Fiction #97

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapesty #097, Spring 2002.


by AprilRose Schneider

As a ?mature? transexual, I can claim the dubious honor of having seen the best and worst of both sexes. I?m fifty now, a

late bloomer, to be sure. But despite what I regard as a qualified sort of worldliness about myself, there was nothing?and I

do mean NOTHING?that could have prepared me for the social, psychological and practical adjustments that awaited me as I

began my transition at the age of forty-four.

The early days of my transition provided some of the most intense emotional experiences I?ve ever had. Anyone foolish

or brave enough to want a more personal understanding of the meaning of ?intense emotional experience? should go to the

nearest Wal-Mart at the busiest time of day and take their clothes off, preferably in the vicinity of the customer service

booth. Then, as you stand there in your naked glory and enjoy your fifteen seconds of infamy, you will know precisely how I

felt the first time I went there in a dress. But as revealing as that experience was, it paled in comparison to a lesson in

sexism visited upon me in the summer of 1999.

It was the last day of June, and the searing New Mexico sun promised to push the mercury up past one hundred degrees.

Unemployed, as I frequently was, I sought the anonymity of the local theatre for a mid-day matinee. It was a remake of the

classic ?The Out-of-Towners.? Having consumed every last morsel of contraband candy I had smuggled into the theatre, I sat in

dread of the approaching end of the movie. The murderous heat of a dry sauna was awaiting my exit from the cool confines of

the theatre.

The movie ended. As the audience filtered out toward the exits, I reluctantly gathered my purse, tugged at the hem of

my sundress and fell in line.

Slightly claustrophobic, I broke from the crowd and turned left, opting for a longer, more relaxed pace through the

side lot. I heaved on the theater door and immediately regretted my decision to go out, for the midday heat sucked the breath

out of me. For a few steps I could manage no more than a zombie shuffle.

My reverie was cut short by a sensation so bizarre I had nothing in my memory banks to use for comparison. It came

suddenly and without warning, like a thief in the night. Unseen and unbidden, a hand deftly lifted the bottom rear hem of the

aforementioned sundress and rather gently and gracefully stroked the most posterior aspect of my gluteus maximus, with one

errant yet talented finger venturing ever so slightly toward the panty-covered inner sanctum.

Time slowed to a crawl, as it often does during moments of great import. Thoughts raced through my head in a jumble.

I searched for some way to comprehend what had just happened. There came then a sort of crazy, mad convergence as I shuffled

to a stop, groping desperately for understanding. ?Oh, it?s probably someone I know!? Then, just as quickly, came the

realization that even coming from a friend, the thing would be no less unpalatable.

In the next second, a mysterious presence glided by like a specter, lingering only long enough to whisper in my ear,

?You are so gorgeous.? There, in that weird dream state, I remained motionless?suspended?as I watched a swarthy, thirtyish

man with excellent taste in posteriors walk briskly down the sidewalk. Sexism had come calling.

Assisted by adrenaline, my senses returned. I tried to formulate some sort of response. As I stood there in shock,

one of my many alter egos, the one as needy as a motherless kitten and wanton as a depraved transexual, spoke up and in true

southern belle fashion said, ?Why thank, you kind sir, you say the nicest things.? But my fantasy was shattered as the brazen

stranger paused some fifty feet ahead and turned to leer at his victim one more time. That did it! I was finally snapped back

into some sort of functional state of being and overcome by a brief but powerful sense of self-righteous anger. For one

shining moment I was imbued with the special sort of uplifting, justifiable, empowering rage only a transexual really knows.
As the impudent stranger quickened his pace down the sidewalk, he turned left and headed for the main parking lot.

Just before disappearing behind the front wall of the theater, he turned towards me once more and leered, a perverted grin

plastered on his face. His demeanor screamed ?Gotcha!?

I felt violated?used and abused, defiled and deflowered, like some cheap sex object. Sadly, I also had gained a more

intimate knowledge of how it felt to be a woman in a male-dominated society. I realized with grave conviction the immensity

of my vulnerability. This worm in a man?s disguise could have done practically anything he wanted to me. It came as a

startling realization to realize how very far this transition had brought me.

An evil plan of retribution began to formulate in my now vindictive psyche. He was still close enough to me, in his

haughty overconfidence, and I could use the element of surprise. I would simply remove my high heels and chase him down on

foot. His smugness would cause him to run at half-speed. I would tackle him in the parking lot. Then as he lay there in

shock, the rictus of fear on his lips, I would create an indelible impression, an impression guaranteed to remain lodged in

his sex-offender brain for the rest of his short, pitiful life. In the videotape player of my imagination, to the animal

sounds of the crowd that had gathered around us in the parking lot to cheer me on, I took my revenge. And, lawdamighty, was

it sweet!

I paused for a moment to savor my victory. Then, standing over the sad, stunned lecher, I placed my foot on his

throat, pulled up my dress, pulled down my panties and, smiling just as sweetly as possible, revealing the one thing about me

that he could never anticipated, the thing that would ruin his day. As he stared openmouthed at the object of his undoing, I

would kneel beside him and end his days of perversion by delivering a deathblow to his septum. Now that?s what I call pure

transexual anger.

I snapped out of my sun-baked reverie, realizing I was standing in a daze on a sidewalk outside the theater. Not

knowing if the incident had attracted any attention, I kept my eyes to the ground and tried to appear as nonchalant as

possible, as if I were not a transexual who had just been groped for the first time. My steps quickened as I angled toward

the safety of my Blazer.

I had no sooner put the key into the lock than I was distracted by the sound of an approaching bicycle. I chanced a

glance in the direction of the sound and was aghast to see my friendly local pervert smile and wave as he rode casually by.

Still rooted to the spot, slack-jawed, I continued to watch as he rode to the far end of the parking lot. He then dismounted

and stood leering at me.

I threw myself into my car with every intention of serving justice upon his person. ?Ha! This idiot is on a bike, and

I?m driving a SUV. What is he, suicidal??

Then, an epiphany. I realized in a moment of satori that I had misjudged the entire episode. He was obviously a

lonely, dysfunctional wretch of a man who needed love, or at least reassurance. Of course. That was it! How could I have been

so blind? As we stared at each other from opposite ends of the blacktop, I began to feel a curious mixture of nurturance and


My mood turned conciliatory. After all, his grope was a gentle one, and I never really felt threatened. In reality,

he could have done much worse?like stealing my purse or jewelry. And he definitely wasn?t ugly. ?I?ll bet he just needs

someone to talk to. In fact I?ll bet if I just go over there and tell him that I?m not upset with him he?ll be relieved just

to know someone cares.?

My motivation to heal gaining strength, I smiled at him as I started the car. In a split second his self-confident

grin began to fade and was replaced by genuine perplexity. Holding his gaze, I backed the car out the parking space and

slowly aimed the car in his direction. Halfway across the parking lot, I was close enough to see his look of perplexity was

slowly fading and being replaced with one of fearful anticipation. I forced myself to smile to put him at ease, but I must

have appeared crazed and demonic, for he mounted his bike. Anxious to meet and console my mysterious admirer, I accelerated

toward him.

He threw a pained grimace in my direction and began peddling furiously away from his psycho gropee. We bounced in

unison over a couple of parking bumpers and plowed through a small gravel lot, barely missing a couple of mailboxes. We hit

the pavement of the main thoroughfare, he pedalling furiously and casting frantic fearful looks over his shoulder. I

considered grabbing pencil and paper to scratch out a calming phrase, but opted to pull alongside him and reassure him in

person. In an instant, we were side by side, hurtling down the two lane highway. The poor man looked as if he would have

rather been swimming with piranha.

I leaned out of my window at forty miles an hour and screamed at the top of my lungs, ?Stop, let?s talk. I just want

to help!? Unfortunately, in the act of leaning out of the window, I edged out of my lane and into his. Mere feet separated

us. A look of horror was on his face as he realized he had bitten off more than he would ever want to chew.
In an effort to be heard, I edged even closer and screamed, ?Hey, c?mon, let?s go somewhere and talk. I can help.?

Staring and pedaling wildly, he screamed back, ?You go to hell, lady!?

And then, whether by cruel fate or simple misadventure, he drifted too far crossed the center line and was himself

groped by an eighty-ton Mack truck.

I didn?t stop to investigate. There was simply no way to explain what had just transpired. Some things are better

left to the imagination.

I still go to the same theater on occasion. Inevitably, I find myself sauntering slowly through the same familiar

exit, pausing just for a moment on the sidewalk outside, waiting, watching. After all, he did say I was gorgeous, didn?t


We placed AprilRose's piece in the fiction section because, we hope, Mr. Groper's encounter with the Mack truck was

wishful thinking?Ed.

AprilRose Schneider resides in New Mexico, where she operates a housekeeping service.



by Shawn Williams

Ruggedly handsome, with dark eyes that could see deep beyond the organic structures. Well-defined musculature that provided a

hint upon first encounter of the power and energy packed into that small frame. Subsequent encounters revealed

characteristics that were even more appealing. There was an intellectual side balanced with an intriguing creative talent.

Mechanical and carpentry skills were enhanced by a sense of style and design. Lying beneath a wonderful sense of humor was a

quiet wisdom. Some of us who got closer discovered a gentleness and sensitivity that balanced the strength and toughness.

When we were together, I always felt safe. Johnnie was someone I could depend on. Someone I could trust.

I can remember people staring when we went out. It used to make me laugh sometimes because my heels made me so much

taller. So, I was taller and 25 years younger. What those hollow people behind the stares didn?t realize is just how tall

Johnnie seemed to me. And, why was it so important to everyone else that I happened to be taller? How odd to put such

restrictions in place for dating and mating rituals. Weren?t other things more important than physical attributes?

Johnnie?s mother was very dear. We used to go over to her house for dinner every Friday night. There was a strong

love between them. And I was always treated like family. She never displayed any of that silly jealousy that mothers often

have. You know, that attitude that no one is good enough for my child. Never any of that. I grew to love this woman,

Johnnie?s mother.

One day the phone rang. It was Johnnie. A family member had died. A relative and his family were coming in from

Oklahoma. No one had seen them in years. They would be at the funeral home that evening. I needed to be ready by 6:30 p.m. so

we could arrive by 7:00 p.m.

We made it through the visitation that evening. Lots of people came to pay their respects. Finally, the only ones

left besides Johnnie?s mother and us were the long-lost relatives. The resemblance was striking. He even had a small stature

just like Johnnie. His wife was shorter and always stood just a little behind him. They had stared at us all night. I was

kind of used to it, even though it did surprise me that a relative would be so blatant. They probably didn?t like it that I

was treated as an equal. We stood side by side, and the mutual respect between us showed.

Johnnie asked the relatives to join us for dinner. He stared coldly from under his cowboy hat and said, ?I didn?t

know you wuz like you wuz. Somebody should have told me. No, I don?t think we?ll be going to dinner with you.? Johnnie just

smiled and shrugged, ?Well, you?re sure going to miss some good home cookin?. We?ll see you tomorrow at the funeral.?
Johnnie, her mother, and I had a wonderful dinner together that night.

Shawn Williams says, ?I am studying for a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. My area of special interest is gender identity.

The rigid roles dictated by eurocentric cultures, especially the United States, cause countless difficulties for those who do

not fit easily into the ?either/or? requirement.?