special bond to the Wilson family due to the tragedy that befell you in the loss of your son."
I beckoned Mrs. Wilson towards me and slipped her a note.
"Still friends?" it said.
She smiled at me, but with glistening eyes. "Of course we are dear," she whispered to me.
Mr. Wilson cleared his throat and said, "There is one more thing. Andy had a company insurance policy naming his brother as beneficiary. The circumstances surrounding his death mean that the policy is quite significant in value. My family and I feel that the fair and honorable thing to do is to direct half of it to Anne in order to help make right the injuries suffered at the hands of my son James."
I reached for my pad, scratched, "It's NOT about money," and handed it to Mr. Wilson.
He looked at my note and said, "Andy would never have accepted seeing you suffer because of him, as indirect as it may be. We raised him, and I hope his brother is listening carefully, to take care of the needs of those he cared for. Think of this as Andy helping you for your future."
Mr. Wilson then walked over to my father and handed him an envelope that he had withdrawn from his breast pocket. The two men exchanged words and shook hands. Mom and Mrs. Wilson joined them.
I looked over to Jimmy who was standing by the window and motioned him to come over to me. I held my hands out to him and he took them. We looked at each other and made our peace.
It was a week before Christmas. My wire was finally off my jaw and the swelling had mercifully disappeared. I traveled down with Connie to be with our folks for the holidays.
"Want to go shopping tomorrow?" asked Connie over breakfast.
"I'd like that a lot. This will be our first time out shopping together, not counting shopping for Ian," I answered.
"You're right, I never thought of that. Look out world, the Baker Girls are coming!" she shouted.
"Keep it down in there! I'm on the phone!" yelled my father from the living room.
"Jeez, what's his problem?" asked Connie.
"He's on the phone with Uncle Doug. I don't think they'll be coming this year," answered Mom as she joined us at the table.
"Why not?" asked Connie, "They've been coming to our house for Christmas every year since we were little."
"I'll give you two guesses why they're not coming," I answered pointing to my breasts.
We heard Dad suddenly raise his voice and then slam the phone down. Mom looked at us then got up to go to the living room.
"This bullshit is going to tear our family apart!" shouted my father storming past the kitchen door. Mom followed him into the den and closed the door.
"I knew this would happen. I should've stayed at home," I muttered into my coffee.
"It's going to take some people longer than others to accept this," Connie said.
"And some never will. You know Uncle Doug as well as I do. He's going to rag Dad's ass with this for a long time. He's always going say 'At least I was able to raise real men and not a sissy like yours.' or something like that. He can be a real prick," I spat out.
We heard shouting coming from the den.
"That's it, I'm out of here," I said getting up.
"What's your problem?" asked Connie. "What's this garbage of always wanting to run away whenever things get hot around here? Look, don't expect to always come here, stir up some crap and then run away leaving Mom, Dad and me to clean it up."
'You're right," I said resignedly. I sat down and looked at her, "How can I ever make this up to Mom and Dad? Everything I'm putting them through. I never wanted this."
"They'll have to get over this by themselves before anything you do will make any difference."
"There will always be something," she continued, "Now it's Christmas, then it will be my graduation, then cousin Cindy's wedding. There will always be something going where someone's going to stop, scratch their heads and say, 'Duh, what do we do about the sex-change artist?'"
I chuckled, "Yup, there's always going to be something."
"Come on," she said, "Why put it off, let's go get dressed and go shopping now. It'll give Mom and Dad a chance to blow off some steam."
We could hear less shouting from the den, but it was clear that things were not resolved.
"Here, I found another dress for you to try on," said Connie as she shoved a black dress through the changing room curtain.
"Stop! That's enough!" I said smoothing down dress number seven over my hips.
I walked out and over towards the mirror, "What do you think?" I asked her.
"Not bad. It's a bit longer than the last one, but it's got that nice thing happening at the shoulders."
I turned from side to side in front of the mirror, "I wish I would have put on some pantyhose and brought decent shoes," I said.
"Go back in and try that one I just brought you," said Connie.
"Why is it that you chose your dress after two tries and I'm up to eight?" I asked her.
"Well, for one thing, I've got more experience and besides, this is fun seeing you play fashion model. Admit it, your getting a kick out of this aren't you?" she asked grinning.
"Ok. One more. But I still think I like the velvet burgundy the best," I said.
"The short one with the low cut? That's the nicest one on you, but it sure is going to make everybody squirm," she said.
"I figure that the more feminine I look, the more it will be obvious that this is the right thing for me." I stated.
"Nobody's going to mistake you for a boy in that one, that's for sure," she replied.
I did choose the burgundy dress and after I chose some beautiful black pantyhose with sequined Christmas bells at the ankles. Connie chose a green dress, as sexy as the one I picked along with some smoke gray pantyhose to complete her outfit.
We stopped by a coffee shop for a cappuccino before making our way home.
Entering the house, we realized that things were still tense.
"Uncle Peter and Aunt Carol aren't coming either," said Mom as we showed her our purchases.
"Did they have the guts enough to say why not?" I asked trying to keep my calm.
"Auntie Carol said that the children are a bit confused about your change and that yes, as a whole they are uncomfortable with what you're doing," she said dejectedly.
"Poor Auntie Carol," I said, "She's uncomfortable with me, but she's always defending her little Tommy who can't walk by a house without trying to break into it."
"Or her little Cindy who decides to get married after getting knocked up," added Connie.
"Now, you two stop that this instant. Christmas time is a time to put all that aside so that we can count our blessings as a loving family," Mom retorted.
"So why is it that we always have to put everything aside, but they don't?" I asked.
"I don't know dear," Mom answered with a sigh.
Dad walked into the room. "Well, at least George and Barbara are coming so it won't be a total write-off," he said.
"Oh, great." I muttered.
"Don't you start," Dad said turning to me. "It's all because of you that this Christmas is going to be shot to hell.''
"Thanks for pointing that out Dad," I said. I walked out of the living room, climbed the stairs and went into my room.
I heard a knock.
"Can I come in?"
"The door's open," I answered.
"Don't be so hard on your father," said Mom sitting down on my bed. "This is so hard for him."
"Who's being hard on who?" I asked.
"Well you must take responsibility for the way this Christmas is going to turn out," she answered.
"So, what happens next?" I asked thinking about what Connie had said earlier. "Does that mean that every time there's an event I have to take responsibility for everyone's feelings? What about my feelings? Last time I checked, I was part of this family too."
"You don't understand..." she started.
"Understand what? I don't understand that most people are narrow-minded? Two weeks in the hospital made me understand that. And Aunt Barbara, don't tell me she's coming here to spread joy to the world. She's just coming to gawk and to report back to the others about 'the creature'."
"My sister can be difficult, granted, but then that means it's up to you to show her that you're not a 'creature' as you put it," she said.
"Then what?" I asked.
"Well, how should I know? This is your path. I suppose you'll be scheduling your surgery and then it will be over and done with," she answered.
"I guess you're right. When this is all over after my final surgery, then people will stop seeing me as an in-betweenie. It won't just be settled for me, but for everyone," I said.
"We can only hope dear that people will come around. That includes your father and me too truth be told. This isn't easy for us you know. It may not always show, but I'm still having a terrible time with this as is your father. Tell me honestly, once and for all, is all this really necessary?"
"Mom, there would be no one happier than me just to live a normal, boring life. I would much prefer having been born a straightforward boy or a straightforward girl. That's not what happened. All this is very necessary Mom although often I wish it wasn't."
"I believe you honey. We'll try and help you the best we can. That's all I can promise. We will stumble however, your father and I, but that's to be expected."
"You know what Mom?" I asked.
"What's that dear?" she asked.
"I couldn't wish for better parents than you or Dad," I said taking her in my arms.
As my head turned on my mother's shoulder, I saw Dad at the doorway.
"How long have you been there?" I asked.
"Long enough," he answered.
"So this is Anne," cooed Aunt Barbara as she took her coat off.
"Here, let me take that for you, Auntie," I said reaching for her coat.
"Always the gentleman," she said coyly.
"Barbara!" snapped Mom.
"Oh heavens, did I slip up already? Sorry dear. I'll try and be more careful," Barbara replied.
Aunt Barbara was Mom's twin sister and, as much as Mom was a genuine sweetheart, Barbara could be a complete bitch. Uncle George loved her so he just put up with her 'spunk' as he called it.
We all moved into the sitting room, but Dad immediately suggested George follow him to the basement to see his new snooker table.
"So Anne, now that it's just us...umh, girls, turn around so that I can get better look at you," said Aunt Barbara.
I did the obligatory twirl.
"What do you think?" I asked.
"Well, I must admit it's not what I expected. You do make a lovely young woman. You have gorgeous legs and a nice figure and a lovely face. Are those implants if you don't mind my asking?"
Mom answered for me, "She's got the family bust, Babs. They're the real deal."
"What about, well, you know...?" she asked.
"My penis? Oh, it's still there, for the time being," I replied nonchalantly.
"Annie " scowled Mom back at me. Connie turned her head so that Barbara couldn't see her laughing.
"It's all very nice you know, but isn't it like camouflage or something? I mean you'll be able to walk amongst women, but that doesn't mean you'll be ever one," said Barbara smugly.
"As for my hormones, Im be the same as any other woman and I'll have full sexual function, so tell me what the difference would be?" I challenged her.
"Well dear, we all know about the powers that the medical community bestows upon itself, but it's nature that has the final say isn't it?" she answered.
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Mom.
"Well, for starters, Anne here could never bear children...."
"You were never able to have children." Connie shot back at her.
"That will be enough from you young lady," said Mom glaring at Connie.
"I'm disappointed in you dear," Barbara said to Connie, "I expected more from you than that."
"But it's true though. Bearing children is a fundamental characteristic of all females, but some females, for reasons too numerous to mention can't bear children. But those who can't bear children grieve the fact they can't conceive and that too is a fundamental characteristic of all females, including Anne," stated Connie.
That brought a tear to my eye.
"Well, that university of yours is giving you quite an attitude young lady, "Barbara said defensively.
"Well I for one think that Connie is absolutely right and I must say it answers quite eloquently what I couldn't resolve about Annie's desire to change. The aspect of bearing children is only overshadowed by the inability to bear children," said Mom looking curiously relieved.
"Barbara," said George who had just come back upstairs with Dad, "I want a snooker table like Bob's here next Christmas."
"Who wants a small drink?" asked Dad.
"I'll have a scotch Dad," I answered.
"That's most unladylike dear," sneered Barbara.
The rest of the day went fairly well all things considered. The gift exchange was pleasant and the meal was excellent.
When it was time to go, George, who had not really acknowledged my transitioning even once, turned to my father and said, "Bob, you've got a couple of fine girls here. Consider yourself a lucky man." He then turned to me and said, "Anne, you've got a lot of guts. If going through all of this means that you're going to be happy in life, well, the more power to you. Don't take this wrong, but you were rather effeminate as a boy so to me, I'm more comfortable seeing you like this."
"All right George, let's go," said Barbara. "I can see you've had one too many, so I'll drive."
Sure enough, the following week when we telephoned around to wish everyone a Happy New Year, it was clear that Barbara had made her report. The family wished us a Happy New Year, but there was little other conversation. Word had even passed to Dad's side of the family.
"That bitch!" cursed Mom. It was the first time that we'd ever heard Mom use such language. "I'll never forgive her for this."
We had a quiet family day and at supper, Dad got up for his traditional New Year's resolution toast.
"I propose that our resolution this year be unanimous, this family will stick together through thick and thin and to hell with those who have a problem with that."
"Hear, hear!" we all said clinking our glasses.
All through spring, I continued with my sessions at the gender clinic, and, now that I had more money due to Andy's insurance policy, I picked up where I had left off with my electrolysis with a vengeance.
By my birthday, hair removal was a thing of the past. I'd now been living full time as a woman for over a year and a half, but it already seemed a lifetime. It was now time to petition for approval for my final surgery. If all went well, within twelve months it would all be over.
I had even started receiving my new ID including my driver's license as well health and social insurance cards
Life was getting back to normal. Early morning workouts with Karen, working long hours and occasionally going out dancing with the girls on weekends. My confidence was as high as it had ever been.
So much so that I couldn't resist asking Mom during our weekly phone call, "When do we have to get the replies sent for cousin Cindy's wedding?"
"You're not thinking of going are you? Not after all that's been said about you," said Mom completely taken by surprise.
"That's the point Mom," I said. "I'm not sure of what people are saying so what better way to kill rumors than to face them?"
"Let me check with you father and see what he thinks. Just a second and I'll get him."
"Dad, here. What's this about you wanting to go to the wedding in a couple of weeks?"
"I was just telling Mom that the best way to resolve an ongoing situation is to face up to it. If all people know is what Aunt Barbara told them, then I'm always going to be dragged down by it. That means you, Mom and Connie too."
"Like you did with the Wilson boy. That took a lot of guts," said Dad.
"Knowing Aunt Barbara, she probably said I look awful or something stupid like that."
"I think that's a good idea. One thing though, and God knows I never thought I'd ever hear myself say this, but I want you to walk in there and be the most desirable piece of ass in the place. I want to see the priest get a hard-on."
"GOOD GOD BOB, WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?" shouted my Mom into the extension phone.
I burst out laughing, "Don't worry Mom. I understand exactly what Dad is saying. You're on Dad!"
"So, help me Bob Baker, you and I are going to talk about this afterwards."
"Don't worry Kath darling, there will be talking all right, but it's going to be from the family. And Anne, I'm talking something sophisticated, not trashy. Go with your mother and sister and get yourself all decked out."
"I'll be down next weekend. Mom, tell Connie that the Baker Girls have another mission!"
It was great shopping with Mom and Connie. Connie had long ago come to the realization that my future was as a woman, however Mom had only recently started to unwind. As the day went on, it was apparent the three of us were bonding in a whole new way. In fact Mom was the one that insisted I wear garters and stockings to compliment my slit dress.
"Dear, men are going to look at your legs all day long if you wear a dress like that. You might as well send them over the edge with a glimpse of stocking top," said Mom with a sly wink.
"Oh Mom, you're such a tease!" said Connie.
"I am not!" said Mom. "Well, maybe once in a while."
Mom, Connie and I spent the morning of the wedding at the beauty salon getting our manicures, pedicures, facials, hair and make-up done.
We were all suppressing grins when we arrived at the cashier's counter. We all felt that we looked great. Mom took the bill for the three of us and, looking at it, quickly lost her grin. "Oh dear!" she said looking at the grand total. "Well, your father was stupid enough to send us out for the works with his credit card so that'll teach him a lesson."
Dad was already dressed when we got home.
"Wow! You three look amazing!" said Dad when he saw us. "Hurry up though, we have to leave in less than an hour."
"Don't worry about us, we'll be on time," said Mom climbing the stairs. "However I hope that that's the only glass of scotch you've taken."
"You three go get dressed. I'm just unwinding down here."
Our entrance at the church will certainly go down in family history. Mom and Connie looked fabulous, Dad had a proud smirk on his face and I was facing the situation with grit and determination.
At first, we basically stayed to ourselves at the bottom of the church steps, but one by one, people came to see Mom, Dad, then Connie and finally, me. At first the greetings were forced, but I didn't push. I graciously accepted compliments and brushed off the wise cracks.
The church service was obviously quiet, but afterwards, during the photo sessions, the guys in the party started loosening up. My cousins and their friends spend a lot of time with me - after all we had grown up together and they quickly came to realize that I wasn't a freak and that I wasn't going to let myself be an easy target.
In the group shots in Cindy's wedding album I'm easy to pick out - the tall brunette with some guy holding her dress slit open. One shot, that never made the album of course, had my cousin Greg holding my dress open while his friend Brian was on his knees licking my stocking clad leg. (I really enjoyed that moment and managed to talk Connie into ordering a print for me later on).
The reception was a riot and I spent the night dancing with Connie, my female cousins and the occasional guy of my choosing. I even had a couple of dances with Dad and that was a lot of fun. I really wanted to let loose, but had to remember to keep a sense of decorum in order to protect the family honor. After all, that was the point of the evening.
One by one, throughout the evening, people did come by for private comments with me. Overall, the reaction was positive with comments like "Give us time to come around to all this, but we respect your courage." Some comments were hurtful however, but that was to be expected.
One thing I was very careful about was that I tried to be as attentive of Cindy as possible. Throughout the day as I could feel some resentment that I was almost stealing attention away from what was her big day. I saw Aunt Barbara often during the day, but we did little more than acknowledge each other with a nod of the head.
The following week, during my call home, Mom and Dad brought me up to date with feedback about the wedding.
"Well honey, your gamble paid off. Everyone commended your courage and the way you handled yourself throughout the day," Dad said.
"Everyone thought you looked terrific dear," Mom added.
I couldn't help myself, "Any reports from the priest Dad?"
Dad chuckled, "I think he survived. Now listen, I was on edge a few weeks ago and I said some things on the spur of the moment. From now on however, I want you to be extra careful in how you present yourself."
"What do you mean Dad?" I asked.
"I think that what your father is trying to say dear is that you were very attractive last week..." Mom started, but Dad interrupted her.
"Ah, you seemed to attract the boys so you just be careful from now on. That's all."
"Don't worry Dad. I've got a lot to take care of in the coming months so I'll be pretty quiet on that front."
"I'll leave you to talk with your mother now. Talk to you next week."
"Bye Dad. Love you," I said.
"Your father always gets uncomfortable when we talk about your transitioning dear," said Mom.
"I know Mom. By the way my new hormones are much better than the last."
"That's nice dear. Any news about your acceptance for surgery?" she asked.
"If all goes well, I should get my referrals in a couple of months and then we can schedule the surgery for hopefully February," I answered.
"Does that make you happy dear?" Mom asked.
"Yes Mom, it really does make me happy."
"Yes dear, I'm here."
"Can I tell you something?"
"Of course dear, what is it?"
"Well Mom, when I first started therapy I could hardly wait to get to the operation and uh, be a woman."
Mom cleared her throat, "And so?"
"I've been living as a woman for almost two years now, and I've lost someone close along the way..."
"Are you telling me that you're having second thoughts dear?"
"Oh no, not at all, it's just that the surgery doesn't seem as important as it once did."
"I'm afraid I don't understand what you're trying to tell me."
"I think what I'm trying to say is that although I'm looking forward to the surgery, I'm starting to see it more as a sense of closure rather than the defining moment."
"So what you're telling me is that you thought you'd feel like a woman only after the surgery, but now you're realizing that you already feel like a woman."
"Exactly. Does that make sense?"
"I think that it does Anne and you will realize after surgery that a vagina will compliment and complete what you've become."
"Thanks for understanding Mom."
"Have you told your therapist this yet?"
"Not yet Mom, but I will next session. I think he'll see that as progress."
"I think he'll see it as very important progress."
Karen invited me over to supper that night. I had received my letter of recommendation for surgery from the gender clinic and it was only fitting that it be with her that I celebrate. It had been a long time since we had a chance to sit down together.
"I'm starting to look forward to the day when this is all over and I can just be Anne Baker - normal girl," I said pulling my knees up to my chin.
"What's it been now, two years since you started the transition?"
The whistle of the kettle started shrieking and she got up to start making the tea.
"Two years next month. It's still amazes me as to how much has gone on since then," I said shaking my head.
"What amazes me is the news about your Mom. I think that it's wild being new parents at that age."
Mom had called me the day before.
"I'M PREGNANT!!!" she'd yelled.
"How can that be?" I cried out in joy.
"Well, I think it goes back to the night of Cindy's wedding," explained Mom who could scarcely stop giggling. "Your father was in fine form that night when we got home."
Dad was beside himself with joy and pride. "What can I say, when you've got it, you've got it," he boasted.
"Hey Dad," I said "You call up Uncle Doug right now and tell him there's no lack of virility in the Baker household."
"Are you happy for us dear? This isn't crazy is it?" Mom then asked.
"Of course I am Mom. Like I said, you guys are the best parents on earth."
"Connie was overjoyed, but couldn't stop laughing," said Dad.
"Hey Dad, I hope you put the stem on the apple!" I said challenging him for a boy.
"If I did, I hope it stays there this time," he shot back.
"Bob, really now!" interrupted Mom.
"Two points Dad. I walked into that one," I answered.
"I can't believe I'll be back using diapers at 46," said Mom.
"I'll help all I can Mom and I'm sure Connie will as well," I said.
"Just pray it all works out fine for us," said Dad.
"Speaking of big news," I interjected, "I finally got my letter."
"That's wonderful dear. You must be very relieved," said Mom.
"I'll let you two talk now," said Dad.
"No Dad, please stop running away when I talk about this," I said. "I've got to ask you to hang in with me from now on. This is the closing stretch."
"All right, what's next after the letter," he asked.
"Well, they've opened my file at the clinic and if everything goes well, by mid-February the surgery and then it should be all over," I answered.
"I must admit, I suppose it'll be easier on your mother and me when, umh well when the surgery is done," admitted Dad to me, and, maybe to himself as well.
"Have you decided to stay at your apartment and recuperate with the help of Karen and the other girls after the surgery or will you come home?" asked Mom.
"Well, I was hoping to be with you guys, but we better wait and see how the pregnancy goes. Wow, I still can't believe it. You guys are pregnant," I said shaking my head.
"It certainly caught us off guard," said Dad.
"And you were the ones telling me to be careful!" I laughed.
From that moment time flew.
My main goal of the summer was to get a decent tan and, with the help of a couple of bikinis, the result was pleasing.
Then in the fall, the leaves started changing colors again in a particularly magnificent fashion.
Karen had her Halloween party and I fulfilled a long time desire to be Cat Woman. (By the way, a hint to whoever wants to get into a Cat Woman costume, wear a long-sleeve body stocking. It lets you get in, and especially out of the costume a lot easier.)
Christmas was a much better attended event than my first as Anne and this brought a new sense of calm into the family. Dad was so happy. He really is just a big kid sometimes and Christmas seems to bring out the best in him. Aunts, uncles and cousins were more and more used to the idea of my change and the fact that Mom was starting to show her bump brought a new dynamism to the celebrations.
"Merry Christmas dear," said Aunt Barbara handing me my present. We brushed cheeks and I started to open my present.
"I thought it would help you in your new role," said Barbara.
It was the book, 'Women are From Venus, Men are From Mars'.
"Gee thanks, Auntie. This is supposed to be a very deep insight into gender roles," I said sarcastically.
"Oh, really? Well, that's wonderful then isn't it? By the way dear, I hate to admit it, but you do look rather nice today," she said.
I was wearing a turtleneck sweater, a short brown skirt and some brown patterned tights with a new pair of flat-heeled shoes.
"Did Mom tell you that I've just had genital electrolysis and that I'm having my penis removed in February?" I asked sipping my scotch.
"That's, um, charming dear. Excuse me, will you?" She turned away, her face blanching at the thought.
"Take that, you stupid bitch," I thought to myself with a smile.
"Hey there sexy!" said my cousin Greg coming over. "Having some gabs with Babs?"
"Don't worry," I answered. "I just freaked her out. That should take care of her for a while."
"So, you're really going to do this thing aren't you?" he asked. "By the way, refill?"
We walked over towards the drinks.
"It should be all over within six weeks," I said taking my glass.
"That's cool. You do what you've gotta do. My buddy Brian was asking if it was true that you weren't a real chick yet. When I told him, he still couldn't believe it."
"The one from Cindy's wedding?"
"That's the dude. Said you tasted like one," Greg said grinning and drinking his beer.
"Tell him that if he's a good boy, he'll have another chance to see how I taste."
"OW!! THAT'S HOT!! You're on. I'll tell him. Dude'll pop a boner on that one."
"Really, you tell him that I wouldn't mind meeting him again."
"No problemo. If he knows what he's getting into and you've got the hots for him, I'll set it up."
Finally, the time had come.
Connie took time off school and, with my parents, came up to be with me for this turning point in my life. Once all together, we shared a common mood. The surgery was inevitable. Everyone had come to the realization that it was happening and that it was happening now. We were not sad nor were we happy. We were all pensive. It was Connie who finally came up with the answer.
"Do you guys realize that this will likely be the last big event that we're going to experience as just the four of us?" she asked us over what later became known as the 'Last Supper'.
Dad nodded his head. Mom smiled. I raised my glass to my family.
The following day, I checked into the hospital. Everyone was fussing around me, but for what seemed like the first time in my life, I just felt like I was going to unwind and let things happen. I had undertaken a journey that had nearly drained me both emotionally and physically and now I was putting myself in the hands of others.
All my friends came by to wish me luck and to bring me flowers. It was tough being a good hostess as the laxatives were beginning to take hold, but it was so sweet to see everybody. Trust Vera and Gino to be the last to come by just after the end of visiting hours.
"This is it," said Gino shaking his head. "Scrotal removal time. I'm glad it's you and not me."
I laughed and tried to resist passing gas. "Like I said Gino. To you it's sacred and to me it's a tumor. Just wait until you see me in my bikini."
"I never thought of that," mused Gino.
Vera slapped him on the side of the head. "And don't start now," she said.
At dawn the next morning Mom and Dad showed up at my room. There was nothing to say. The orderly came to prep me and give me my sedative. My folks, one on either side of the bed hugged me and cried.
I said to them. "Neither of you has seen what's going to be removed since I was six years old. Don't get all emotional about it."
Mom chuckled and Dad blew his nose, "We'll be here when it's over," he said.
"So will I," I said as the orderly started wheeling the bed out of the room.
I opened my eyes and looked around. There was a pink balloon tied to the foot of my bed which proclaimed, "IT'S A GIRL!"
I smiled and closed my eyes. I heard noises and woke up again. Mom, Dad and Connie were there and they all smiled when they saw me.
"The doctor said that everything went very well dear," said Mom.
"I'm glad it's over," I said and started to cry softly. It hurt when I talked as I'd had my Adam's apple shaved at the same time.
Dad came over and kissed me on the cheek. "It's all right baby girl."
The next couple of days were petty boring with the high point being the unplugging of my IV bottles. I must admit however that my hands were cupping my crotch non-stop. There was way too much bandaging to really feel anything below, but I could tell that it was changed forever.
My first real introduction to my new self happened six days after surgery when the doctor came to undo my bandaging and to remove the packing from my newly formed vagina. Reminiscent of some music hall magician's trick, he proceeded to remove what appeared to be miles of surgical packing.
"Not bad, not bad at all," he said surveying his handiwork.
The nurse next to me pulled out a small mirror from her pocket and said, "Here, take a look for yourself."
Mine was a one step procedure where the vagina and the labia were both created at the same time. I positioned my mirror and looked. It was swollen and bruised, but it was all mine and it was beautiful!
"We'll leave you two alone for a few minutes," said the doctor knowingly, "But we'll be back soon because now that it's opened it has to stay that way."
That was how I was introduced to dilating. Things got better by the day. My hand was still permanently cupped to my crotch and my mirror and I were best friends. I was also mercifully relieved of my catheter and was able to wander around easier.
Ten days after the operation, I was allowed to leave. Mom and Dad came back up to get me and we all went home so that I could recover for a few weeks. Dad had thought of everything and when I climbed into the car, I saw a pink invalid ring.
Those weeks were the most boring of all, but not because I was with my folks. It was basically eat, sleep and dilate (and dilate, and dilate....). However, my perseverance was rewarded by my first female orgasm on my thirty-first day after surgery. It was a tremendous moment that I'll always treasure.
The week before, my mirror and I decided that everything had healed enough so that I could show Mom how the surgery had turned out. There was no more swelling or bruising and the pubic hair had started to grow in covering the little scarring that was noticeable. I don't know why I felt the need to show her, but maybe it was some form of acceptance I was seeking. An acceptance for me that I was finally female and an acceptance for her that she no longer had a son, but a daughter.
She was hesitant at first, but finally caved in to my badgering.
It was all worked out.
"I don't want to see more than I have to, so lift up your skirt and pull it right back down. And I mean right back down," she said as she sat down on my bed.
It felt weird flashing my mother.
Skirt up, skirt down.
"That was too fast dear," said Mom.
Skirt up, 2, 3, skirt down.
"Well," said Mom taking in a breath. "That certainly looked as normal as can be. And now you're saying that you're using your biggest dilator?"
"That's right. Looks great, doesn't it?" I said proudly.
"It's long been said that there is nothing more beautiful than the female body. I think we can safely say you now fit the description."
"Thanks Mom!" I said as I took her in my arms.
"Now I'm warning you Anne Baker, don't you even think about putting your father through this," she said. "I'll just let him know that it's perfect."
Connie came to visit us that weekend. As soon as she got in the door, I took her hand and dragged her upstairs saying, "I've got something to show you."
"So, what's next?" said Connie after I had shown her my pride and joy. She was much more at ease and curious about it than Mom and did quite the examination.
"I don't have anything specific lined up, but I can tell you I'm as horny as hell," I answered.
"Itching to put it to good use? I bet that's normal. Just remember though, don't start putting out all over the place or you're going to lose your self respect and others are going to lose respect for you," she said.
"Here we go, speech time," I moaned.
"No, I'm serious."
She slapped my hand that had resumed its natural position of cupping my crotch, "Cut that out! Like I was saying, you've got something now that guys are going to want to get into. You have the power. Use it wisely," she said with authority.
"I know. Mom gave me the same speech a couple of days ago. But, Connie...."
"Yeah, what?" she asked.
"Can you give me a few pointers on how to uh... you now, let a guy know you're interested."
"Interested in what?" she asked coyly.
She slapped my hand away again. We talked for hours.
The next day Dad asked me aside.
"What's up Daddy?" I had started calling him Daddy and that felt nice.
"It's just that we're going to be driving you back to your place tomorrow and I just wanted to say that I want you to be careful," he said with a touch of melancholy.
"I know Daddy. I'll be careful. I promise."
"It's just like when Connie left school. Parents get nervous you know when their young daughters leave home."
"I figure that with all I've been through in the last year, I deserve to just have a nice quiet life," I said, trying to reassure him.
"I told Connie not to do anything your mother wouldn't do and I'll say the same to you now Anne."
"Yes dear, what is it?"
"Can I tell you something I've been wanting to tell you for a long time?"
Dad laughed. "At this point, I don't know what would surprise me now coming from you."
"I just wanted to say that I can honestly say that I never did anything of a homosexual nature. I mean..."
Dad cut me off. "I appreciate what you're trying to tell me, but it's not necessary. I don't want to know about your sex life. Besides how are we to reconcile our interpretations of those terms? Look," he continued, "you're a beautiful young woman and surely going to end up in what will hopefully be a good relationship with a young man. Let's just leave it at that and deal with that when the time comes. OK?"
"OK, Daddy. You're right."
He took me in his arms and held me tight. "I believe what you just said and I appreciate it honey," he said.
I was back home, back at work and depressed. I had settled back into a good routine, but that was exactly what it was, a routine. Eat, work, dilate, sleep. Eat, work, dilate, sleep... And so on.
At least however there were some fun things I restarted. My first waxing party with the girls started with the obligatory presentation of my new genitalia.
"Tah, dah!" I said to a heart-felt round of applause. That was followed-up by the presentation of an obscenely large vibrator by the girls. After convincing them that I would waste no time putting it to good use, we got on to the serious business of waxing our legs, drinking wine and talking about men.
I could feel a difference. I had always been accepted as one of the girls by Karen, Vera and Susan, but now there was a subtle difference in how they were with me that night. It was as if I had completed a writ of initiation and was a fully-fledged member of a secret sorority. I felt truly...normal and that was something that I had paid for dearly. It felt great.
"Hey girls," I said. "I got a call from my cousin Greg today. There's this guy that I met at my cousin Cindy's wedding..."
"Wait," said Karen. "Are you talking about the guy licking your leg in that picture you showed us?"
"That's the one." I answered.
"Wow, he looks amazing. What about him?" asked Karen.
"Well," I said breathlessly, "He and Greg are going to be in town for the big race in a couple of weeks time. I told Greg to try and fix us up and he did!" I squealed.
"Wait a minute. Who has dibs on Greg?" asked Susan, the only single girl besides me.
"He's yours if you want him, and believe me, you want him," I answered with a wink.
"What's your goal with this guy?" asked Vera.
"Cheap sex," I answered.
"Anne, well I never!" exclaimed Vera.
"Of course not V, you're not that kind of girl," I smiled. "But I'm going nuts here. I've never been this horny in my life and, although I appreciate the gift of Mr. Happy here," pointing to the dildo, "I need to feel a real man inside me."
Susan grinned, "Here's the plan..."
"Miss Baker, you're next."
I looked around and got up. I picked up my purse from the chair next to me and followed the nurse to the examination room. She opened the door of a small room at the end of the hallway and ushered me in.
"Just remove your skirt, tights and panties and sit on the edge of the bed. Dr. Freylich will be with you in a moment."
I nodded and started to undo the fastener of my skirt. She walked over to a small counter, arranged some things for the doctor and quietly left the room.
I sat down on a stool, took off my shoes and pulled off my tights. I folded them neatly and put them on the stool along with my skirt. I was getting a little nervous and decided to keep my panties on as long as possible. I walked around the room a bit and finally sat down on the edge of the bed as instructed. I looked over to my left to get a better look at the stirrups.
The door opened, a woman walked in and spoke, "Miss Baker, pleased to meet you, I'm Rebecca Freylich."
She seemed nice enough. "Hi," I answered, "You can call me Anne."
"All right Anne," she said as she walked over to a small desk. "Your mother has told me about you. I must admit that you are the first transsexual woman I've had in my practice," she said leafing through my file.
"So that means you're probably as nervous as I am," I answered with a grin.
She smiled back, "I'd imagine you would be used to this type of exam by now, based on what you've been through."
"You'd be surprised." I replied. "I have had plastic surgery and gained female genitalia, but that was a one shot experience, albeit with regular follow-up. This is my first trip to the gynecologist. This is going to take some getting used to."
"That's what all my patients say the first time here. It's not always pleasant, but it's very important to good health. I expect we'll be taking a slightly different approach in your case, but the basic rules of hygiene will be as important for you as any other young woman. Now, if you'll take off your panties, just lie back on the bed and place your feet in the stirrups, we can begin," she said as she donned a pair of latex gloves.
I assumed the position and, with my legs wide open and my ankles resting in the stirrups, tried to feel comfortable.
She walked over to the small stool I'd used earlier, removed my skirt and tights and laid them on the back counter. She pulled up the stool to the end of the bed and sat down. Taking hold of an instrument, she began her examination.
I stared up at the ceiling and crossed my hands over my tummy. I could feel her poking and prodding at my labia and vagina.
Just as I was beginning to feel uncomfortable about what was taking place, I heard the stool roll away and Dr. Freylich say, "There now, that wasn't so bad was it?"
She got up and went back to her counter working with the instrument as she went, "You can get up now, if you'd like."
I lifted my feet out of the stirrups and resumed a sitting position on the bed. She rolled her stool over and sat down at the side of the bed.
"I must say, apart from the dryness of your canal, even I would have a difficult time saying that your labia and vagina were not natural. Your surgeon did wonderful, creative work Anne. I saw some signs of a small infection, but it should clear up on it's own. Everything else seems fine."
I almost blushed. "I must admit I'm very pleased with the results."
"Are you sexually active Anne?"
"I've had sexual relations with a man on two occasions so far," I answered bashfully.
"You know Anne, although you're not able to conceive, you are at risk as all women are to several sexually transmitted diseases so you should insist that your partners wear a condom during intercourse," she said. "Also make sure you properly lubricate prior to penetration."
"Don't worry about that doctor," I replied. "After all the dilating I've had to do, I'm very familiar with the advantages of proper lubrication."
"Once again Anne, I hope you don't mind the personal question, but were you fitted with breast implants or is that natural growth?"
"I'm proud to say Dr. Freylich, that they're all mine."
"So you must be aware then that regular self examination is essential in detecting breast cancer," Dr. Freylich continued.
"As a matter of fact, I've become all too aware of that because my mother's sister Barbara has just been diagnosed with breast cancer," I replied carefully. "My Mom, my sister Connie and I have all been cautioned as we share what we call the 'family bust'."
I was momentarily awash with memories of when I first heard the news.
Mom's voice sounded awful. "Oh Annie," she wailed. "I'm so afraid for her."
"It's going to be OK Mom. The fact that they found the lump early is a good thing. Chances are, a quick treatment will take care of everything," I said trying to sound reassuring.
"I've been trying to contact Connie all day. I want you to call Barbara right now and offer your best wishes and support," she said as she struggled to regain her composure.
"Stay calm Mom. Remember the baby. He'll be wondering what all the fuss is about if you start freaking out."
She chuckled and sniffed at the same time. "I guess you're right. Call her now Annie - for me."
Even though Aunt Barbara had not been supportive of me when I needed acceptance during my transition, I knew that I could not refuse my mother's request so I called her immediately.
"Hi Aunt Barbara, it's Anne."
"It's so nice of you to call me Anne," she said seemingly expecting my call.
"Mom told me the news. I just wanted to say my prayers are with you," I said as the tears welled up in my eyes.
Barbara's tone was melancholic. "It did come as quite a blow, however the doctor has given me some encouraging words so we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out."
"If I can be of any help, all you have to do is call me. I'm no stranger to doctors you know." I said trying to lighten the mood.
"As a matter of fact, I asked my doctor about you," she said.
"Why?" I asked taken aback.
"Well, after the examination, he asked me about my direct female relatives," she said starting to explain. "You know, sisters, daughters and nieces. I wasn't sure so I just mentioned your situation to him."
"What did he say?" I asked interrupting her.
"He said you should be doing self examination and be on the alert for any lumps yourself."
"You mean that he thinks I could be diagnosed with breast cancer one day even though I'm not female from birth?"
"I'm afraid so Anne. You've told me that your bust is all natural growth so it seems that although it's most often thought of as a woman's disease, some men have also been known to contract breast cancer."
I was amazed how insensitive she could continue to be with me even at a time like this. I said curtly, "I'm not a man anymore Aunt Barbara."
"I... my dear no..." she started to speak, but there was a pause on the other end and I could start to here sniffling.
"My dear Anne I apologize," she said as she struggled to regain her composure. "I'm really sorry if my comment came out wrong. I only meant that breast cancer is not gender biased."
"Oh." was all I could say as she continued.
"Although I should have accepted the fact earlier, when my doctor explained that you where as much at risk as the rest of us, it was then I finally came to realize that you really are no different than any other woman. You've chosen to become a woman and live all that comes with it. Please believe me when I say take care of yourself and be happy."
I put the phone down with tears streaming down my cheeks.
"Oh, hello dear, I was waiting for your call. How did it go with Dr. Freylich?"
I could detect a hint of amusement in her voice.
"It went fine Mom, no problem at all. Actually, she saw a small infection, but nothing serious."
"I'm glad you got through it Annie dear. You didn't think that a regular trip to the gynecologist would be part of the deal did you when you started your change?" she asked still with the amused tone in her voice.
"Enough about me," I said. "How's the baby?"
"Just fine, did I tell you it's started kicking?"
"No you didn't, that's amazing. How's Dad by the way?"
"Working too hard, but you know your father. Actually, he's building up some overtime so that he can spend the first month or so off work when the baby arrives."
"Any news on Barbara? I thought of her today," I asked.
"That's very sweet of you dear. She'll be starting treatment next week and, if all goes well, we'll know where she stands by the end of the year," she said, hope apparent in her voice.
"Got to run now Mom, I've got a long overdue hair appointment in twenty minutes. Tell Connie to call me, give my love to Dad and a bunch of hugs and kisses to you and the baby. I'll call you next week."
As soon as I hung up with Mom, the phone rang again.
"Hi Anne." It was Susan.
"Oh hi Sue. What's up?"
"I just got a call from Greg. He just spent fifteen minutes talking dirty to me."
"Sounds like Greg alright," I said with a laugh. "What did he do, got you all hot and then sounded off?"
"No, he finished what he started."
Now that she mentioned it, she did sound a bit winded.
"Oh, you naughty girl. You like him don't you?"
"He's coming down next weekend and we've got it all planned out," she said sounding happy.
"Is Brian coming down too?"
"He didn't mention Brian at all. Hasn't he phoned you yet?"
"No, not since they left Sunday night."
It was now Friday afternoon.
"Gee, I'm sorry Anne. I thought you two really hit it off."
"The sex was great, but I could tell it wouldn't work out between us."
"Hey look, there's lots of guys out there and there's one there just for you. I know there is."
"Don't worry about it. Listen, I've got to go. See ya."
I didn't want to be late for my hair appointment so I drove a little faster than usual. Coming to a stop sign, I could see the salon at the end of the next block. I'd just make it. All of a sudden, I heard the sound of a siren.
Looking in my rear view mirror I saw the police car.
"Aw, shit!" I muttered in a most unladylike manner. I pulled over and stopped the car. At least I was within walking distance of the salon.
I looked again and saw the police officer slowly get out of his car.
"Hurry up!" I thought to myself as I rolled down my window.
"Good afternoon Miss," he said calmly. "Did you see that stop sign back there?"
"Yes I did officer. Didn't I make a full stop?"
"I 'm afraid not. I'll need your license and registration please."
I sighed and reached over for my purse. I took out the documents and handed them to him.
I stared at the salon as he walked back to his cruiser. Angie was notorious for passing on to the next customer if someone was late. Given the time of day, I might have to reschedule.
"Hurry up please!" I again thought to myself as I nervously drummed my fingers on the steering wheel. I had been growing my hair out a good length to do a perm and it was totally unmanageable. I was brushing it away from my eyes as the police officer appeared at my side.
"What do you think you're doing?" he asked aggressively.
"I beg your pardon?" I said shocked by what he had said.
"Trying to charm your way out of a ticket?" he shot back.
Bewildered, I said nothing.
"Let me see your social security card as well as any other picture I.D.," he said curtly.
"What's the meaning of this?" I protested. "I gave you my papers, they're all in order, why are you asking me anything else?"
"I'll ask you one more time, I would like more identification, sir."
So that was it.
I took out my social security card, my birth certificate and my health card. "Here, knock yourself out," I told him.
He walked back to his car. I looked in my rear view mirror and copied down the cruiser number. "I'll teach that bastard how to treat a lady," I said out loud as I wrote.
He seemed to take forever, but finally re-appeared. "Here is your I.D. and here's a ticket for passing through a red light, have a nice day," he smirked and started to walk away.
"Excuse me, come back," I called out to him.
He stopped, slowly turned around and walked back to my car.
"Yes Ms.?" he asked sarcastically.
"Officer..." I lifted up my sunglasses, "Officer 2481, how do I register a complaint against your treatment of me?"
"I don't understand what you mean," he replied. "I asked you for I.D., I wrote you a ticket for a moving violation and I wished you a nice day. I don't understand how you can register a complaint about that."
"You were discriminating me with your tone and insinuations," I answered.
"Look, your I.D. on the computer showed 'Male' corrected to 'Female'. I've never seen that before so I asked for clarification. As for discrimination, that's serious. Got any witnesses? Cause if you don't, I'd say forget it. If you don't want problems in the future, drive properly and you won't get stopped - end of problem. Now, like I said, you ran a stop sign and that's a hundred bucks. You've got the ticket so have a nice day."
He turned and walked back to his car.
"Fucking bastard!" I shouted.
"I heard that!" he called back with a chuckle.
I was furious with the way I had been treated. Worst of all, I could tell he was looking at my bust and my legs the whole time like I was a piece of meat.
I stopped in to see Karen before going back to my place. We hadn't seen each other in a couple of weeks and I had left a note on her door that morning saying I would stop by.
"Weren't you getting a perm today?" she asked as I walked into her apartment.
"I had to reschedule for next week." I said still furious. I told her about the incident with the police officer.
"Why don't you call the city councilor and demand that something be done within the police force concerning gender policy or something?" she suggested after my blow by blow account of the event.
"Excellent idea," I answered. "I'll do it first thing tomorrow morning. I'll show officer 2481 or whatever his name is a thing or two. I'll fight if I have to."
"So, what have you been up to the last couple of weeks? Vera said you and Susan had a couple of visitors last weekend. Anything worth reporting?"
"Well, as a matter of fact..."
Karen looked at me and squealed, "You did it? You're torn?"
I couldn't hold myself back. Tears welled up in my eyes as I took her in my arms. We were both laughing and crying as I said to her, "Oh Karen, you're so dear to me. You've been there since the beginning."
We sobbed and giggled like a couple of schoolgirls for several minutes until we both calmed down enough to talk.
"So, was it good?" she asked blowing her nose.
"Not bad at all I must admit. I didn't orgasm the first time, but I did the second. I made sure he spent some time on me before I did him," I answered wiping my eyes. "Oh shit, I've ruined my makeup."
"Are you guys going to get together again?" she asked as she filled the teapot.
"I doubt it. It was a real eye opener though. It reminded me a bit of when Andy and I were together so I didn't freak out by being with a guy," I explained to her. "The weird part was being face to face while he was in me as opposed to Andy who was always behind me. That was different..." I said as I started losing myself in my thoughts.
"Don't worry about it. One day, before you know it you're going to meet the right guy for you." Karen said as she put her arm around my shoulder.
I looked at her and said, "Oh, I'm not worried about anything. You've got Mike, Vera's got Gino and if one day I meet someone that would be good for me then great."
I continued, "My life has changed so much and I've had to do so much to get where I am today," I paused as I glimpsed at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall - a disheveled, mascara nightmare of a girl, "Now I just want to lead a nice, quiet, normal life."
Karen walked over and handed me a steaming cup. She smiled at me and said, "You my dear are too amazing to lead a normal life."
It was a nice morning so I decided to wake up early and spend some quiet time on my balcony. I was on the 11th floor and had a terrific view of the park across the way. A small stream ran through and I found the scene to be idyllic and very soothing.
As I sat doing my nails, I couldn't help feel that something had to be done about the way I had been treated by the police officer the other day. I pondered the various legal recourses available to me, but after several minutes, all I could do was to let out an audible sigh.
I put down my nail file and stared transfixed at the goings on down below in the park.
A dog walked faithfully next to his master eagerly waiting for the Frisbee to be launched. A couple of joggers were out on the track and an early morning golfer was teeing off in the distance.
My gaze stopped on an elderly woman who had just begun what appeared to be tai-chi exercises.
Although some distance away, she seemed to be well over retirement age. After a moment or two of stretching, she began a series of movements that had the gracefulness of a dance. I sat mesmerized as the movements took on the appearance of a secret choreography whose true meaning and purpose were known only to herself and her God.
"Please," I thought to myself, "Let me grow old like that."
Letter To The Editor
I am a young transsexual woman and I am your neighbor.
Because of who and what I am, I have known ignorance, I have known rejection and I have known physical abuse.
Last week, I was involved in a situation with a local police officer which left me feeling discriminated against due to my change in gender.
I am not a militant whose goal is to decry or disrupt, but simply a citizen to whom life is as precious as it is to anyone else. I do not wish to accuse or defend. I do not wish to attack or run away.
I do not want to be treated differently. I do not want to be "understood". I do not want to be labeled.
I wish to know peace, I wish to know compassion. I wish to know respect, I wish to know love.
Am I different from you?
© 2001 by Anne Baker. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.