My name is Miranda

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Hello, my name is Miranda and this is the unbelievable story of how I became the woman I am today.

My name wasn't always Miranda, nor have I always been a woman. I started life out as Michael, or as Mike as only my closest friends were allowed to call me. I had a mostly uneventful childhood. I loved playing sports and video games like all other boys my age. I rarely showered, ate just about anything and almost never cleaned up my messes much to my mother's dismay. I took great delight in my how loud I could belch and how nasty my farts were. The walls of my bedroom were lined with posters of scantily clad women, model planes and cars that I had painstakingly put together and painted and the occasional poster and memento that one of the cheerleaders had made for me wishing me luck in the upcoming football game.
Yes, I played football. Football was a major part of my young life. I may have been a short football player, but some of the best running backs are stocky and have strong legs. Being small allowed me to find holes that the bigger guys just couldn't.
It wasn't until I was in middle school, thirteen years old to be exact, that life began to go tits up. My older brother Luke was five years my senior; I looked up to Luke, he was a great football player, making varsity as a sophomore. He wasn't the best with girls, but he did alright. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but he wasn't failing either.
What I remember was that towards the end of football season, after the team made playoffs, Luke began to change. At first he was very angry. Luke wasn't the kind of guy to blow up, but suddenly he was very touchy and had a super short fuse. Then he spent many hours in his room alone. I thought for sure I heard him crying on several occasions.
Then one day, our parents sat down with me and my older sister, Peyton and gave us the news that would start the change in our lives. It was one of those moments that will forever be etched in your brain, like when the planes flew into the Twin Towers or when you found out that your grandmother had died.
This happened to be the day after Thanksgiving. it was raining and super cold and Luke was at work. My mom gathered Peyton and I into the living room where my dad was nervously sitting in his chair, wringing his hands. I became very aware, my heart raced. Someone must have died to make dad such a wreck. Peyton could feel it to. She shot nervous glances from my mother to me then dad. Then it got worse, mom started crying and whipped out a box of tissue from seemingly nowhere.
Peyton finally spoke up and asked what was wrong. That is when the first of several tons of bricks crashed down on top of me. Luke, the man's man, the football player and guy that I aspired to be like had GASS or Gender Automatic Switch Syndrome. (I know, horrible acronym, right?) Well, my brother had it, he was becoming a Betty. Betties were a slang term that we called guys who had GASS and become girls. And the girls who had become guys? we called them Barneys. This gender change was a relatively new 'happening'. It has only been occurring for a couple of years. Scientists were working on trying to discover what was causing this strange change. Were the gene mutating or activated by some sort of other change? They didn't know. They were dumbfounded and weren't having any luck with finding the cause or figuring how to stop or reverse the process. They didn't know if it was caused by some sort of toxin or allergy or biochemical thing. There was even speculation that it was a virus that triggered the body's response. All that they did know, or at least speculated was that two percent of the population had GASS.
This was horrible. Betties and Barneys tended to be low on the social order at school. To go from being a varsity foot ball player to being a Betty... the poor guy, no wonder the was angry and crying. Apparently his voice was already changing. I didn't know because he rarely came out of his room or even spoke to anyone, and he was already developing as my mother put it. She looked at my older sister Peyton and shared a look. Dad tried to be strong. This was really screwing up the family dynamics. We were going to have to make changes, but try not to make a big deal out of my brother becoming a sister.
I didn't know what to say, or how to act. It was like someone had died in a weird sort of way. I mean, how do you respond when you get news like that?
Mom tried to put a positive spin on it. Luke didn't have a terminal disease or was dying. He was just going to be going through some major changes and we had to try to be understanding.
The strange thing is that GASS is almost always triggered during puberty. Luke was a senior, pretty much done with puberty. I guess not done enough.
Now I must explain that Betties and Barneys are divided into two groups, those who come to accept the change and try to move on in life and those who fight it. The second group tend to be the lowest of low in the social ladder of school. They just don't fit in anywhere. Sometimes they were even referred to as 'Ugly Betties'. I know, mean, right? Well due to the Ugly Betties, the work force was changing. Ugly Betties were going to work on construction sites, as mechanics and a lot went into the military. They are depressed, moody, but mostly, just very angry.
Over the next six months, Luke became Laura, my moody, unhappy sister. Luke didn't want to change his name, hell, he didn't want to change gender either, but my mother felt it would be best for his transition if he changed it. Laura was one of those to fight GASS. She kept her hair short, continued to wear guys clothes and was very angry most of the time, even more angry for one week each month. I stopped counting how many fights she would get in, not only in school, but at work, the movie theater, bowling alley.
Peyton and I had never been too close. She was an older sister and she didn't like sports. She was a very smart student and was usually a lead in the school play and a soloist in the choir. But during Laura's transformation, we became closer. Not pals, but we relied upon one another a bit more.
Almost a year later, my mother asked me to join her and my dad for a chat. My heart dropped. The last 'chat' hadn't gone so well. We still had to tip toe around Laura's room. My heart pounded in my chest as I sat across my mother and father. My mom was bawling this time, while dad just stared off into space.
With a quivering voice, my mother informed me that Peyton had acquired GASS . She was in the beginning stages of it, but I was warned that she would have angry outbursts and fits of rage. I was speechless. Two siblings with GASS, it was almost unheard of. I only knew of three families who had two siblings with GASS.
I asked if there was a test yet and if I could take it. If it could happen to Peyton and Laura, then it could happen to me.
Peyton, although angry at first, went through the changes a lot smoother than Laura had. His name was neutral gender so he kept it saying he was a Peyton whether he was a girl or a boy. Peyton's beautiful alto lowered to a stunning baritone. He still sang in the choir, once his voice stopped changing, and still acted in the school plays. He may have been a Barney, but He was a well dressed, physically fit Barney. He was still a bit slight and passive for playing football, but he was popular. Not only with the other Barneys and Betties but with the other 'regular' kids as well. We even started hanging out and having fun, playing video games in which I usually kicked his butt. He convinced me to join the choir. We even wrestled, something we never did before and mostly gave Laura her space.
Then the third ton of bricks fell. I came home from school to find the place surrounded by police and yellow tape. Mom and dad were sitting on the lawn. Mom, wrapped up in dad's arms had mascara all over her face as she sobbed. Peyton was holding one of her hands and was crying almost as hard. Dad just stared blankly out into space. When mom saw me she started blubbering and held her arms out for me. That is when Peyton blurted out that Laura was dead. She had committed suicide. Suicide? I just couldn't comprehend it. Sure she was depressed, angry. Wouldn't most people be? but suicide? Apparently she hung herself from the rafters in the garage. I say apparently, because I wasn't allowed to see for myself. Looking back I don't blame my parents or the cops, but at that time, I was pissed.
Within a month, the whole family was in counseling. Grief counseling, family counseling, and for Peyton, personal counseling, to deal with his GASS. In counseling I found out that a quarter to a third of people with GASS commit suicide. I kept looking at my new brother wondering if he would one day fit into that statistic, and praying that he never would. He may not be a sports kind of guy, but he was a cool guy and I found myself looking up to him as much if not more than I did Luke.... which made me sad.
Four months later we had moved to a different house on the other side of the neighborhood. I'd stay in the same school, Peyton was graduating and was starting community college. We all had a hard time feeling comfortable in that old house in which my sibling killed herself in. We even started going to church. At first I thought it was because of survivors guilt, but the church became a foundation and a support group for our family.
You know, it is strange walking through a house in which an GASS lives in or has lived in. Mostly it is in the family pictures. Most families only display pictures of their GASS kid after they have transitioned as if trying to remove the memory of what they were before this thing changed their lives. Other families almost make a shrine of for the pre-GASS kid, then have a few pictures of their kid after.
Our family had two shrines. There was the photos of Luke as a boy in his little league outfit resting the bat on his shoulder, the basket ball Luke with the ball between his wrist and thigh, and the picture of him in his football jersey his senior year. Then there were a few pictures of Laura. Mostly family portraits with Laura standing in the back with a forced, tight lipped smile. There was one photo of her wearing makeup and in a dress. She had argued with mom and dad for a week over being forced to wear that get up. That photo along with her football photo were the ones that my mom used at her memorial.
I asked Peyton about the pictures of him around the house. Mom displayed pictures of the cute little princess Peyton, the Peyton posing with Cinderella at Disneyland, the picture of Peyton when she played Hero in Much Ado about Nothing. He just shrugged. They are all me, he said. I miss being the princess sometimes but I enjoy being the knight now. I got to trade dresses and flowers for armor and a sword. I got the best of both worlds. The best part he said was being able to walk around shirtless. With a body as fit as his, It's a wonder he doesn't always walk around shirtless. I just wish Laura was able to embrace her new self as Peyton has.
Looking back I can now point to the precursor for the next ton of bricks to be dropped on me. It was March of my Junior year. I had a great football season. Our team made it to the state championship game but lost in the fourth quarter despite my two rushing touchdowns. State championship! even Luke's team didn't make it that far. My girlfriend Cassandra, and I had been going out steady for about a year. Christmas was the first one that no one cried at since Laura died. Mom and dad got me a car for my birthday. My best friend Brandon was going to join our church group on our mission in Mexico. Our choir was gearing up for state competition. I even had a solo much to Peyton's delight.
It was two weeks before the choir competition when my voice first broke. For some reason I was having trouble hitting the lower notes in my range. I had always been able to hit them before, that is why our instructor gave me the solo. Gargle honey and vinegar, Cassandra had instructed. You may be coming down with a cold.
Two days before the competition my instructor sadly gave the solo to one of the other baritones. It wasn't until my nipples started to itch and swell that I began to get scared. I called Peyton immediately.
When we were home that night, I went into his room and we talked. He looked at my nipples and shook his head. I was terrified. What were the chances that I could have GASS? Three siblings in one family having GASS? What were the chances of one hundred percent of my parent's kids getting an affliction that only affected two percent of the population? We called and made an appointment. We daren't tell our parents until we knew for sure. Visions of dad and mom sitting in the living room with Peyton or whoever else haunted my sleep that night. I left school early the next day, Peyton met me and we drove in silence to the Doctor's office. Blood was drawn, urine donated, questions asked/answered, and a lot of concerned looks. Thankfully the Doctor had a rush put on all of the tests. We only had to wait in the exam room for an hour. The results? You guessed it, GASS. There was the ton of bricks, may as well make it three tons of bricks with the way that I felt. Peyton wrapped me up in his arms and hugged me. He promised me that he wouldn't abandon me like we had unwittingly abandoned Laura in her time of need. GASS. Oh my God, my life felt like it had just ended. Where was I supposed to go from here? What was I to do? I didn't want to be a girl. I liked girls. liked the way they looked, the way they felt, the way that they flirted without seeming to. But just because I liked them didn't mean I wanted to be one.
The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the church, Peyton beside me staring at the cross with so many thoughts, ruined dreams and most importantly, the unknown ahead of me. I was going to be a Betty. I was going to lose my manhood, my muscle, my strength. I told Peyton that I didn't want to be a Betty. He chuckled, but not in a mean way, more like an understanding way.
I asked him what he missed about being a girl. He told me that since becoming a man that he struggled with not losing his compassion for people. I didn't know what he meant at the time. I do now. He missed being able to show his sensitive side without judgment. And he missed being treated like a princess. Again, I didn't know what he meant at the time. I wished Laura was still alive. In fact while in the church, I got angry with God for taking her away from us all over again. If I was going to be a Betty, then I really could have used her help. I asked Peyton about the clothes and makeup and more mundane girl stuff. He admitted that most Barneys missed the variety of clothes that they had access to as girls. The makeup was a tossup. According to Peyton, it was both a blessing and a curse.
"How are we going to tell them?" I asked. He let out a deep sigh. "I already did." they should be here any moment." he stated. He wrapped his arm around me and ruffled my hair. He explained that while I had used the bathroom upon arriving at the church that he had called them.
My mom wrapped me up in her arms and cried. I told her and dad that I was scared. They both admitted that they too were scared. They had already lost one child to this, this thing, they didn't want to lose another child to it.
"We aren't going to let you mope in your room." Dad warned. "We are going to talk it out. I'll call the psychologist and we will get you into counseling immediately."
It was in that moment that I think I loved my family the most. My mom, dad and my wonderful, caring, non athletic brother Peyton.
I had three months left of the school year. We decided to do what we could to keep people from knowing for now. Once summer came then I would stop hiding and begin publicly acknowledging my GASS. At least that was the plan. But you know how much of a sense of humor God had when it comes to your carefully laid plans. Everyone goes through GASS differently. Some slowly grow breasts, others are blessed seemingly overnight with them. For some, like Laura and me, their voice is one of the first things to change. For others, they lose their manhood first. For me, it was a combination. My skin changed, my hair grew a lot faster and I had awful mood swings. Like Laura, I spent many hours in bed crying. It was horrible. Mom and Peyton kept their word. Whenever I was in my room wasting tissue paper, they both made a point to come in. They didn't need to say anything, they just held me or sat quietly with me. My poor dad. he wasn't the emotional type and my downturns just upset and depressed him. I think that they were too much of a reminder of what Luke had gone through pretty much alone.
It was only two weeks before my girlfriend, Cassandra knew something was up. God, that was a hard hurdle to deal with. I felt the safest thing was to do what Peyton did. I took her to church during a quiet time and spilled it to her. I have to give her credit, she handled it fairly well. And by fairly well, I mean she didn't go running off screaming 'freak'. We cried and prayed together. I knew that our romantic relationship wasn't going to last much longer, I think that was one of the things that hurt the worst. Just because I was becoming a Betty didn't mean that I would start liking men. After speaking with Peyton it seemed that half of people with GASS switched sexual identity, and of those a large percent, he said were bisexual. Cassandra, I knew was as straight as they came. I loved her. I still love her and miss our intimacy, even to this day. I asked her how she knew something was up. She explained that my skin was softer and less hairy. My facial hair was almost nonexistent where before I had to shave quite often for a Junior. She promised to keep the secret until after the school year ended and even promised to keep our relationship alive as well. She had heard about what Laura and our family had gone through, I think that is one of the reasons why she agreed.
A week later, I had to have my mom, help bind my breasts. It was so painful, but it was just for a few more months. It was such a relief when I was able to unbind them after school. Then Teachers began to suspect. More than once I had to skirt around the issue. My parents ended up meeting with my teachers and asked them to keep a lid on it until school was out. On more than one occasion I was asked what I was doing to lose weight. my clothes had begun to be very baggy as I lost my broad shoulders and muscle tone. It wasn't that I was becoming flabby, I just couldn't keep all of that muscle on.
A month before the end of school, I had to have a very uncomfortable conversation with my best friend Brandon. He tried to maintain his calm, but I could see the fear in his eyes. He gave me a big hug and then began teasing me, making me feel better. At that same time, many Betties were starting to recognize the signs that I was displaying. many gave me knowing looks, a few even approached me and asked how it was hanging. ha ha, It seemed to be an inside joke for them. I didn't find it very funny because it was about that time that I started losing my manhood. I think it is the worst part of the whole Betty situation. It doesn't just fall off or anything gross. First it becomes flaccid. I'm glad that Cassandra and I were able to enjoy it a few times before this part of the change kicked in. But the worst part of it all is that you can be hornier that hell, but there is no way to relieve the tension. I think that was one of the reasons why Laura was so angry during her transition. I really had to work to keep my temper a few times. That was a time when I cried a lot. From not being able to get it up anymore, it just starts to shrink. Your testis seem like they are sucked into the body, which in fact they are as they change and become your ovaries. Then it is like your manhood is drawn in and almost turned inside out. Let me tell you, it is weeks of sexual release hell.
The last two weeks of school were horrible. I didn't want to go. just about everyone knew or suspected. I kept having people sneer or snicker 'Betty' as I walked by. Cassandra, bless her, kept the pretense up, but stayed away more often than hung out with me. I don't blame her. She is still one of the sweetest girls I know.
I didn't want to be a Betty, but if I was going to be a Betty, then I may as well embrace it and become the best Betty ever. Perhaps people will even forget that I was once a guy.
In a way it could have been worse. People with GASS had it better than Trannys. Transsexuals wanted to be Betties, but they had to have surgery and go through hormone replacement to get to something close to what we Betties had happen naturally. Transsexuals who ended up with GASS felt like they hit the lottery. Those who didn't, well they seemed very bitter and angry towards Betties.
Finally the last few minutes on the last day of school. My breasts hurt from being bound all day. As soon as I was in my car, I'd be able to release them from their prison. My emotions were a roller coaster. Part of me was glad school was out so that I could have a break while I dealt with this shit, another part of me was already mourning what would never be again. No more football team, no more Cassandra. No more casually palling around with the guys. I just hope that Brandon doesn't treat me differently, at least within reason. As of that bell ringing I would be on my path to a new social being.
Peyton knocked on my door and asked how I was doing. Fine, I shrugged. I had my shirt off and was finishing undoing my bindings. I let out a sigh as the weight of my breasts fell to a natural level. Peyton may have been my brother, and I may becoming his sister, but for some reason standing in front of him topless didn't bother me. Maybe I wasn't girl enough yet, maybe because he used to be one. He sighed heavily. He told me that there were times when he missed having breasts. I told him that I would trade. I'd gladly give up having breasts for the ability to stand up to pee again. Toilet seats can be so gross. He asked if I had thought about changing my name yet. I shrugged. It was on my mind but wasn't something I was looking to immediately do. I had so many other things to worry about. I wasn't going to go from Michael to Michelle, that was just horrible. I wasn't a Michelle or even a Shelly. Peyton recommended that I start a list. He would help me if I'd like.
Mom let me mope around the house for about a week, then announced that I had had enough. I was to go upstairs and prepare for a day of shopping the next day. I had no idea what that meant so I knocked on Peyton's door. He chuckled. It turns out that I was to shave my underarms and my legs, just to go shopping. I'd never done such a thing before.
I went into the shower and did as instructed. Shaving one's under arms is a bit strange. Shaving one's legs takes longer than shaving a face, but it doesn't hurt as bad. The hairs are finer than the thick stubble of a beard.
Just want to say that shopping is exhausting. Especially with my mother. Who knew that women needed that many different clothing options and items. I think mom spent Dad's entire bonus check as well as the Christmas account money. The Suburban was practically full by the time we pulled back into the driveway at nine o'clock.
Mom brought up the name issue as well. I really didn't have a clue. There were plenty of names that I liked, but picking one for yourself? being stuck with it for life? and it's not like I I'd be able to blame my parents if it ended up being a horrible name. Then I had an idea and asked my mother what she would have named me had I been born a girl. "Miranda". I mulled it over in my head for a while. "Miranda". For short, I could go by Mira or Randi. Believe it or not, this was a big step. It was one of the biggest steps in my transition. To lose that which you identify. It isn't a physical switch, this was an identifying switch, male to female. Peyton chose to keep his name, and I could now understand more as to why he did. A few days later, at dinner, I made the announcement to the family. I decided if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. I took a deep breath, and dressed in all female clothing; blouse, skirt, and flats. I tried to do something with my unruly hair and put on some mascara and lip gloss.
My heart pounded in my chest as I made my way down stairs to the dining room. Mom didn't react much, just gave me a smile. Peyton too, just smiled when he saw me in 'girl mode'. Dad did a double take and then tried to act cool, but I could tell he was almost as nervous as I was. After mom sat down, I cleared my throat and with my heart pounding in my chest, I announced that from this night forth, that I would be Miranda. My mother cried, good tears. Peyton smiled with a nod, and my poor dad looked like a deer in headlights. I also made it clear that I wasn't a Mira nor a Randi, just like I was never a Mike.
After my mother regained her composure, she schedule a day to take me around to get new identification cards etcetera.
Peyton noticed that even though that I was now dressing and identifying as a girl, that I still moved like a guy. He admitted that girls would sometimes practice their different looks, gestures and motions in the mirror so that they would become more natural. He also suggested ballet. I nearly choked. A week later, I approached my dad and asked for private ballet lessons. I didn't want to be in a class with a gaggle of girls. Little did I realize that this meant tights, leotards, shoes, and lots and lots of bobby pins to keep my still not long enough hair up. The first few classes were horrible. I felt like an orangutan, which is one of the reasons I insisted on private lessons. Ballet is hard. I quickly gained a new respect for dancers. I was just as sore after a class as I was after a football practice.
Then came the summer church mission. Brandon was joining us on our trip. we had been planning this for months. At least before he found out about my having GASS. I know, still a horrible acronym.
Unfortunately three days before we were to go, I started another phase of GASS. The spreading of my hips and as luck would have it, my first period. I remember little about the growing pains as I went through puberty the first time, just waking up at night with my legs hurting. GASS can be cruel. Things happen faster which can be much more horrible. I woke up one night screaming, my hips hurt so bad. I didn't know what it was. I guess everyone forgot to tell me about this change. Mom ended up taking me to the hospital, the pain was so bad. After ruling out kidney stones, and appendicitis, the doctor realized that it was horrible growing pains as my hips expanded. That was also when I received my first pelvic. Now I know and understand why girls dreaded this evasive check up. Luckily as my mother informed me, I had a woman doctor who warmed the tools before beginning her torture. She asked me if I had bled, yet, which I suddenly became paranoid. With everything else happening to me, I had disregarded the whole time of month issue. The Doctor and mom shared knowing looks. Mom promised to have 'the talk' with me when we got home. Oh, God, 'the Talk'. one of the more uncomfortable conversations to have. It was decided that since I was having such an awful growth spurt, using pain killers to help with the pain and starting my period, that I should stay home from the mission trip. Needless to say, Brandon wasn't happy. I wasn't happy and I was about to become a lot unhappier.
After 'the Talk', mom took me to the drug store and gave me a crash course in purchasing female hygiene items. Needless to say, the couch, hot water bottle and blanket became my friend for a few days. Looking back, I was glad to stay home from the mission. I would have been absolutely miserable.
When Brandon got back, I went over to his house and we sat playing video games like the old days. He did treat me differently, some of it I liked, other parts I had to smack him across the back of the head to get him to stop. He kept wanting to grab my tits. I was his best friend a few months ago and now he wanted to grab my tits? NO! Somehow we ended up wrestling. I used to be able to take him quite easily. Now however, I found myself pinned to the floor with him gloating over me. Then before I knew what was happening he was kissing me. Seriously. my best friend as a guy was kissing me. Needless to say that was not only awkward, but it won't happen again anytime soon. Realizing his error, he retreated and looked just as shocked as I must have looked. I made a hasty departure and we never really hung out again. That was just too weird.
August was upon us before I knew it. Normally at this time, I would be sweating my ass off in football camp, but now? I seemed to be in limbo somewhat. The growing pains weren't as bad, I had two periods under my belt. I was dressing full time as a girl, including makeup. My hair due to GASS and all of the estrogen flooding my system was below my shoulders. Head bands and ponytails were my friend. Mom decided it was time for the before school haircut.
I was unprepared for this as well. I hadn't thought much about my hair with everything else going on except that I should grow it out and try to keep it out of my face. My mom ended up booking me an appointment with Cassandra's stylist. She had always admired how Cassandra had worn her hair and didn't feel comfortable taking me to the older lady that did her own hair. Women getting their hair cut is a much bigger deal than a guy going in and asking for a fade, or a number two on the sides, number four on top. It involves much discussion over hair type, what length fits one's face, color possibilities, bangs or no, layers or no. In the end I got a trim with some long layers. I may get more adventurous in the future, but right now, it was all too new to me and as I said, I really hadn't thought about it.
Then the big day. Not only the first day of my senior year, but the first day of school as my new self, Miranda. Peyton helped me decide to not over due the clothes my first day. Something cute, but not too girly. We decided on some skinny jeans and a light sweater with some basic flats. I stood looking in the mirror at someone who was still unfamiliar to me. I only vaguely looked like I did last year. My features were a lot softer, of course the longer hair helped with that. Light makeup showed off my eyes and a light gloss on the lips played up their poutiness. Peyton noticed that I was of all things, holding my books wrong. I'm not to carry them at my side but with both arms in front of my chest. Ugh, there was so much to remember.
Only a handful of people figured out who I was. Cassandra of course had me pegged. Two guys recognized my car when I parked. They were surprised when a girl stepped out. A few of my foot ball team mates had heard rumors but none of them recognized me, even though I was sitting beside them in biology class. Brandon made uncomfortable eye contact with me from across the quad and History class. Something I'll have to remedy.
Choir was interesting. With everything changing over the summer, I hadn't really thought about my singing voice. My choir teacher asked me to join her after school to run me through some exercises and to see where I might fit in the choir. She thinks I'll be an alto, or even perhaps a soprano. That is just weird to me. I of course wasn't the only one who had transitioned with GASS over the summer. There were a few new Betties and Barneys at school. Thankfully I was fitting in and no one seemed to be figuring out who the new girl was.
It felt very strange being at school and not part of the foot ball group. No more wearing Jerseys on Fridays, no guys to high five in the corridors, no cheerleaders eager to cozy up with a star running back.
Eventually people would figure it out. Surprisingly it took a few weeks for the murmurs and whispers to make their way around school. A few of the brave people asked me point blank if I was Michael. What could I do? The first few times, my heart pounded so hard in my chest, I thought my boobs were pulsing. I smiled and nodded. "I was Michael. Sadly he is no longer. Please call me Miranda."
Halloween was horrible. I used to like that holiday. A few girls asked me to dress up and join them at a party. I had planned on going as a football player or something, but I was told "NO". I was a girl now, I had to wear a sexy costume. Begrudgingly I went as a 'sexy cop'. I just couldn't put on a 'sexy nurse' costume and I absolutely refused to wear stiletto heals, but I put on the rest of the costume; flats would have to do.
I had a few drinks, hell, Football parties were way worse than this costumed calamity. I guess I can't hold liquor like I used to. Somehow I ended up in someone's pool house. Four guys in masks were holding me down and trying to take off my flimsy costume. I screamed, kicked, thrashed and clawed, but couldn't do anything to get them off of me. My heart felt like a sledge hammer in my chest. My blood boiled and I was truly terrified for the first time in my life.
The next thing I knew some of the weight on my had lessened, and I heard grunts and shouts. I looked up to see a large guy pulling one of my harassers, off of me and slamming a fist into his face. My hero then tossed him aside and stood over me. Dressed like a cowboy, he asked if I was hurt. I just shook my head 'no'. at least I didn't think I was. He reached down and took my hand and effortlessly pulled me to my feet. One of my attackers started to get to his knees. The cowboy moved me out of the way and kicked him in the stomach hard.
My personal Texas Ranger then gently pulled me out of the pool house and guided me to the other side of the property. He again asked me if I was alright. I really didn't know. He helped me sit down on a bench and looked down at me. "Scumbags." he had said. He then knelt next to me and looked me up and down. My costume had a few tears in it. My fish net stockings were in tatters. Then everything became too much. I started sobbing. I think I thanked him several times, but I'm not sure that he understood me through my blubbering. He asked if he should call someone. I shook my head. I didn't want to be alone right then. I had never, ever been so terrified, and this guy, this gentle giant came to my rescue. I asked him to stay with me, the next thing I knew, I was hugging him, holding so tight, still blubbering.
I don't know how long it took for me to calm down. All I knew is that this big guy just saved me from being gang raped. I didn't even know his name. "Andrew" he stated in a deep voice. I thanked him once again.
Andrew ended up taking me home. Peyton answered the door and was horrified at the condition I was in. Andrew carried me up to me room and lightly placed me on my bed. He eyed my still masculine room nervously as I explained to Peyton how Andrew saved me. After Andrew left, Peyton helped me get out of the remains of the costume. I planned to burn it and soon.
That Monday, I looked around the school for my Cowboy, but didn't see him. Not until I happened across him in the library. He was a giant sitting in a small chair with a book in his massive fingers. I hadn't imagined his size after all.
He looked at me with a startled expression when I called his name. I think it was then, with that anxious look that I realized that he was a Barney. This giant of a man who so easily took care of four attackers then was so gentle and understanding with me was a Barney. I tried to put female features on him and something vague came to mind. I asked if I knew him. He shook his head and looked around nervously. Then I realized who my hero cowboy was. Andrew had once been Sandra. My heart fluttered slightly at the knowledge that I had just come in to. Sandra had been a large girl. She too had been tall and heavy. She was a book worm and super smart. If my memory served me correctly, Sandra had transitioned a couple of years ago.
"You were Sandra" I stated as it had dawned on me.
Andrew put a large finger to his lips and shushed me. He struggled getting out of the small chair and towered over me. He took my hand and led me into the nearest isle between bookshelves. He begged me not to tell anyone. Which I found weird because many people knew Sandra and Andrew. I'm sure many put two and two together. His awkwardness and his strength caused a strange feeling inside. I hadn't felt anything close to it before except when I was with Cassandra. I don't know what came over me. I stood up on my tip toe and kissed him on the cheek and told him his secret was safe with me. His face turned bright red from shock. He didn't know what to do. I think I may have been put in that situation a time or two when I was a guy. I took his enormous hand in my delicate ones. I looked him in the eyes, noticing for the first time just how pretty his eyes were, and promised him. He saved me. The least I could do was to keep his 'not so' secret. Then something even more bizarre happened. I don't know what came over me, but I asked if he would take me to the Winter Formal dance.
It has been five years since that encounter. Andrew and I started dating officially at the Winter Formal. He is the smartest most wonderful person I know. His bumbling awkwardness that so many find strange, I find endearing. His restrained strength and incredible intelligence is more attractive to me than I can say. He not only makes me want to be a better person, he makes me want to be a better woman.
So here I am today, staring at a beautiful, strong, and confident, woman in the mirror. The wedding dress is one that my mother picked out. My 'person in waiting' is none other than my, not so athletic brother Peyton, who looks quite dashing in a tux. Peyton, I can tell is trying to keep back the tears. He is happily married to a wonderful woman and is an incredible father to three beautiful children. I hope Andrew and I can catch up to that accomplishment soon. I gently sat down trying not to wrinkle my dress so that my mother, through her tears can place the veil on my head.
My father's voice came from the door. I opened it and almost started to cry as he looked at me with pride .
"You look beautiful, honey, and I am so proud to by your father."
Thankfully Peyton was right there with the tissue or else I'd have had to start all over on my makeup.
The music started and my father squeezed my arm as we began walking down the aisle. Andrew stood at the end of the walk. Tears flowed freely down his smiling cheeks as I approached.
A new chapter in my life as Miranda was about to begin. Oh, and it's true what they say about Barneys. They do make better lovers.

The End.



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