A Change Of gender And Beyond
by F.W. Hinton
The offices of most publicity agents never look as if they
are waiting for the magazine photographer to arrive, and
Patersons was no exception. Laura Finch an ex-journalist who
managed the company had come up the hard way, from press
agent to manager. She was merciless, demanding, and
expected everyone to work as hard as she did.
Because of the fierce competition within the advertising
world, she was forced to fight for every inch of coverage.
She found all men uninteresting, and when she had to discuss
business matters with them, kept the meetings as short as
Women who walked around in shapeless, pastel print dresses,
talked about the weather, children and their last
pregnancies abhorred her. Her only friends in life were
female executives or journalists and they were very few.
She was always too tired, or too busy to drive backwards and
forwards to her apartment, or to special meetings and other
functions. She had an arrangement with a car hire company,
who picked her up every morning and drove her home every
night. But she felt she needed not just a driver, she needed
Shaun Maclaren, who resigned from the taxi company because
of Yvonne, applied for a position as chauffeuse with the car
hire company and was assigned to Laura Finch. It was
obvious, from the outset that Shaun suited Laura. She was
always on time, pleasant, and attentive to her every whim.
Laura decided to buy her own vehicle and offered Shaun the
position of chauffeuse-companion. It was an offer Shaun
could not refuse. She gave up her flat and lived in separate
quarters in Laura's apartment.
During the first months there was the coolness of employer,
employee relationship. A year later they became firm
Shaun happy in her position as chauffeuse-companion, seeking
nothing more. She knew Laura had a drink problem and did her
best to ignore it, even when, on the odd occasions she had
to put her to bed.
One Sunday evening Shaun found her asleep on the lounge-room
floor clutching an empty gin bottle.
" Laura! Laura, you can't lay on the floor all night," she
told her, " you know there is a meeting you have to attend
in the morning."
She managed to get her to her feet. Sat her in a chair and
poured black coffee down her throat. An hour later she
helped her into the bathroom and ran a steaming hot bath.
Laura beamed as Shaun washed her.
" Mind the slope doesn't get in my eyes," she stammered as
she slipped under the water.
Laura Finch was a heavy friendly drunk, and by the time she
had been dried and put to bed, Shaun was exhausted. She had
her evening meal and took a cup of coffee upstairs to Laura.
" Why do you get drunk?" she asked her employer angrily, "
you knew you had a meeting in the morning. I like being your
companion, but if you're going to get drunk very night,
you'll have to find someone else to look after you."
" When did it start?" Shaun asked.
Laura frowned. She had a headache, felt queasy, and had lost
all interest in the coming meeting.
But even in her befuddled mind, she knew she had to admit to
Shaun and herself that she had a drink problem.
" It started when I joined Patersons. All the late night
parties, worry over the new job. That was one of the reasons
I needed someone to drive me around - a woman. I can't
handle men. All they ever want is to touch you and try to
She held Shaun's hand.
" Please don't leave me. Please help me. I never really
intended to get drunk. I'd start with one to see me through
the day- -not that I ever needed it. Why not? I used to
think. A drink would put me in a better mood to deal with
clients and the staff. Eventually if I didn't start off the
day with a gin and juice, I'd get real bitchy. Shaun please
help me. I tried so hard to stop. Honestly I did. Then I
lost a large account and one of the directors threatened to
fire me. You know there's nothing like a gin and juice to
start the day. Just a little one, then another, and
Laura began to cry. Shaun gripped her hand tighter, in
sympathy. She dried her eyes, sat up straight in bed and
smoothed the covers. Shaun suggested she should rest. That
they could talk in the morning.
Laura ignored her, continued talking, as if to herself. "
When I was little I used to hide, escape into a world of
fantasy, a world of little people.
They were my friends, my real friends. Reality was too
formidable then so I blotted it out. Life is like that now.
I suppose that's why I drink, to get over the problems of
" Perhaps you should find a partner," Shaun suggested, "
Someone to really take care of you. Get married-to a good
man, some one who understands."
Laura stared at her, horrified. " Married!" she screamed. "
Me! - to a man? I can't stand men. I can't bear to be
touched by one."
" Don't you ever feel the need-of a man's warmth, love,
" No!" she replied angrily, " sex has never been an
important side of my life. I've never slept with a man,
never wanted to. Besides there's always masturbation, now I
don't even need that."
" Laura, you can't go on - -not like this. Stay in bed for
a few days. I'll look after you."
" What about the meeting in the morning?"
" I'll phone the office. Tell them you're sick - make up
" You really would do that for me?"
" Of course I will, providing you try and stop drinking. I
love working for you. I don't want to leave."
Laura was restless all night. She needed a drink, but was
concerned about waking Shaun who slept in a chair by her
bed, to make sure she didn't find another bottle. In the
morning they went to the city. Shaun waited as usual while
Laura had a massage, a facial and manicure.
" I feel great," Laura told Shaun as she got back into the
car, " I think I'll go to the office."
" You can't," Shaun protested, " I told them you would be
away for at least two weeks. You promised me you'd kick the
" I'll do what I want Shaun Maclaren. I am your employer."
" You can't go back on your word. It wouldn't be fair."
Next door to the beauty salon was a Hotel.
" I need a drink," Laura said, taking hold of the door
Shaun slammed her foot down on the throttle, throwing the
startled Laura back into her seat. " Fire me if you dare,
Laura Finch, and I'll tell everyone you're an Alchy-a rotten
In the apartment Luara began to cry and Shaun allowed her
one small gin and juice. She put her to bed, fed her beef
soup and black coffee. During the evening Luara's hands
began to shake, then she shivered making her teeth chatter.
" I need a drink," Laura cried, " please be a darling and
get me one, only a little one. I promise I'll stop after
that, please Shaun."
Shaun ignored her, slept by the side of her bed, determined
that her employer was going to kick the habit.
Mrs Finch lived in the country. Shaun knowing she would be
able to help her daughter decided to pay her a visit. She
gave Laura a sleeping tablet. Left the city just as dawn was
breaking, and by nine o'clock was outside the Finch country
Shaun came straight to the point. " Did you know your
daughter is an alcoholic," she asked Mrs Finch.
" Of course. But I can't see that Laura's condition is any
of your business. You are, after all just an employee.
That's the trouble these days. People like you not knowing
their place." " Surely you can help her. Take her to a
doctor-a specialist," Shaun observed, ignoring the well-bred
touch-me-if-you-dare voice of the tall gaunt Mrs Finch.
" Laura is a grown woman," she retorted, " for your
information I did suggest some time ago that Laura should do
something about it. There is nothing physically wrong with
her. She needs a husband. He'd soon put a stop to her
" Perhaps you could help her now?" Shaun asked again, " help
her to see a doctor-a psychiatrist. I firmly believe it is
only a mental problem that can be easily cured."
" How dare you!" Laura's mother screamed. " How dare you, a
mere employee suggest that there is mental illness within
the Finch family."
" You mean you are refusing to face the possibility of it,"
Shaun retorted angrily.
" I have spoken to our doctor, on several occasions. He did
suggest the A.A. organization. Laura must lead her own life.
Now Miss Maclaren I suggest you leave my home immediately
before the police are called, and I have you forcibly
For three weeks Shaun nursed her employer. She fed her,
bathed her, put her to bed. Laura shook and trembled most of
the time, pleaded with Shaun not to call the doctor, knowing
she would be sent to a hospital or nursing home to dry out.
One Sunday Laura fell into a deep sleep. Even in sleep she
shook, trembled and cried out in agony. In the middle of the
night she perspired profusely. Shaun, worried almost out of
her mind sat on the bed and comforted her through her
nightmares. When the fever passed Shaun bathed her put her
back to bed and fed her strips of bread and butter dipped in
a boiled egg.
" I'm proud of you Laura," Shaun told her, gently stroking
her forehead, " soon you will be able to go back to work as
a new woman."
With Shaun Laura Finch felt free from anxiety, finding a
security she had never known. As a small child she was
always alone. She remembered the rustle of the housemaid's
skirts. Someone who brushed her hair, tidied her room and
laid out her clothes. She remembered being sent to school.
She seldom saw her mother, her father not at all. She hated
the country. There was never anywhere to go, anything to do.
" Please stay with me Shaun," she pleaded, " here, tonight
-always. You know how much I need you. I never dreamed
stopping would be so hard, or that I was so dependent on
gin. Promise me you'll stay with me -please," she whispered
as her tears flowed down her cheeks. Shaun found it
impossible to refuse and slipped into bed beside her.
" It's all right," she said softly, " don't cry. I promise I
will look after you."
Laura Finch nestled in the safety of her companion's arms. "
This is the first time I have ever wanted to stop," she told
Shaun, " I just want to be held and loved. To wake up in the
night and not be afraid, or alone. I do love you Shaun
Minutes later she was asleep.
Laura persuaded Shaun to move into her room, and as she put
away her clothes, Laura suggested she should have a new
" But I only ever wear slacks and jumpers, and proper
shirts. I love to wear proper men's shirts."
" What about skirts, dresses, blouses and frilly things like
" Can't stand them," Shaun answered, " they make me feel
uncomfortable and silly. That's one of the reasons I became
Shaun quickly realised that all Laura Finch needed was a
delicate, subtle, secure love. How different, she thought
from the love she shared with Yvonne and her cousin Maureen.
On the enormous round bed in Laura's dimly lit room, Shaun
murmured soft gentle words that soothed her employer. Then
sliding her hands under Luara's powder-blue nightdress she
fondled her firm, yet soft cream breasts. The rose tips
quivered erect as she ran her tongue slowly over each peak,
stopping and starting as Laura, gasped, sighed and gasped
again in pure delight, pleading with her to never to stop.
Shaun ran her hands down Laura's thighs and caressed the
enfolding flesh, holding her close wanting to make her feel
secure. Laura writhed in ecstasy beneath her, oblivious to
all but Shaun's gentle hands stroking her moist silken hair.
She stood in a warm scented bath. Shaun soaped her all over,
then followed the path of the bubbles, exploring every part.
She sprayed her, and as the sting of the water brought her
back to life Laura felt whole again, promising Shaun she
would never get drunk.
The weeks quickly turned into a year and most times Shaun
could climax without too much trouble, providing she lay on
top and wriggle into her favourite position.
When it didn't happen Shaun found it impossible to find
At first she ignored it, taking her pleasure and
satisfaction in the happiness and contentment of Laura. But
there were times when her needs became overpowering and
Shaun would go into the bathroom and find her own
In the pale moonlight that shone through the partially drawn
curtains Laura awoke one night with a start and found the
bed empty. She sat up, pulled the covers around her and
watched Shaun satisfy herself through the half open bathroom
door. Laura felt a sense of inadequacy. Realising how
unhappy her lover must be she laid down and cried herself to
For days Laura worried over the problem. There was no one
she could confide in. She knew that not one of her friends
would help, or try to understand. It was Shaun who had given
her back her life, the will to live and another chance. One
morning she went alone to the office made an appointment to
see a psychiatrist and took the remainder of the day off.
Dr John Farrell sat at his desk, his chin resting on
steepled hands, he listened to Laura Finch. " And you
Laura? Do you know who you really are?"
" I don't like men. I love my own gender kind. I suppose
that makes me a - -Lesbian. A-female-homosexual."
" Tell me more about Shaun Maclaren."
" I suppose I don't really know a lot about her," Laura said
thoughtfully, " she stopped me from becoming an alcoholic.
She gives me a feeling of security, something I have never
known before. I know that I love her, that I have to help
" What if she were to change her gender?" the doctor asked,
" would you still love her, as you say you do now? Are you
prepared to tell her she is a transexual?"
" Yes! Yes I am," Laura said tearfully, "it's not just
gratitude. I do love her. All I want is for her to be
" If you believe that all you want is her happiness then you
must help her. Perhaps it would help if in the beginning
you understood the condition referred to as transexualism.
There are many thoughts on the subject.
Some researchers believe they have identified the factor
that separates transexuals from so called normal people.
They have discovered something called H-Y antigen. It is
present in normal male skin and serum tissue, but
significantly absent in males who wish to change their sex.
Transexual women have a similar H-Y antigen, in people like
Shaun it can be quite prominent. The implication is, that
the H-Y antigen is the component that determines
to which sex future the embryo belongs. That an H-Y
malfunction decides whether some people become discontented
with their so-called biological sex. Some people believe
that transexuals are individuals with psychological
" And you Dr Farrell," Laura interrupted, " what do you
He looked at her deeply, with a kindly understanding, as he
pondered her all important question.
" There are," he began, finally breaking the long silence, "
thousands of closet transexuals. Many of whom have become
misfits through gender disorientation. Neither, society,
the law, medical profession or the established church,
understand, or acknowledge that transexualism is an
undeserved misfortune. Today society is thinking slowly
about it, but it needs to accept transexuals and
transvestites as individuals not freaks. Please Laura, if
you really love Shaun, do not allow her to become a closet
transexual. We have many terms for people with sexual
identities other than those of the hetrosexual person.
Transvestites, they have a social problem. Transexuals, a
gender problem. Lesbians, like yourself, a sex problem, if
indeed the word problem is appropriate. In my opinion
transexuals are aware from an early age that they are
different. At sexual maturity an automatic mechanism gives
them a desperate desire for change. Because they are
different, they are often ridiculed, become loners, living
miserable, sometimes unbearable lives. They can't control
the way they feel, because really it is a mistake of birth.
I believe all of us should think twice before we do them
harm. In fact I would say Laura that our love should be as
God's-inclusive-reaching out to all."
" How can I tell her?"
" Are you asking how you can appease Shaun Maclaren's
" I suppose I am really."
" You have told me you employ her as a companion-chauffeuse.
Buy her a new uniform. A suit, shirts, tie, peaked cap. You
know the sort of thing. People similar to Shaun can
sometimes be happy in clothes of the opposite sex. That is
to say cross-dressing, and they are of course transvestites
too. Remember Laura, that cross-dressing in itself would
satisfy the transvestite who is content with their
anatomical self, it is no more than a partial, or temporary
help to the transexual."
" Do you think it would be an advantage to make sure Shaun
really is a transexual, and not a transvestite?"
" It certainly would," Dr Farrell agreed, " perhaps you
could arrange a consultation. I know I can help."
" If I were to suggest that she talk to you at this stage in
our relationship I know it would be ruined. I am a selfish
person I know. But I need her love, her support, the feeling
of security which only Shaun has been able to give me. I
want to be able to help her to be her true self. To be happy
with me as I am with her. Please Dr Farrell, there has to be
With patience and sympathy the doctor listened to Laura. He
suggested she should talk to Shaun about her childhood.
" There are many psychiatrists, and psycho-analysts who
believe that early childhood conditioning is the principle
factor in the plight of such patients," he told her, "
especially those patients who feel that their minds and
souls are trapped in the wrong bodies, and it is here that
the psychiatrist can help. There are many arguments Laura.
Equally unfavourable childhood influences can be traced back
in persons who have grown into normal, happy adulthood, with
no discernible split between the psychological, and the
physical sex. However there is ample proof that a
constitutional factor other than the events of childhood are
at work. Talk to Shaun about her early days Laura. Try to
persuade her to consult a doctor. Remember if your companion
is truly a transexual, then she will only be happy when she
is completely, totally accepted as a man."
The tension was like an immense knot in the pit of Laura's
stomach as she left the consulting rooms of Dr Farrell. She
knew she had to find out Shaun Maclaren's true feelings.
To try and persuade her to see a psychiatrist, even if it
meant loosing her, which she knew would shatter her life.
For relief she bought herself a new outfit and Shaun a
complete new wardrobe.
Shaun was delighted with her new clothes. The exquisitely
cut pants suit in dove gray. The chauffeur's uniform with
the touch of femininity about it, the long sleeved shirts
which pleased Shaun most of all.
In the early hours, after their lovemaking, Laura pretended
to be asleep. Shaun unaware she was watching slipped into
the bathroom as usual to seek her fulfilment. Laura, cried
as a sadness came over her, it was more than a sadness a
despair. She knew now, more than ever before something had
to be done.
" Darling Shaun, will you marry me?" Laura asked a week
after her visit to the psychiatrist. Shaun was silent and
gazed at her with a wide, startled look. Fascinated by her
words, she climbed into the big round bed.
" Marry!" she gasped.
" Why not? Unless you feel that our love is not strong
enough to pass the test of marriage?" " Of course it is. You
know I love you-ever since the first time we met. You
remember. But we are two-two females-if-if only I were a-"
" There is a way," Laura told her, holding her close as she
kissed away the tears. " It can be arranged-in a Community
Church. It is almost -it's similar. In fact one could say it
is the same as the established church. They call it a Holy
Union. I think it sounds so much better-it really will make
The Community Church was not a large place of worship, and
as they walked hand-in-hand to give notice. Shaun knew in
her heart that this was the union for which she had been
searching most of her life.
The caretaker was closing the church and looked at them
suspiciously. When they explained that they were to be
married, the old lady became amicable allowing them to go
inside. The single light from the foyer cast enormous
shadows as they walked down the aisle. It swallowed up the
altar, the reading desk, the pulpit the Ten Commandments,
and the Lord's Prayer on either side. Laura and Shaun knelt
in front of the altar, each deep in thought. Laura's hand
crept into Shaun's as together they whispered.
" For better for worse. For richer for poorer. In sickness
and in health. To love and to cherish. Till death us do
There was a lingering look of awe on their faces. A remnant
of brightness, borne only by those on the Holy Mount. They
knew in their hearts they were taking the right step.
The ceremony was held three Saturdays later. A friend of
Laura's was Matron-of-honour. There were no bridesmaids.
In their bedroom they helped each other dress. Shaun laughed
as she looked at Luara wearing only a veil, a skimpy lace
bra and pink panties. Her clothes were laid out on the bed,
which Shaun thought were all very practical. She held up
the calf-length silk coat that could be worn as a coat or a
dress. For the wedding Laura wore it over a strapless blue
ballgown. Shaun wore her pants suit in dove gray.
It was a perfect spring day. The fields were turning green
with the fresh new shoots of cane. The September sky
cloudless, but again there were clouds to mar Shaun's day.
Concerned about the behaviour of her sisters, Pauline and
Jillian when she married Robert Cockran, Shaun decided not
to invite anyone in her family. Wanting to forget the past,
to live only for the future she didn't even invite her
A girl at the office wanting to surprise Laura, telephoned
Mrs Finch inviting her to the wedding.
" Did you know Luara's getting married on Saturday?" she
The silence was long and uncanny. The girl thought the line
had gone dead.
" To whom?" Mrs Finch asked, breaking the silence.
" Shaun Maclaren. At the Community Church. Please come. I
know Laura will be delighted."
" Is that the person who came down to see me?"
" Yes Mrs Finch. I believe she did- - when Laura was having
a problem. She asked you to help. But that's all in the
past," the girl added quickly. " Laura and Shaun don't know
I've invited you. I wanted it to be a lovely surprise. We
all know how much Laura loves you. It really would make
Another long silence. " Will you come?" she asked unable to
bear the suspense any longer.
"Thank you for telling me," Mrs Finch said softly. Seconds
later the line went dead.
" Why would anyone tell my mother?" Laura asked, tears
streaming down her cheeks
" Why not?" Shaun argued, " it would have been wonderful to
have your mother's blessing.
" Read this then," Laura said angrily, " If I marry you she
never wants to see me again." Shaun read the telegram and
threw it away in disgust.
A crowning joy offset the bitter message.
The Verger told Laura that her uncle John was the
The service charged with life though simple, was very
solemn. The word her uncle gave them as Laura and Shaun
knelt holding hands made them put their love for each other
afresh into the background of their love for the Lord.
There was no denying that their love for one another had
been characterising and colouring their lives for a very
" But what of your love for him?" the Minister asked, " is
your thinking, your planning, your behaviour, your own
living coloured with love for him? Was Laura and Shaun
making themselves ready?" he asked, " as far as they were
A comforting stillness possessed Laura and Shaun as they
entered with a deep sincerity into the requirements of the
Their two weeks holiday on the coast calmed them. They came
back to the apartment ready for anything. As they lay on the
bed reminiscing Luara decided it was time to tell Shaun her
" Darling Shaun," she began, " you must know how much I love
you. But this problem I have thrashed out in every way. I've
reasoned it out, prayed over it. Funked it, then longed for
it to be right. It's going to be rough I know. But we will
get nowhere. You and I will never be really, truly happy
until we both take the plunge."
" The Plunge!" Shaun screamed in bewilderment, " what the
hell are you talking about?"
" The fact that you are a Transexual."
" Transexual! How-? How do you know? How can you tell. I've
never said anything to anyone. Not even to you. I love you,
and you love me- -the way we are. I'm happy for you. That's
all I need. That's all that matters. But how do you know?"
" I know Shaun, believe me. It's in your eyes. In the way
you make love. The way you are forced to satisfy yourself.
In God's eyes we are married. You and I are as one. Please
Shaun, help me to help you."
" But you've always told me how much you hate, detest men.
You know you can't bear the thought of them touching you.
How can I change? If I do, I would lose your love forever. I
couldn't bear that. Ours is the only real love I've ever
" Please Shaun trust me," Laura begged, " I fell in love
with you. Not who you were, who you might become. Male-
Female. I love you for yourself. I want you. I need you to
be as happy as I am. I can't bear to watch you go into the
bathroom the moment after we make love."
Shaun dried her eyes and sat on the bed deep in thought.
" How?" she said suddenly, " what can I do apart from
wearing men's clothing?"
" You could start by telling me about your early days. At
the beginning, when you were at the Convent."
" The Convent? I don't know really, except that I preferred
playing with boys. Playing their games. I never did like
dolls, or dressing up. Girls that giggle always annoyed me.
I suppose my attitude must have upset the Nuns. They were
forever beating me with their punishment sticks. I've still
got the scars."
" On my back."
" That's what those marks are. I often wondered."
" Being around girls, and older women always frightened me,"
Shaun continued. " I tried hard at being a girl. When I grew
older I hated the changes in my body. Especially my breasts
when they began to develop. Even now they still get in the
way. A boy grabbed them once, it hurt like hell. When I got
my first period it was a terrible, frightening experience,
all that mess. I hated it then. You know how much I detest
You can see my dilemma. While I could make a show of being
female I could still cherish the thought of being male. In
the beginning I had control of both instances, but I could
not control my body turning into the shape of a female. I
thought that if I were to bind my breasts up tight it might
stop them getting big, look at them now they're bigger than
ever." Shaun told her how she had wanted to become a priest.
When she was in the Army, the inquiries she made about
getting into the Ministry. Of her love for Maureen. The
husband of a few hours that caused her so much pain. Of
Yvonne's letter that caused her mother's heart attack.
" I've always wanted to be a male," Shaun whispered. " All
my life, I lived-incomplete. Sometimes I feel as if I am in
a prison- -the prison of my body. The prison of a society
that does not understand. Until I can become as other men-
-if ever I can, I'm forced to live a lie. Only with you I
can be my true self. Physically I am a woman: mentally,
emotionally I am a man.
In the Army I almost gave up. I was desperately unhappy
while waiting for my discharge. I was convinced that I had
no future. I took an overdose. I existed-waiting in misery
for the moment to take leave of this earth. Maureen helped
me get over it. I will always be grateful." Laura held her
close as the tears rolled down her cheeks.
" You won't ever have to worry like that again," she told
her, " we can fight this problem together. I'll help you to
become my one and only man."
Laura explained that she had been to see Dr Farrell and
suggested she should talk to him.
" He is an understanding caring doctor. There are thousands
like us. We're lucky, we're married, we have each other.
There are so many who have no one."
Shaun thought she would like to see her own doctor first.
She hadn't seen him in years, but remembered him as a kind,
understanding man, a feeling of being comfortable with him
whenever she needed to discuss a problem.
This time it was different. His attitude, Shaun thought was
sullen. It made her feel that she were some kind of horrible
creature a being he did not care to be in the same room
with. Shaun cried when Laura asked about the consultation.
" I've known him for years. He always understood. He was
there for me when I had my vagus operation. When I told him
what I really wanted to do, there was no loving gentle hand
to guide me as there had been in the past. It was more like
a doubled-up fist. Please Laura I need your help. Now that
I have begun, I really want to become a man. Not a woman who
wears men's clothes. I don't want to be a closet transexual
for the rest of my life." Laura telephoned Uncle John asking
for his help, and if he would dine with them the following
" Help! with your marriage?"
" No!" Laura replied quickly, " it's Shaun, she needs
The slim dark suited figure of Uncle John sat opposite them
at the dinner table. It was obvious to him that they were
happy, and he wondered what could be causing the problem.
During the meal Laura explained about their life, and slowly
Shaun opened her heart to him, hoping he would understand.
" I only ever remember seeing you once when I was very
young," Laura told him when Shaun had finished, " I remember
mother crying and you with your arms around her trying to
" That was a long time ago. I came home on leave to help my
sister -your mother. It was after your father walked out on
" You were in the Army," Shaun observed.
" Yes! Is it that obvious?"
" It's that gentle, firm command in your voice."
" When I was young," Uncle John continued, " I was keen only
on one thing the Army. After fourteen years of service I
took my discharge. I came home and married. As I believed,
happily, wisely, but I left out God. That side, I thought
would grow on us, as we matured, settled down. I attended
church regularly, hoping God would forgive me.
My wife Joan misunderstood. Eventually we divorced. It was
then that I took up studies at the Theological college.
Years later I was ordained. I joined the Community Church,
feeling the need to serve God and those people within the
" Are you transexual?" Laura asked.
" Yes!" John answered unashamedly. " I didn't realize I was
until years later. Although looking back there was always
that certain feeling, that special something. I, as
obviously you do Shaun suffer a physical handicap, not a
psychological one. I too have special needs. Needs that
are not met because of sexual orientation within the social
structure. The Community Church has been continuous in it's
support. I used to be a closet transexual. With the help of
the church all that has changed. I have found love,
acceptance, and I know God has called me into the Fellowship
for a definite purpose. I dare not look back. With God's
love in my heart I have been able to forgive those who made
cruel remarks. Remarks made out of ignorance rather than the
desire to be hurtful. Nevertheless the remarks always hurt.
In the Community Church no one is excluded from our love and
understanding and just as God loves and understands all, so
must we. I know the doctor who you thought would help and
guide you, drove you away, and that is very difficult for
you to accept. Remember Shaun, many of us have been called
upon to make sacrifices. Many more within the Community
Church Fellowship will be persecuted, because God loves all,
and that revelation from God sounds too radical for many. We
have to end oppression by exposing ignorance for what it is.
Of course there will be times when you will be tempted, as I
have been to retreat back, into the proverbial closet.
Resist the temptation Shaun. Be who you want to be. With
Laura's help I know you will find your true self. Remember
Shaun, for the uneducated there are only two sexes. A person
is either male or female-Adam - -or Eve. The educated and
the enlightened realise that every Eve contains elements of
Adam, and in every Adam there are traces of Eve. We all
have a freedom, the right to love and make love."
" Are you having sex-reassignment surgery?" Laura asked.
" In a few months time in Cairo."
" Your name? You'll have to change it."
" I've already made arrangements- -by deed poll. You Shaun
could keep yours. I had to change mine, to- -Nicole, some
will call me Nicky. I like Nicole."
Shaun stared at him for a moment, wondering why he was
wearing a suit.
" If you are so assured of your acceptance as a member of
the opposite sex, why are you dressed in men's clothing?"
" For me this is the very last time I will ever dress this
" Is it your way of telling us you are still not quite
sure?" Laura looked at Shaun, aghast.
" Not at all Shaun. I simply felt that if wore the clothes
I love to wear it might cause you and Laura some
" Does cross-dressing help?"
" In the beginning Shaun, yes. But when a the conversion
operation became an all consuming urge, cross-dressing was
as much help as an asprin is for a- -brain tumour headache.
As I told you this is the last time I will ever wear these
clothes. It is only a shirt, trousers and a jacket. The rest
is clothing I want to wear. As a pre-operative patient I am
going through some physical changes, especially breast
development, and I do find great emotional relief by living
completely as a woman."
" Do you think cross-dressing will help me?" Shaun asked.
" I think it could, providing you do not loose sight of your
main objective. Don't ever become as I did a closet
transexual. And here Shaun I cannot emphasize strongly
enough, that you should never be pushed into having surgery
before you are ready, and are assured of some degree of
acceptance as a member of the opposite sex."
" Are you accepted as a woman within the church?" Shaun
" Yes, and I might add the atmosphere is one of approval,
understanding, encouragement. Outside the church it is
different. There is no precedented way to treat a
transexual. It becomes a sort of fear of the unknown. But
where my back ground is unknown everyone knows how to treat
" Can you help us- -Shaun with a doctor who will
" Of course Laura. That is what the Community Church
Fellowship is all about, helping, counselling. We have a Dr
Kerry Mitchell. She will help. Start Shaun off-as it were.
Going from male to female is, by comparison reasonably easy.
Going from female to male, I imagine would be much more
difficult. It is going to be hard for you Shaun,
emotionally and physically. With Laura's help I know you
will succeed. I know you will find the happiness you are
looking for. Remember The Community Church and Fellowship is
there to help."