Brianna and Jayden, Episode 2 a TG Dress Shop Story

Read my previous short solo “Brianna and Jayden - A TG Dress Shop Story” from 2015 for the back story. Reviewers asked for a continuation, but my mind has been away from fiction writing. In the last two years society has changed and Jayden has learned a great deal about herself. She is excited to talk again with Brianna. Let's listen in as they come to closure.

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“Hi, Brianna, recognize me?” A short, slender, smooth faced, and totally androgynous person was prancing through the entrance.

Brianna Isabella Mitchell had been posing near the front of the Teen Girl Dress Shop located in the Fashion Towne Mall. As always her makeup was dramatic, but not overdone: accented eyebrows, long lashes, bright lipstick, matching nails. Wavy brown hair with blond highlights cascaded past the translucent skin of her face down to her shoulders. She was wearing a yellow and green springtime-themed top with a plunging neckline that revealed her well-developed cleavage. The short skirt, shapely legs, and high heels completed her fashion model presentation.

"Jayden Sanders, of course I remember you." After a few hugs and air kisses Brianna continued, "After our first talk I never heard more from you. I was really concerned. You had so many issues going on in your life. I sent text messages, but you never replied so I stopped. I wanted to provide you space and respect your privacy. What brings you here today? Is everything OK?"

Brianna looked Jayden over with the practiced eye of someone active in the transgender community. The neutral-toned pullover shirt, dark loose-fitting casual slacks, and athletic shoes were appropriate for either a boy or girl. Same for the hair neatly trimmed in a pixie cut. Even the walk and hands gave no hints. When they first met Jayden was 13, Brianna recalled, which means now about 15 and in High School. Jayden still seemed to be closeted or questioning, but boys seldom came back for a second visit unless they were really interested in what the TG Dress Shop offered. Brianna knew the next few minutes would be a time for careful listening.

"I'm OK, doing alright in school, healthy, and all that. Recently got my driver's license and mom lets me borrow the car occasionally," Jayden began nervously.

She took a deep breath and started to relax. "Since we talked I have spent a lot of time trying to sort things out. You impressed me so much, Brianna. I was driving past Fashion Towne and suddenly realized how much I needed to reconnect with you." Jayden gestured toward her clothes. "I just came from school. Really drab, isn't it?"

"Selling clothes is my job, but being a supportive mentor is my goal. How can I help you?"

"Brianna, you are so stunningly beautiful and totally feminine. I still find it hard to imagine that you started out as a boy. Can we talk a short while?"

"I have as much time as you need. We can go to the food court.

"Mother, I'm stepping out for a few minutes if that is OK."

Ann Mitchell looked up from the computer where she had been placing orders. "No problem, I can watch the store."

Brianna grabbed her shoulder bag and put on a light sweater that seemed to accent her well-shaped breasts even more. "The mall management turned the heat down too early this spring. It's chilly in the common areas. "

"I left my jacket in the car."

"No problem, you can borrow this until we get back." Brianna pulled a floral-print shawl from a display table and draped it over Jayden's shoulders and around front covering the flat chest. "This will look good on you. Let's go." As intended, the shawl gave a distinctly feminine touch to an otherwise unisex outfit.

They headed out toward the food court stopping to look at the window displays of the stores as they passed. Someone approaching them caught Brianna's eye. She turned sharply and recognized a tough-looking jock type wearing a black leather jacket.

Sarcasm dripped from his mouth. "Oh, Brianna! Is that another of your pretty faggot friends?"

"Get away from me." Brianna pulled her phone out of her bag as Jayden backed away and pressed herself against the wall. "I am calling Security."

"No need to phone me, Miss Mitchell. I spotted that character walking down the concourse and was following him while I sent an alert."

"Carl Shuler, you know the rules. You are in big trouble now."

Just then a uniformed police office came marching up the concourse. "What's going on?"

"Officer, the mall has restraining order against this person because of past incidents harassing customers. The judge required him to stay off mall property. On behalf of management I am requesting you arrest him for trespassing and contempt of court."

"What about my car?" Curt shouted as the officer applied handcuffs.

"The restraining order covers the parking lot too -- you will find your car at the impound lot when you get released. Remember, they only take cash for towing and storage."

The security guard turned toward Brianna. "Sorry about all that. You know the mall management is totally supportive of you and your mother. They welcome your shop and all your customers." He looked at Jaden who was pale and clearly near tears "Is she alright?"

'I'm OK, Being bullied is just not what I needed today."

Brianna put her hand on Jayden's arm. "Why don't you pop into the restroom and freshen up before we talk."

"I avoid public restrooms. Neither is comfortable for me - I have to either face the queen bees making snide comments about my masculine appearance or risk being bullied by mysogynistic jerks like that guy."

"No problem, we asked the mall management to install an all-gender single restroom right near our dress shop. It helps customers feel safe, no matter what their presentation is. I'll lead the way, and then wait outside."

Brianna and Jayden decided that neither was hungry or thirsty so they just headed for the food court tables. "Same as last time, OK. We will sit by the music system so we can't be overheard and, you can have your back to the crowd."

"OK, I am still a bit scared after that jerk. I'll trust you to keep a sharp lookout."

"So, tell me what's has been happening." Brianna was again in total active listening mode. "When we met you were very confused about gender issues."

"The last time we talked I was dressing as girl at home, but for a lot of reasons was still a boy at school. That hasn't changed much. I was confused, nervous and scared nearly all the time. Mom knew that puberty was going to hit me soon and she kept pushing me to make some decisions. My first meeting you was entirely her idea - she made the arrangements. It was her idea that I should show up dressed as a girl. She almost had to push me out of the car. That was my first time alone in public wearing girl clothes."

"I remember how scared you were."

Brianna noticed that Jayden was not saying much about now, and this time she arrived at the mall looking unisex not feminine. "Was I able to help you sort things out?"

"You were the awesome. You talked to me about gender identity and showed me what was possible. The time with you was marvelous. Still, the idea of permanently changing my body the way you had done was scary."

"Go on."

Jayden smiled. "I remember having an emotional moment just before that black-haired from the Goth Shop sauntered up and addressed us. You did such a great job covering for me. I was totally freaked out by her -- I thought she had read me and was going to call me out. Afterward we ended up joking about your explanation that I was having 'boy problems' and her naive reply that boy problems usually involve an 'unwelcome penis' -- little did she know."

"When we first opened the shop Mom and I had to do a lot of covering for our customers. Now when someone gets read in the mall it usually is not big deal."

"Except for bigots like the guy that the cops hauled away. Anyway, as mom drove me home from our first meeting we had a deep conversation about my options. My wearing pretty dresses had always been game-playing at home. Now we were talking seriously about my future and growing up. I used the resource list that you gave me and started going to a support group at the Pride Center."

"I had been hoping to see you at the transgender support group my Mom and I run."

"The Pride Center is a lot closer to where we live. Besides I was trying to figure out if I was a brainwashed straight boy, an effeminate gay male, transgender, or what. Meeting other gender nonconforming teens really helped. I went through a gender-fluid, queer phase. I still had to be a boy at school but it felt good to experiment more in how I dressed. The problem was that I got a lot more bullying as a result. Between classes I was shoved into lockers and things like that."

"Did your school have an anti-bullying policy?'

"They eventually developed something. But, what helped the most is that some of the girls really started sticking up for me and let me hang out with them between classes.

"There has been lots of social change in the last two years, and that helped the situation at school. News articles and television shows have been exposing more people to gender issues. After Time Magazine ran that cover story about the 'transgender tipping point' I noticed more acceptance from even the really conservative teachers. Maybe I am coward, but I have become more open as things have become easier for non-binary and non-conforming kids."

"Yes, there has been incredible change since mom first opened her shop. Back then the few places that specialized in products for crossdressers and transwomen were fetish shops hidden in out-of-the-way commercial districts. Signs were discrete, windows covered, and clients slinked through the door. When Mom opened the shop she tried to keep the MtF aspect low-key, and the Teen Girl Dress Shop name was a code. Now we sell trendy fashion to cis-girls, t-girls, and anyone else from a prominent storefront in an upscale mall, and everything is completely open. Mall security and management are totally supportive about protecting our customers."

"I saw that today."

Brianna remembered how Jayden was manipulated into always playing with girls when little. "How does your mother feel about your gender issues now? Is she pushing you into womanhood?"

"She thinks having a daughter would be awesome. She always wished I were born a girl."

Brianna could see that Jayden did not look like a 15-year old boy and was curious. "Are you doing anything medically?"

"That was one area where my mother definitely pushed. She kept saying how unfortunate it would be if my voice changed and I started to show a beard before I made up my mind. One evening the support group watched a video about how helpful it was to start transitioning early, and I decided to take Mom's advice. When I told our usual doctor that I wanted to take puberty blockers she acted like this was an everyday request. Her questions were focused and professional. As she wrote the prescription she talked about 'informed consent guidelines' in contrast to the old psychiatric standards."

"Well, there are more boys deciding to become girls every day."

"I was always small and delicate, but with the drugs I don't look like a teen boy at all. One time a progressive teacher asked the class the politically correct question about preferred pronouns and I impulsively answered 'she/her'. A lot of the boys were uncooperative with that idea, but most of the girls thought it was neat.

"Although I had become a flamboyant dresser, that pronoun request was my first explicit statement of identity at school. It became somewhat of a joke because after I opted for she/her there was a big problem deciding how to count me when setting up coed volleyball teams in gym class."

'Gym class is a big problem for gender minorities."

"All our Phys Ed classes are coed. I change in a single stall bathroom, no shower until I get home. I can live with that. I don't want any more confrontation than necessary.

"Times are scary now, and there is a lot of post-election backlash. Look at the discriminatory bill North Carolina passed and the recent court cases."

"I am optimistic, Jayden. A decade ago we would not have even been discussing bathroom access as a mainstream political issue. The pendulum swings, but the trend is toward acceptance and inclusion. We need to keep our spirits up and support each other. The next few years may require lots of political activism, but we will get through it."

Brianna decided it was time to give some serious advice. "You have come a long way, Jayden. I know from experience that becoming a woman for life is not easy. Your mom my be trying to make you into a girl, but it is totally important for you to find your own self expression. If you have self-confidence people will accept you whether you present as male, female, or non-binary." Brianna decided it was safe to push the question. "The years between high school and college really set our path for life. How do you want to grow up?

"Mother has always been super supportive whenever I show feminine inclinations. Raising me as a part-time girl started out a her idea, but now I ..."

"Yes, go on."

" Becoming completely female is now my idea too. That is why I wanted to talk with you today. You have been such an inspiration, and I wanted to thank you.

"Thanks accepted. I love helping teens like you. What are your plans?'

"I will be starting hormones after my next clinic visit. I hope to make a full-time social transition over the summer. I know this is right for me, but I am still scared. Transitioning is such a big step."

"Congratulations, Miss Jayden Sanders. Let me give you a big hug. Let's celebrate the way girls do. Want to go shopping?"

"Of course. It will be fun shopping for girls' things while dressed like this. A year ago I would never have dared."

"Go for it girl. No one will care."

"Brianna, I have even noticed a change on internet TG fiction sites. Society has changed so fast that authors cannot keep up when crafting the crisis situations and conflict that make for a good story. They usually have to set their stories in past decades when gay was illegal and transgender was shameful. My English teacher once said 'Terrible times provide dramatic plots'."

"Consider all the Victorian romances and vampire novels girls love to read."

Just then the dark-haired girl who worked at the mall's Goth makeup and music shop strolled up to the table. Jayden cringed when she saw the pale face and black lipstick and realized who she was.

"Brianna, mind if I meet your girl friend?"

"Anastasia, meet Jayden."

"Pleased to learn your name, dear. I never forget a face. I remember that you were upset about something the last time I saw you here."

"A lot has happened in Jayden's life since then."

She leaned close. "Jayden, I think girls like you are totally awesome and so brave. Listen to Brianna, she has helped a lot of people like you."

The girl turned and walked away. "Jayden, her attitude toward transgender people has totally changed since her brother came out."

"How did she read me as trans so fast?"

"With your nice haircut and that shawl on your narrow shoulders you do look more like a girl from behind. Anastasia also knows this is my favorite place to sit when talking to people who want privacy. Here is where I first talked to her brother too." Brianna decided she had done enough counseling for Jayden and it was time to begin marketing the TG Dress Shop's merchandise.

"Well, if you are going to start taking hormones you will need some proper lingerie. We can start with some bras designed for a developing girl. I have a lot of experience fitting transitioning figures. You will want to start showing your new figure as soon as possible, but also need something to help shape and support you as your new pair of girls grow. Maybe you want to look at some makeup and sexy dresses too? I have a lot to show you."

The End

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