How Romeo and Juliet Changed My Life - Part I

How Romeo and Juliet Changed My Life
By Pentatonic

Part I.

Chapter 1 - Up in Smoke.

I’m Stephen Spicer, ‘Steve’ to my friends. I was born on April 15, 1998. My best friend, David Hurst, was born seven days thereafter. We lived a couple of blocks apart and we had been friends ever since we started school together. I’m rather small for my age. Puberty and my growth spurt still hadn’t shown up by my 16th birthday. Dave, on the other hand was average height and weight, handsome with black hair and a winning smile. Aside from getting along, there was another solid reason for our friendship, Dave was only a ‘C’ student, and I had tutored him all the way through school. As a result of this I really knew the course materials of our classes, and I was nearly a straight ‘A’ student. I guess that I was considered to be somewhat of a nerd. Neither Dave nor I went out for any sports

Dave was very popular with the girls. Not the same for me. While I had a lot of female acquaintances, there was no spark of romance involved. I hung around with the girls; Dave dated them.

It was the summer before our junior year. Dave and I considered ourselves lucky. We had lined up summer jobs at “Barrels of Fun” amusement park. Both of us had recently turned 16 and this would be our first real jobs. I had to thank Dave for that, he was the motivated one and had convinced me to go to the park and apply on the day that they started accepting applications back in March.

The park was scheduled to open on Memorial Day and stay open until Labor Day. Like us, most of the employees were high school kids, as were most of the patrons. Neither Dave nor I knew exactly what we would be doing, not that it mattered. The main thing that mattered was that we had jobs, even if they were minimum wage jobs. Dave’s and my goals were alike; to each earn enough to buy a used car and pay the insurance. The fact that we had jobs lined up kept our parents off our backs.

Then disaster struck. The first indication was the sound of sirens. The second was a red glow in the sky in the direction of the park. I called Dave. “There must be a big fire, do you know what it is?”

“Yeah, Steve, I just heard. It’s at Barrels.”

“I hope it’s not bad,” I replied, thinking of my summer job.

It was. The roller coaster was all wood. It had caught fire and collapsed, causing the fire to spread to the carousel, some other rides and the midway.

On Saturday, Dave and I rode our bikes out to the park. All that was left were piles of charred wood and debris.

Bummer, I thought. Mid May and my summer job had gone up in smoke, literally. “Now what do we do?” I asked Dave.

“I donno,” he replied, “maybe look around for another job?”

“Fat chance,” I said. “We were darn lucky to get the jobs we did. By now, I’m sure all the summer jobs are gone.”

“Yeah,” he muttered. “Looks like we’ll be riding the ‘green limousine’ all year.” The municipal buses were painted a sickly green color. “We’ll probably have trouble getting a date if it means the bus, bicycles or walking.”

I expected some degree of sympathy from my folks. No such luck. “Well, you better get your butt in gear and find another job.” Yikes, it wasn’t like I had set the fire.

There was another alternative to a summer job. Laughton Academic Achievement Camp. It sort of sounded like year round school. My parents had heard about this place and had received a brochure. Five hours of classroom work each day, and three hours on Saturday. It was run by a religious college that wanted more revenue and utilization of its campus, a campus which was located in the middle of corn fields. It did have an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, an auditorium which served as a chapel, and a gymnasium, but that was about it. They even scheduled things for our “off” hours. ISports all Saturday afternoon, chorus on Sunday afternoon, and, you guessed it, religious services all Sunday morning.

“Well, if you don’t find a job in the next week, we’re sending you to the camp,” my mother declared, waving the brochure in my face threateningly. “If you can’t earn money, you might as well improve your mind,” she said.

The job search began immediately, but in vain. No burger flipping jobs, No grounds work available at the cemetery, no pizza delivery jobs without a car and insurance. Nothing. Nada. The deadline for camp applications loomed closer and closer, until it arrived. The application went in, sealing my fate for the summer. Since I was an A student in school, there was no chance of rejection based on grades.

In due time, the acceptance package arrived from the camp. My parents poured over it, gleefully pointing out things that they knew I wouldn’t like. No personal vehicles. No girls. No place to go, no inappropriate music, good grooming, mandatory church services, mandatory chorus, and a host of other rules.

“Maybe you want to get a haircut before you go,” suggested my father. I was allowed to have shoulder length hair as long as I kept my grades up.

“You mean like a tonsure?” I responded sarcastically.

“Don’t be flippant,” my mother said. “We’re only trying to help.”

I kept my mouth shut.

One positive thing was that Dave’s parents enrolled him in the same camp, and we could be roommates.

* * *

The day of doom arrived and Dave and I were loaded into Dave’s parent’s car for the hour trip. Upon arrival, I was given my class and activity schedule. I noted a slot for “PE or Drama Class.” Since I am slightly built, PE in high school had been less than pleasant. I asked, and was told, that I could enroll in drama class as an alternative to PE. I had no idea what was involved, but I knew no matter what it was better than PE.

It also appeared that because of my academic record I was placed in advanced classes, some of which supposedly earned college credits. That was the good news. The bad news was that I didn’t share a lot of classes with Dave.

“Hey Steve,” Dave said, “too bad we don’t have a lot of the same classes, since I was hoping that you could tutor me.”

“Let me see your schedule,” I said. From what I saw, it appeared that I was at least familiar with the subject matter in those classes. “I should still be able to help you,” I added.

After looking at his schedule, I noted that Dave opted for drama rather than PE. “Well, at least we both have drama. It says that we will put on a production. That ought to be neat.”

“Do you think we’ll get any roles?” Dave asked.

“I donno,” I replied. “We don’t even know the name of the play. Probably we’ll only get minor walk-on ones, at best.”

“That’s okay,” he said. “I’m only taking drama to get out of PE and away from some of the neanderthals I’ve seen here.”

We arrived at the drama class a little early and were met by at the door by Mrs. Benson, the drama teacher. We gave her our names and she checked us in. A second later she looked at us if she was examining livestock at an exhibition. “Very good,” she said. “Have either of you acted in any plays before?”

“Yeah, both of us,” Dave answered.

“Even better,” she said. “I think I’ve got one of my problems already solved,” she said to herself. She didn’t elaborate, and we had no idea what she meant. That came later.

When all of the drama students had finally walked into the room, Mrs. Benson welcomed everyone and said, “In addition to the general study of drama, we’re going to produce a staging of Romeo and Juliet. Now I know that this is an all boy’s school, but before you start moaning about it, you should know that in Shakespeare’s day no women were allowed on the stage. All female parts were played by boys.” Dave and I had studied this play in English class, so I had a general idea what was going to happen. I began to get a funny feeling about this.

“I want to run through some dialog to see what talent we have here. We’ll start out with part of Act 1, Scene 5, where Romeo talks with Juliet. I need a Romeo and a Juliet. Any volunteers?”

Dave raised his hand. “I’ll do Romeo,” he volunteered.

“Any Juliets?” Mrs. Benson asked, all the time staring at me. “No volunteers?” She said. “Well, I’ll just have to pick someone.” The funny feeling I had just got worse.

“Steve, will you read Juliet’s part?” she asked, more as a command than as a question.

To be truthful, I was glad to play Juliet. It’s just that I didn’t want to seem eager to do it. Since I was little, I always wanted to dress as a girl, to behave as a girl, to be a girl. Now I would have my chance. I didn’t say anything. I just picked up the script and walked to the front of the room where Dave was already standing.

“We’ll start with where Romeo approaches Juliet and says: ‘If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.’ Now, isn’t that a cool pickup line?” Everyone chuckled

“Start whenever you’re ready,” she said, when the class quieted down. “Read up to the part where the nurse appears.

Dave and I read. We got to the following part:

“ROMEO: Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. [Kisses her.] Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.

“JULIET: Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

“ROMEO; Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again. [Kisses her.]

“JULIET: You kiss by th' book.

I certainly didn’t expect Dave to actually kiss me, but he did. The first kiss shocked me. By the second kiss, I was ready, and kissed Dave back. I smiled. I discovered that I liked kissing Dave.

Mrs. Benson and the rest of the class were surprised. “Well, that was something. It was nice but you didn’t need to be so dramatic. Okay Dave, you can sit down.”

She called for another volunteer to read Romeo’s lines. When she did, I moved to sit down. Before I could, she said, “No, No Steve. You stay here and read Juliet’s lines again. You can forego the kisses, however.”

After the class Dave and I were walking back to our room. “It appears that Mrs. Benson has cast the part of Juliet,” he said with a smirk. We said nothing until we were back to our room.

I closed the door behind me. “What was the idea behind the kisses?” I demanded to know.

“I donno,” he said, “I was just following the script.”

“You didn’t have to grab me into your arms and kiss me,” I said. “You could have done something else.”

Dave made a funny face at me, pouted his lips and asked, “Like say, ‘kiss, kiss’ and stood where we were? But that wouldn’t have been any fun,” he replied.

He just stood there looking at me for what had to be several minutes. Neither he nor I said anything.

Finally he spoke. “You may not know it, but you do look like a cute girl.” I gave him a dirty look, but I knew he was right.

“Don’t get mad or anything, but do you remember when we were five and you liked to play ‘house’ where you were the mommy I was the daddy and Tiffany was our daughter?”

I nodded my head, and remembered.

“Do you remember that you insisted that we kiss whenever we played that I came home from work?”

“Okay, so what?”

“Do you remember when you said you wanted a doll for Christmas, but got a baseball glove instead?

I remembered. Heck, I still wanted that doll.

Do you remember when we ‘graduated’ from pre-school and you couldn’t understand why you couldn’t wear a frilly dress like the girls did?

I remembered that it seemed so unfair at the time. Heck, it still was unfair. I nodded.

“Do you remember when we, or at least I, discovered girls, and would talk about them?”

I nodded again.

“Do you remember looking at the girls in their frilly party dresses, and you said you wished you could wear one?”

I nodded again. I still wished that I could wear a frilly dress, but when I mentioned it to my parents they got angry and told me to never mention it again.

“Do you remember that you said that you thought you should be a girl?”

“Yes.” That was the heart of it

“We’re friends, and if you want to be a girl, then as far as I was concerned you are a girl. Heck, you’re pretty, like a girl. When we kissed at play practice, it brought to mind that I’ve wanted to kiss you for several years,” he confessed. “I really liked kissing you today.” Maybe I should have been bothered by this, but I wasn’t, so I didn’t respond. I admitted only to myself that I really enjoyed Dave’s kiss.

Finally, I said, “If you wanted to kiss a boy, then you must be gay! I never even suspected it!”

“No, I don’t think I am. I like girls. It’s just that you look and act a lot like a girl. Remember, you kissed me back, so you shouldn’t be saying who is or who is not gay.

I waited a moment. “Does that mean you want to kiss me again?


“Then go ahead,” I said, and I put my arms around his neck and pulled him close to me. He responded by putting his arms around me and held me tight. I felt his lips against mine. I could feel his tongue touching my lips. I parted my lips slightly and his tongue moved past my lips. His kiss was wonderful.

We finally released each other. “I hope you enjoyed that because there will be no more kissing, or anything else in this room.”

“Never?” he asked.

“Never,” I said emphatically, even thought I wasn’t quite sure about that.

* * *

It turned out that Mrs. Benson cast Dave as Romeo, so there had to be stage kissing. I hope no one noticed that our kisses were more than stage kisses.

It came time for costume fitting. Mrs. Benson had measured us and ordered costumes for everyone. Naturally, mine was a dress. While everyone else was disrobing to try on their costumes, Mrs. Benson called to me, “Maybe you’d like to use my office to try it on. I did.

When in her office she said, “I ordered some of the underwear that goes with the costume, if you’d like to wear it. Seeing the way you perform the part makes me believe that you would. Although not part of the costume, I bought you some panties and a bra to help you get into the part. Would you like to try them?”

I did. The costume came with a long chemise, which I put over my panties and bra. Next came socks and shoes, followed by a hoop cage and the corset, A corset cover went over this. Even though 16th century women didn’t wear underware, there was a pair of drawers included with the costume for modesty. The bodice of the costume had a square cut neckline, with long sleeves puffed at the shoulders. For the ease of changing costumes, this one had a zipper in the back. Then I put on the skirt, which was made to look like it had an under skirt and an over skirt. The bodice covered the waist of the skirt. I swirled and watched the skirt move. Since my hair was only shoulder length, a wig came with the costume. I loved it. I felt like a woman.

Mrs. Benson looked at me with admiration. “If I didn’t know it, I would never guess that you are male. You have a girl’s face and you make a very pretty girl. We’ll leave the makeup for the dress rehearsal. Now lets get the beautiful you to the rehearsal.

The entire cast was amazed when I entered the room. I knew that I looked better than all of the other guys playing girl parts. Most amazed was Dave.

“Holy Cow, Steve, You look fabulous.” We ran through the play, and when it came time for Dave and me to kiss, we didn’t fake it; we did it with ardor.

On the night of the performance, Mrs. Benson gathered us in a room off of the stage. “I want you to know that I am both pleased and impressed with your efforts in this production. For those of you who don’t already know, we invited all of your parents to the performance. Now go out there and break a leg.”

Maybe because Dave and I had known each other so long, or because we natural actors, we put on a great performance, especially the kisses. It actually stopped the action while the audience ‘oohed’ and applauded after each kiss.

I couldn’t see out into the audience so I didn’t know if my parents were there. I didn’t know how they would take it with me being a girl. I decided that immediately after the last curtain call I would hurry backstage and change into my “regular” clothes.

No such luck. First were the curtain calls. When I stepped out on stage, I was greeted by applause and whistles. I curtsyed like any refined 16th century woman. Dave and I, individually and as the leads had multiple curtain calls. When I left the stage most of the faculty were there to compliment us. Most of the cast went into the auditorium to mingle with the audience while still in costume. I didn’t think that this was the right thing to do and finally I was able to make my way to the dressing room. . . . .

. . . where my parents were, smiling broadly.

“Great performance, Steve,” Dad said. “You’re a good actor, and we loved the performance. We’re so proud of you. I don’t like the girl part and the dress, however.”

“Ohh, let me look at you,” Mom said, “Give it a swirl.” After swirling, Mom added, “You are so beautiful, I can hardly believe that you are our son, you look like you should be a daughter, and a beautiful daughter at that.” Dad frowned.

“Playing Juliet wasn’t my idea,” I said. “Mrs. Benson did the casting and this is what I ended up with. Probably chance had a lot to do with it.”

Just then Mrs. Benson came up behind me. She said, “It wasn’t chance, it was pure talent and a lot of energy which I spotted from the start. You son is just too modest. And you are right, he, or should I say ‘she’ is one of the best looking Juliets I have ever seen. She is more than beautiful, she is gorgeous.”

My father didn’t look pleased with Mrs. Benson’s use of pronouns, but he said nothing. My mother was not bothered in the least. She turned to my father and said, “She reminds me of myself when I was a teen, don’t you agree?”

“Yes dear.” It was the only safe answer to that question.

I decided to chance it. I turned to my mother. “Don’t you think I make a pretty girl?” I asked.

“Of course dear,” she replied.

“Would you mind if I dressed as a girl from time to time at home?”

“Well, maybe, if you really want to do it. I’m not sure that your father would agree,” she said.

“I don’t agree!” He said, emphatically.

“Then maybe I could do it when he’s not at home,” I suggested confidentially to my Mother.

“Let me think about that,” she said. That usually meant ‘No’ when my mother said it.

There was one final drama class before the end of camp. Mrs. Benson was giving us her critique of the performance and the class in general. At the end of the session, she came up to me. “If you have a few minutes, I’d like to talk with you, in private.” I followed her to her office.

“First I want to say that you’ve been one of my best students for many years. You really got into being Juliet. You and Dave had a lot of energy between you, and you transmitted it to the audience. Furthermore, when you and Dave kissed, you could almost see the sparks, there was so much electricity there.”

Mrs. Behson then asked, “Do you think Dave is gay?”

“I don’t think so,” I replied, “he’s dated a lot of girls, and he seems to like girls. I’ve never seen him try to get close with any of the openly gay guys we know.”

“Then how about you?” she asked.

I waited a moment before I spoke. “I’m not sure. Yes, there is something between us, but I don’t know if I am attracted to him as a gay boy, or rather as a girl in a boy’s body.”

“That’s pretty heavy stuff for you to carry around. You might want to get counseling. I am not qualified to advise you,” she said. But I do have something for you. Do you still have the panties and bra that I got for you?” I nodded my head.

“I’ve collected some of the makeup we used, along with some other stuff you might find useful and I put it in a bag.” She handed me the bag. “Just in case you want to be a girl again. I also put in a list of clothing you may want to get along with the sizes that should fit you. However, remember that women’s and girl’s clothing sizes are not exact. You may find a dress which fits you, but another dress, the same size, even from the same manufacturer, may not.”

“Now about your hair. You need to brush it, a lot, and often. The old saying is ‘a hundred strokes every day.’ Now you need to find a feminine style you can use. I think that your hair is just the right size for a french twist. If you’d like, I can show you how to do it.”

“That would be great,” I said.

“Okay,” she said, and picked up a hair brush. “We’ll start by brushing it.” She kept up a running commentary describing what she was doing it. “Then gather it into a pony tail, higher up than you usually do. First hold the pony tail straight back and twist it one or two times. Keep the twist in and lift the end of your pony tail above you head and keep twisting it until is is all twisted. Open the parts of the twist that are on the back of your head and insert the end. You then use something to keep it in place. I have some hair pins here, but a french twist fork does it even better.".

With that she was done. “Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?” I had to agree that it did. “You may want to practice before going out with it.”

* * *

At last, it was the final night, and Dave and I returned to our dorm. Dave and a few of our classmates went down to the common room to talk. I did not join them. Rather I stood in front of the mirror on the closet door and put my hair up in a french twist. I then applied a bit of mascara and coated my lips with red lipstick. I went to my dresser and took out my bra and panties, which I put on. I then covered it up with my robe and waited for Dave to return. He opened the door 15 minutes later. When he closed the door, I stood up and walked over to him, opening my robe as I did.

“Oh boy!” he exclaimed, when he saw what I was wearing and the makeup. I didn’t wait. I put my arms around his neck and pulled his face to mine, and I kissed him, with a deep, penetrating kiss that I wanted to last forever. He returned the kiss.

“Wow!” he said as we separated a few inches. “I thought that you made a rule that said no more kissing.”

“I did,” I said, ‘but you broke it.


“When you kissed me at practice and performance of the play.”

“But that doesn’t count,” he said.

“So those kisses meant nothing to you?” I said trying, unsuccessfully, to look hurt,

He evaded the question. “Yeah, well if I broke the rule, so did you. You seemed to like our kisses,” he said.

“I admit I did,” I said.

“So what are we going to do?” he asked.

“Kiss me again,” I said as I pulled his face to mine. One kiss turned to many, and I was thrilled by each one.

When we came up for air, I said, “We need to talk while we can still think sensibly.”

“About what?” he asked.

“About us,” I said.

We sat down next to each other on my bed.

“You told me that you’re not gay, but you are kissing someone that you know is a boy. Moreover . . .” I pointed to his crotch. It was obvious that he had an erection.

“Yes, but you don’t look much like a boy right now, except for that.” and he pointed to the bulge in my panties.

“Okay, we can admit that we turn each other on. You say you’re straight, but what am I? Am I gay, or am I a girl inside a boy’s body?

“We know how we feel about each other, so why does it matter if you’re gay or a girl in a boy’s body?”

“Because I really like you.”

“And I you,” he said.

I pushed him back onto the bed and began to kiss him furiously, all over. He was enjoying it immensely. I then did the obvious and earned my sissy badge.

Chapter 2 - Consequences.

One Saturday after school started, I put my hair in a french twist and came down to breakfast. “We need to talk,” I announced.

“About what?” demanded my father. He provided an unfeeling answer to his own question. “About the silly thing you’ve done to your hair?” He snorted and returned to reading the paper.

“What is it dear?” my mother said more sympathetically. “Remember, you can always talk to us.”

Except for issues you don’t want to address, I thought.

“I might be gay, or I might be a girl in a boy’s body,” I said.

“Rubbish!” exclaimed my father with a total lack of understanding. “Is that what the silly business with your hair is about? I can resolve all of your questions by taking you to the barber shop and getting you a buzz cut.”

“I’ve researched it on the internet, and I think that I should see a psychologist,” I stated.

“Oh, the internet, source for all truth,” my father said sarcastically.

“I can see we’re going nowhere with this,” I finally said.

“Give it time,” my mother said soothingly. “It will all pass.”

It was obvious that my parents were not going to want me talk to a psychologist, let alone pay for one. I certainly didn’t have the cash to do it myself.

I went upstairs and took my hair out of the french twist, and put it in a regular pony tail. It seemed that my hair wasn’t happy with this because it retained some wave and curl from the french twist. I then hopped on my bike and rode over to Dave’s house.

Dave’s mother answered the door. “It’s Julie . . ., I mean Steve,” she said with a snicker.

Dave was sprawled on the couch staring at some stupid program on the television. I sat down next to him. “I need to talk with you,” I said in a quiet voice.

“Go ahead,” he said, his eyes still on the television.

“In private,” I said.

“Okay, if you must,” he said, standing up. “Steve and I are going out for a ride.”

“Be home for lunch,” his mother said.

Dave and I rode to the local park, and sat down next to each other on a picnic table. “Okay, what’s the big deal?” he asked.

I related what had happened that morning at my house. I also told him what Mrs. Benson had said about a psychologist. “Yeah, you should see a shrink,” he said. “However, you might be stuck with seeing the school psychologist.”

“I’m not wild about that,” I said.

“Yeah, but it may be the only game in town,” he replied, “So are you a girl or a boy?” he added.

I didn’t answer him.

We sat in solitude until Sue and Cindy, two girls from our class, came over.

“Whatcha guys doing?” Sue said as she sat down at the picnic table.

“Enjoying the clear, crisp fall weather,” Dave said. It was overcast and humid.

“Weird,” said Cindy.

“Hey Steve, is it true what we heard about you playing a girl in a play?” asked Sue.

“It was Juliet, as in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare,” I said.

“Did you wear a dress, and all that stuff like a bra and panties?”

“I wore a costume that was ordered by the producer,” I responded.

“Do you still have it?” asked Cindy.

“Why would I want to do that?” I said. “It was rented and really expensive and if it wasn’t returned, somebody, like me, would have to pay for it.

“‘Cause I’d like to see you in a dress. You’ve got a cute face and might make a cute girl,” she commented.

“But I’m not a girl, I’m a boy,” I said in frustration.

“Question answered,” Dave said.

“What,” said Cindy, not understanding that.

“It was about something we were talking about before you showed up,” I said, “and it doesn’t answer the question.”

“You guys want to go with us to a movie and pizza tonight?” asked Sue. It appears that Dave and I had just been asked out on a date by two girls.

“Maybe, if you don’t mind riding the green limousine,” said Dave.

“Yuck,” said Sue.

“No car?” asked Cindy.

“No car,” answered Dave.

“Well, see you around.” said Sue, and they left.

“Would you like to get into Cindy’s panties?” Dave asked, with a lecherous smile.

“Not really, I’d rather wear them.”

“You’re hopeless,” Dave commented.

“Remember the summer? I really could use a kiss right now,” I said.

“No way, too open, too many people, Dave said.

* * *

That Monday I went to the school office. “I’d like to see the psychologist,” I said to the secretary.

“About what?” she asked. So much for patient confidentiality.

“Personal problems.”

“Like what?” This woman just won’t give up.

“I’d rather tell that to the psychologist.”

“Okay, be that way,” she said. “How about Thursday, third period?”

“I have a class at that time.”

“It’s Thursday, third period, or three weeks from now.”

“I’ll take it. Do I need a pass or something?

“Not if you clear it with your teacher first. What’s your name, so I can pencil it in.”

I studied gender dysphoria and homosexuality on the internet the next few evenings. On Thursday, third period, I presented myself at the school psychologist’s office, after having cleared my absence with my teacher. The psychologist introduced herself as Dr. Brown, and asked me to sit. “What is the nature of your problem, Steve? I can call you Steve, can’t I?

“Sure. I’m worried that I may be a homosexual or a girl in a boy’s body.” I said.

“And why does that bother you? There’s nothing wrong with being homosexual or transgendered; we even have a student LGBT support group here at school.”

“I’d like to know, so I can figure out what to do.”

“What makes you think that you might be either?” she asked.

I related the events in my life, including the affair at the camp with Dave.

“And is Dave still your friend?”

“Yeah, at least I think so,” I replied.

“Did you talk to him about this?


“And what did he say?”

“He told me to talk with you,” I answered.

“Have you talked about this with your parents?” I told her that I had.

“And what did they say?”

“They said I was being silly and it all would pass in a few years. They are unwilling to pay for a psychologist.”

“There is a group know as the Easton Clinic here in town that specializes in your situation. I’d like you to take a test first. Do you have an open study hall period today?”

I told her that I did, and she gave me a large envelope. “This is the test. I want you to be as truthful as you can be. Accuracy, and not speed, counts. If you finish it during your study hall, bring it back to the school secretary, who’ll get it to me and I’ll use it to make a preliminary evaluation. If you can’t finish it during study hall, take it home tonight and drop it off in the morning. I can fit you in next Tuesday, third period, and we can discuss the results. After we talk next Tuesday, I can write a note to your parents recommending that you be allowed to visit the Easton Clinic”

“Yeah, maybe they’d pay attention to you,” I said.

* * *

I kept my appointment the next Tuesday. “You appear to have a lot of signs indicating gender dysphoria, but you appear to have some homosexual tendencies, so I’m not going to say its one or the other. I’ll leave that up to the Easton Clinic.”

She handed me an envelope. “Give this note to your parents. Hopefully they will relent and allow you to see someone. Get a hold of me if there are any problems.” I thanked her and headed to my next class.

* * *

On Monday, Dave and I rode our bicycles to his house from school. We went up to his room. Neither of his parents were home. Only his sister was.

“I want to thank you for your advice,” I said, “ I saw Dr. Brown at school, and she gave me a test. She also wrote a note to my parents advising that I go to the Easton Clinic. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Dave was sitting on his bed. “Come here,” he said. I sat next to him on the bed. He put his arm around my shoulders, and pulled me toward him. Our lips touched and I put my arms around his neck and returned the kiss, again and again. His hands roamed my body. I could see that he was getting aroused.

“Remember what happened that last night at camp?” he asked. I nodded my head. “Could you do it again?” he asked. “With pleasure,” I answered.

I wondered if he wanted to reciprocate, but he hadn’t even hinted that he wanted to or was even willing to do it. Later, I thought.

Afterwards Dave and I started playing a game on his computer. It was lucky we did, because a few minutes later his sister knocked on the door and came in. “Whatcha guys doing?” she asked.

“It should be obvious to anyone, even an idiot like you, that we are playing a computer game,” Dave said.

His sister ignored the insult and turned to me. “I hear that you were a girl up at camp. Is that true?”

Dave snorted.

“I played the part of Juliet in a play, if that’s what you mean,” I answered.

“Do you like wearing dresses?” she asked with a smirk. Dave laughed.

“It was only one dress and only during the play,” I explained. I didn’t think that she needed to know that I would love to wear dresses all the time.

“I only wondered because I remember that you liked to be the mommy when you, Dave and I played house as little kids.” I made no response.

* * *

That evening I gave Dr. Brown’s note to my parents. “Who is this Dr. Brown?” my mother asked.

“The school psychologist,” I answered.

“You didn’t talk to us about this first,” my mother said accusingly.

“I did, when I came to breakfast with my hair in a french twist. You made it pretty clear that I would have to take the initiative,” I responded.

“So you want us to go with you to this Easton Clinic?”

“Yeah, I do,” I said. “I called them and they can see us for an introductory appointment on Saturday.”

“Okay, we’ll go, if for no other reason to get those silly ideas out of your head,” My father said.

The session on Saturday was all about filling out forms and meeting some of the staff. The first real appointment would be the next Saturday morning.

* * *

It was during my second session at the clinic the counselor asked my how often I cross dressed. “My parents won’t allow me to,” I answered. My parents were with me. My father smiled and my mother looked uncomfortable.

“Is that true?” the counselor asked my parents.

“You betcha,” my father said proudly. “No perverts in my house. It was bad enough that he traipsed around the stage in a dress for that play.” And I thought that he was proud of my performance. Well, that was then, an this is now. My mother said nothing.

“What play was that?” the counselor asked.

“Romeo and Juliet.” I said. “I played Juliet. It was at the Laughton Academic Achievement Camp, which is all boys.

“She did a marvelous job,” my mother said softly, “I was so proud.

“It’s ‘he’, not ‘she’ Katherine,” my father loudly interjected, “don’t encourage him.”

I frowned. The counselor had a tired look on her face.

The counselor then turned to me. “Do you have a girl’s name,? She asked.

“He’s a boy. Why would he have a girl’s name?” my father interrupted.

The counselor bristled, as if she had enough of my father. “I asked Steve, not you,” she said, with ice in her voice, and she turned her head to look at me for my answer.

“Not really.” I answered. “There just doesn’t seem to be any opportunity to use one. However, I have thought about it, and if I use a girl’s name, I’d like to use ‘Stephanie’ or ‘Steph’ for short.”

The counselor wrote the names on her notes. I saw that she drew a little heart for the dot above the I. She caught me looking as we smiled at each other. For the first time, I felt connected with the counselor.

The counselor straightened up the papers on her desk. “I think that we did all we could this time,” she announced. I’ll see you next Saturday, same time. Oh, by the way, I’d like you to let Stephanie to come dressed as a girl.”

We rode home in silence. I could see that my father was fuming. My mother just had a concerned look on her face.

The next day was Sunday. My father was out at a golf game. My mother came into my room, and woke me up. “I think we need to go shopping,” she said.

I knew exactly what she meant. “I have a list. Let me get it,” I said. “It’s not going to freak you out if I wear a bra and panties, will it? I asked.

“We’ll let your father do that for both of us. By the way, how did you get a bra and some panties?” she asked.

“Mrs. Benson gave them to me, along with the list. I want to fix my hair and put on some makeup.”

“Makeup?” she asked.

“Again, from Mrs. Benson.”

“What are you going to do about your hair?” she asked.

“A french twist,” I replied.

“Like you did before? I’ve got to see you do it,” she said.

“May I use your vanity?” I asked.

“Of course,” she said and we walked into my parent’s bedroom. I put my hair up in the french twist and applied some subtle makeup. Mother was pleased with both. “That french twist is so simple, but it looks so feminine,” she said.

I walked back to my room to put on my bra and panties, and to try to find some clothes which didn’t shout “Boy.” Not a lot of luck here. However, my mother solved the problem for me, when she came into my room with an armful of clothes. We settled on a maxi skirt and peasant blouse. I chose the maxi for two reasons: first, I hadn’t shaved my legs and second, I could wear my own shoes without calling attention to them.

She handed me a purse, and instructed me to put my cell phone, driver’s license, some mascara, a lipstick, a comb and my list in it. While on the road, I read the list to my mother. We then hit the mall.

The feminine pleasure of shopping for clothes was tempered with the solemn realization that I might not be able to ever wear them, given my father’s attitude. We pared down the list until I had enough for two complete outfits, a skirt and blouse set and a pretty print dress, along with the necessary underthings. Five pairs of inexpensive pantyhose and a pair of simple black shoes with a one inch heel completed the purchases.

We decided to forgo dressing that evening. I would wear my new clothes for the next session with Ms. Branch on Saturday.

* * *

I woke early on Saturday morning and grabbed a razor and retired to the shower to get rid of some hair. My mother had obviously anticipated this, because there was a container of hair remover on the sink. I followed the instructions on the label and used it all over my body below my head. When all of my body hair, not that there was much of it, went down the drain, I ran my hands over my smooth skin. I then took the razor and gave myself a very close shave on my face.

I wrapped the towel around me and headed back to my bedroom, where I put on panties and a padded A cup bra. It wasn’t much, but it did give the hint of breasts. I sat down and rolled the panty hose into a rose, like I had seen my mother do, and pulled them as high as I could. I then dried my hair and put it up in the now familiar french twist. I looked at the skirt and the dress. Both had a gathered waist, which allowed them to flare out somewhat, which was a good idea since I had no hips. I chose the dress, and put it on and slipped on my shoes.

I couldn’t very well go into my parents’ room to use my mother’s vanity, so I returned to the bathroom to apply my makeup. Day time makeup, I thought. Less is more. For this it meant some mascara, a hint of eye shadow, a little blush, and a subdued pink lipstick.

I looked at my hands. They needed help. I had been letting my nails grow, and they were about a 16th of an inch longer than my finger tips. I took a nail file and gave them somewhat of a shape. I used a clear polish. Less to have to remove after the counseling session. I went back into my bedroom and looked at myself in the full length mirror on the closet door. “Not bad,” I said to myself, “Not bad at all.”

Just then there was a knock at the door. “May I come in?” my mother said. “Do you need any help?”

“Come in,” I replied.

She came into the room and stood still and silent for a moment. “Obviously not,” she said in answer to her last question. “Come over by the window so I can get a good look at you.” As I walked to the window I gave her a twirl. “You really look good,” she said softly. “I can barely see the boy under all of this.” I smiled.

Why don’t you come downstairs for some breakfast,” she said. “Your father is there, and I think we should get it over sooner rather than later,” she added.

We entered the kitchen, expecting an explosion which did not occur. “Absolutely disgusting,” he muttered. “I never thought I’d see the day,” he added, and he returned to reading the paper.

Other than a few outbursts from my father, nothing was said until we arrived at the Easton Clinic. Once there, my mother went to the receptionist and told her that the Spicer family was there for their appointment with Ms. Branch. Smoothing my skirt under me, I sat primly on the edge of my chair, knees together, and my back straight. My father took a chair across the room, and pretended great interest in a magazine. I guess he doesn’t want to be associated with me. My mother sat next to me and squeezed my hand in support.

I stood up when Ms. Branch entered the room. She stood still; just looking at me. I smiled at her. “I can hardly believe it’s you,” she said. “Come on in, and let’s get started. My mother, and I followed her to her office with my father trailing behind. When we sat down, she said, “You really look pretty. I see a lot of Stephanie and not a lot of Steve here.”

My father just grunted.

“She did it all herself,” my mother said proudly. My father grunted again.

Ms. Branch addressed my father. “You have a beautiful daughter here. Even you have to see it. The sooner you accept that fact, the better things will be.”

“I don’t know why I have to accept it,” he said. “What will our relatives, friends and neighbors say when they see him prancing around in a dress?”

“What they say is their business, not yours,” Ms. Branch said. “I think that you are less concerned about your daughter than what anyone else thinks,” she continued, “she deserves her family’s support.”

“He’s a he, not a she, and he’s not my daughter,” my father said. “Can’t we at least get that straight?”

“Look at her,” Ms. Branch said to my father. “Don’t you see a pretty girl, a daughter and not a son?”

“What I see is a pervert prancing around in a dress,” he said with obvious disgust.

My mother saw that I was on the edge of tears. “Don’t cry, Honey, you’ll run your mascara.” Leave it to my mother to shift the tone of the conversation. Ms. Branch smiled at the comment.

“I consulted with a doctor here, and he thinks that you should have some blood tests before we go much farther.” she said as she handed me the order. “Try to have it done before our next appointment.”

“Now I want to talk to you about school.” she said. “Any problems there?” I shook my head. You’re now a junior, right?” I nodded my head. “It may be wise to not institute any changes until you graduate, no hormones, no dressing as a girl at school.”

“Thank God for little things,” my father spouted out. Ms Branch gave him a dirty look.

“You told me that you have a close friend. Dave, is it?” she said.

“Yeah,” I answered, “he and I have been friends since preschool. He went to Laughton Academic Achievement Camp with me this past summer. We were roommates. He was Romeo in the play where I was Juliet. It’s an all boys camp, which is why I was Juliet.”

“How do you feel about him?”

“He’s my closest friend.”

“From what I recall of the play, Romeo and Juliet kiss. Did you and Dave kiss in the play?”

“You should have seen them,” my mother interjected, “it was no little peck.”

“Oh?” Ms. Branch said, raising her eyebrows. “And how did that make you feel?”

“It was okay.” I responded.

“Just okay, nothing more?” Ms. Branch asked.

I was reluctant to admit to more, but I finally said, “It was more.”

“Are you romantically involved with him?” she asked.

It took me a moment to decide if I should answer this question truthfully. Truth won out in the end.

“Yes,” I said softly.

“As Steve or as Stephanie” she then asked.

My mother was paying rapt attention to the questions and answers. I was feeling very uncomfortable at this time. “I’m not sure, but I think as Stephanie.” I finally said.

“I can see that you are uncomfortable. Would you like to defer this discussion to a later session?

“Yes,” I said, with a great feeling of relief.

“A while ago you said that you had not worn girls clothes outside of the house. Is that correct?”

“Today is the first time. In fact, I don’t even wear them at home.”

“Darn tooting.” my father interjected.

“I see,” Ms. Branch said. “Would you like to wear girl’s clothes at home and occasionally outside your house?”

“Yes, I would.”

“Not while I’m in charge!” my father exclaimed.

Ms. Branch addressed my father. “Mr. Spicer, I wish you would keep your comments to yourself.”

Ms. Branch again turned to me. “Would you like to wear girls’ clothes when you are with Dave?

“Yes,” I replied, but I’m not sure whether his family would approve.”

“Why don’t you talk with him about it and we can discuss it at a later session?”

With that Ms. Branch closed her folder and stood up. “That’s about it for today. We’ll see each other next week.

When we got in the car, my father said, “I never thought that I’d have a damn fairy living under my roof.’

“Joe, knock it off,” my mother commanded.

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