I know I have let this one sit for far too long. To be honest, I wrote myself a bit into a corner several chapters back and needed a break—then got caught up with other ideas. So, no excuses, but with the most heartfelt of apologies, I will try and bring this to a close with some sort of dignity.
I look around the auditorium and grin. Saturday Night Fever—eat your heart out!
The mirrored ball is slowly spinning and the disco lights are reflecting all over the floor and walls. No, the floor is not lit up, but, well, you can’t have it all, right?
The first students have arrived and it is apparent that the are taking it seriously. The ‘guys’ are dressed up in shimmering polyester and the ‘gals’ are all in appropriate dresses. No, they haven’t gone so far as to shave their legs—well, most—but, it is cute to see them struggle with the short dresses and—mostly—lower heels.
The big exceptions are Amanda, Jenny, and Christy—and a few others—that are dolled up the nth degree. Then there is ‘Benny’, who I figure out is Linda McGrew. Although, there certainly is no evidence of Linda—I make a note to ask later…
I look up, pulled out of my reverie, by a commotion at the door. I click over in my four-inch heels—as a ‘declared transgender’ student, I am allowed to come in my ‘true’ gender. I see three ‘girls’ trying to get in and being stopped by the welcoming committee. The ‘girls’ are Bobby Bender, Rich Flanders, and Simon Gallows—all jocks and important figures on various school teams. They are clearly not taking the spirit of the ball seriously and look more like they are trying to win most ridiculous Halloween costume than making a good-faith effort at being a ‘girl’ for the evening. I don’t see the girls that are normally their dates anywhere around—either as ‘guys’ or not.
I walk up to the ruckus and ask, “Can we help you? I think you clearly need to rethink your dress if you want to attend the event, ’girls’!”
Bobby Bender just says something crude and Mr. Petrus steps up behind me and says, “You gentlemen can go home—you’re banned from the event. I will be seeing the three of you in my office on Monday morning. Now, I will count to three and I don’t want to see your ugly attempts at crude humor anymore. Do I make myself clear?”
I can see them all three clearly pale—even under the crude and heavy makeup smeared on their faces. I am not sure they were expecting the principal to be in attendance, or what. They clearly miscalculated, either way.
After that the rest of the ball went off without a hitch. It is obvious that some enjoyed the event much more than others, but everyone still had a good time and I think the next LGBT meeting may be much more interesting than the last several.
The rest of the weekend, after the dance, goes by quickly. Vicki and I spend it in her apartment—it is the first time after I finally am able to remove the corset and she shows me things that drive me wild. It is funny, too. My breasts are finally starting to feel more normal—and not like overstretched water balloons on my chest. But, now my nipples are getting sore and itchy. That doesn’t mean that Vicki isn’t able to make them feel better!
Jenn and I are talking about the dance as we are walking into the school building first thing Monday morning, when Mrs. Brown comes straight up to us and has me follow her to Mr. Petrus’s office. I am slightly surprised and shrug as I split off from Jenn.
When we get to the front office, I notice Booby, Rich, and Simon sitting dejectedly in the chairs outside the Principal’s Office. Mrs. Brown sends me straight in and I am surprised to see Coach Connors sitting in his office with him. Both stand up as I come in, then sit down after I sweep my dress and settle into a chair, my legs comfortably tucked underneath with my feet crossed at the ankle.
Coach Connors looks upset.
Mr. Petrus says, “Thank you for coming on such short notice, Miss McIntosh. I want to talk to you about Friday evening’s events. Overall, I think the ball was a smashing success!”
I nod, “Thank you Principal Petrus. I couldn’t agree more. It could have only been better if my girlfriend had been there.” I blush as he gives me a funny look.
Coach Connors clears his throat and Mr. Petrus continues, “There is the issue of Mr. Bender, Mr. Flanders, and Mr. Gallows to deal with. I am firmly of the mind they need to be suspended. We have to send a clear message that the school takes this seriously.”
Coach Connors breaks in, “But that isn’t fair George! They were just being boys! We need them on the team!”
Mr. Petrus shakes his head, “I won’t stand for it, though, Jim!”
They go back and forth for a couple of minutes and I wonder why I am even here. Finally, I clear my throat and ask, “Gentlemen! If you don’t mind… Why am I here?”
They both turn a little red and Mr. Petrus says, “Ummm… Right. Sorry about that, Miss McIntosh. As you can see, the coach and I disagree on the punishment for the three hooligans. I want to suspend them—he wants to let them off the hook.”
I nod, still unsure of where this is leading.
He continues, “For all intents and purposes, this was your brainchild. So, we thought it appropriate to get your input, as well. You are the student chair, after all.”
I sigh. I was not expecting this—at all.
I sit there a minute, or two, in silence, then an idea hits me… I smile and outline my plan. Mr. Petrus nods. Coach Connors is not happy, but ultimately agrees to go along with it.
Ten minutes later, the three boys are sitting in the office with us—looking very nervous. I feel sorry for them, actually. I agree with the coach that I don’t think they were being mean--just totally stupid. While there may not be a cure for stupid, there can certainly be ‘teaching’ moments used to help with the symptoms.
Mr. Petrus looks at the three boys and says, “Well, boys, you can thank Miss McIntosh here when we are done that you are not immediately on a two-week suspension from class—and from all team play for the remainder of the year.”
They turn white as a ghost, but one look at the coach lets them know to be quiet.
Mr. Petrus continues, “She has convinced me to give a choice. It is completely your choice which punishment you will receive—be clear, though, there will be a punishment!”
They all sink lower in their chairs.
He looks at them with a hard stare, “You can either accept my original punishment—two-weeks suspension and no more team play this year. Or, you can accept an alternative two-week punishment where you will come to school as the girls you should have come to the dance as.”
There are gasps.
He says, “It was your choice to come to the event—no one forced you. If you choose this alternate punishment, you will subject yourself to Miss McIntosh’s guidance and coaching in detention beforehand on how to present as a ‘girly-girl’, as she herself presents. You will not take it lightly, nor will you behave in any other way than a true girl. That means that should you choose to participate in sports events during those two weeks, it will be in your feminine persona—I am thinking cheerleading would be a perfect outlet for that!”
The three boys are sitting there, completely shell-shocked.
Coach Connors says, “Boys, I can’t say that I am happy with this. There are still three months left in the schoolyear, however. I still need you in our final games and this is the only way that I will have you—and I will have to get the team to win the next two weeks without you. Think this over very carefully before you answer!”
You should have heard the giggles when I ask Jenn whether she is willing to help me girly up the three boys and coach them into being able to serve their ‘suspension’ that is to begin in two weeks. Not only is Jenn in, but the whole popular girl posse!
So, for the next two weeks, there is a special one-hour meeting after school every day to start prepping the new girls, ‘Wanda’, ‘Zoe’, and ‘Gracey’ for their actual sentence. To our surprise, Amanda, Jenny, and Christy ask if they can also be a part of the meeting—not to help prep the boys, but to learn how to better be the girls they are. We happily agree and include the three girls in our makeup and behavior lessons.
The first day, when all six boys show up with their freshly shaved bodies—three totally humiliated and three in ecstasy—and we turn them into girls for the first time is precious. Of course, the three on suspension had only ever done it as the joke for the dance. The other three had only ever experimented in secret. Amanda, Jenny, and Christy soak up things like a sponge—always wanting more. ‘Wanda’, ‘Zoe’, and ‘Gracey’ need another heart-to-heart with the principal after the third day, but then make quick progress.
So, after the two ‘prep weeks’, Jenn and I, along with the other popular girls in our posse, take the six ‘new’ girls on a trip to the mall on Saturday afternoon. I hate to lose out on time with Vicki, but she needed a couple of hours to study for a final, anyway, and this was to be the final test to see if our lessons have ‘stuck’.
Amanda, Jenny, and Christy take to it like fish being thrown back into the water. ‘Wanda’, ‘Zoe’, and ‘Gracey’ are much more hesitant, but when we make it clear to them that they can either act like guys in a dress and heels at the mall and call attention to themselves—or fit in and learn from the experience.
All of us girls—yes, I am including myself in that group, for the moment—have a fit of the giggles, when ‘Zoe’ gets asked for her number by a jock from the neighboring high school. It was so precious to see ‘her’ flounder and then we all step in and rescue her. Her ‘boyfriend’ is so big and jealous, after all…
So, on Monday morning, which also just so happens to be the three-month anniversary of my hormones, we are all sitting in the auditorium waiting for Mr. Petrus to come out on the stage for assembly. He comes out at precisely eight a.m. and steps up to the microphone, “Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen! I have some exciting news, this morning!”
He nods to Mrs. Brown and she escorts Amanda, Jenny, and Christy onto the stage—and Benny. Mr. Petrus continues, “I would like to introduce to you, our newest declared TG students…”
He announces the four to a more-or-less agnostic group of students in the audience. Since my ‘coming out’ and the ball, being TG is not that big a deal at the school anymore. Sure there are still those that are idiots, which is why the principal is going through this. Not to humiliate the four on the stage—like I had felt when I was up there—but to make it plain that there is no tolerance for bigotry.
To underscore that, he nods to Mrs. Brown again and she escorts the clearly embarrassed ‘Wanda’, ‘Zoe’, and ‘Gracey’ onto the stage.
Mr. Petrus continues, “Now, I would like to introduce you to three temp students that we have for the next two weeks. They have been ‘transferred’ to us for that amount of time as a punishment for inappropriate behavior. School, meet ‘Wanda’ Bender, ‘Zoe’ Flanders, and ‘Gracey’ Gallows.
There are gasps as everyone realizes just who is up on the stage.
Mr. Petrus says, “This is just a light punishment. Trust me! These three young ladies got off easy and they have your LGBT student chair to thank for that. She came up with this innovative way to keep the three very stupid boys that were exchanged for these three lovely ladies from being suspended for two weeks and from the school activities for the rest of the year. Oh, I hear they are all just chomping at the bit to help out our fantastic cheerleaders!”
He claps and indicates that the student body should. There is stunned applause, then the cheerleaders all get up as a group and let out a cheer to everyone’s amusement. The clearly embarrassed ‘girls’ leave the stage and the cheerleaders all rush up to them.
We all file out of the auditorium and I look around. There are only two months of high school left and I have no idea where I am going after that. I groan, I don’t even know what I am going to tell Sherri today after school…
I sit nervously in Sherri’s office. To my surprise, Vicki is there and is holding my hand. Mom couldn’t make it, which is fine—this is my decision. And the gravity has really sunk in over the last several months.
Sherri says, “Dee, do you want Dr. Langdon here? It is completely up to you. She said she will go along with whatever you decide. She is confident that you are well aware of the implications of any decision you make—including not making one.”
I feel Vicki squeeze my hand and I smile at her, then shake my head at Sherri, “No, I think I am fine without her.”
I sigh and lick my lips—they are still very plump and they taste like my peppermint-flavored lip gloss.
Sherri nods, “Well, I need some sort of indication on where we—you—want to go from here. You have had your three-month initial ‘trial’ and have gone a lot farther than any of us expected when you embarked on this—and come even farther, I think. I need to know what you want to do about your hormone status—and I also need to know about your eyeliner, we are at the point that it has to either be made permanent or let fade away.”
I nod and try and picture my face without the permanent eyeliner—and can’t.
I sigh, “Well, I can say for sure that I want to keep the eyeliner. I just wouldn’t be me anymore without it!”
Vicki squeezes my hand again and Sherri nods, “OK, I am not surprised at that. It will only take about ten minutes after we are done here. But, it will be the same as the butterfly on your butt, at that time—permanent and it would be very dangerous to use the normal removal procedures around your eyes, should you ever change your mind.”
I simply nod, “Yes, I understand. The thing is that, while Gerry is still a part of me—I am Deirdre now. I mean I feel more like Dee than Gerry. That doesn’t mean that I am a girl—any more than I am a guy. Right now, I don’t know what I am—but I feel more comfortable as Dee. Does that make sense?”
Sherri nods and Vicki pulls me into a hug.
I continue, “I…I…I think I want to do another ‘round’ of hormones. That is still within the ‘reversal’ period, right?”
Sherri nods, but says, “Yes, and well, I don’t know… You see, the longer you are on them the more the effects will become permanent—at least not without cosmetic surgical intervention. The effects of six months of estrogen should not feminize you more so than you already are through the surgery you have gone through—and it will take more surgery to undo those enhancements, at any rate. So, if your question is, do I think that another three months of estrogen will hurt? No, I don’t think so.”
She takes a deep breath and continues, “I would like to bank your semen now, though. You still are barely producing some—plenty for us to freeze. I would like grandchildren some day…”
Vicki exclaims, “Mother!”
I turn bright red.
Then we both laugh when we look at each other. She hugs me and whispers, “She’s right, though!”
Sherri says, “OK. We will take care of that in a bit. I mean Vicki will—I am sure she stands the best chance of coaxing it from you without having to resort to more extreme measures. And it isn’t something that I know you haven’t practiced!”
I giggle this time.
“Miss Deirdre Brianne McIntosh!”
I walk across the stage and receive my high school diploma. I am graduating at top of the class—tied with Jenn. Our study sessions over the last months brought me up just enough.
I sit back on my chair and grin at Jenn sitting a row ahead of me. She sticks her tongue out at me in a very girly way—and I return the gesture.
I look around the auditorium, knowing that chapter of my life is quickly coming to an end. I sigh—this is where the strange side-chapter of my life started.
I spy Vicki, Mom, and Sherri in the audience. Then I see Amanda not far away. She is taking over as student chair of the LGBT committee. I notice Simon Gallows, a sophomore like Amanda, sitting right next to her—I also happen to know that Amanda and Gracey have become best friends when Simon lets her out, which seems to be more and more. Wanda and Zoe have not been seen, nor heard from again after their two-week ‘exchange’—but Bobby and Rich were strangely way more tolerant of us girls after that time.
I focus my attention back on the stage and clap with the rest as Ginger Sprocket, our Governor, takes the stage and does the commencement speech. We all stand and clap when she is done—or, at least when we thought she was done.
I was already mentally preparing for moving in full-time with Vicki—now that I have been accepted into college myself.
Governor Sprocket clears her throat, “Excuse me, everyone. Before you go, I have the honor of one more duty before I turn the microphone back over to your principal to release you into your new lives. Deirdre McIntosh, will you come up to the microphone, please?”
I gasp and stand, clearly confused. I walk up the steps to the stage and then to the microphone. The governor shakes my hand, then squeezes it as she holds onto it. She looks out at the crowd and says, “You all know that I am transgendered and proud to be a woman. I have tried to make sure that anyone in this great State of ours has the same opportunities that I have had—but in a much easier manner. I am proud to say that this amazing young woman has done the same for this school and I am here to present her with this year’s Sprocket Award!”
There is loud applause as a very surprised me accepts the plaque from the Governor and there are pictures taken of us hugging. Then she goes back to the microphone, “Oh, one more thing…”
She nods and Vicki comes out on the stage, totally surprising me. She comes to the microphone and takes my hand from the Governor’s. She says, “You don’t know me, I went to a different school—although, you may well know my mother. Anyway, I digress, I am Victoria Langdon—Vicki to my friends. And speaking of friends, this young lady is my best friend and I love her with all my heart!”
She gets down on one knee and holds out a ring with a huge diamond on it, “Deirdre McIntosh, will you marry me?”
I think I am going to faint!
I just nod—tears streaming down my face! “Yes! Oh, yes, I will!”
Vicki slips the ring on my finger and kisses me.
Pandemonium breaks out and Mr. Petrus just releases everyone, since there is no way he is going to get the crowd under control. The Governor congratulates Vicki and I, then takes her leave. We make our way out of the crown and meet up with Mom and Sherri. They both hug us and congratulate us—then we go to meet Bill at the restaurant for our celebration.
We just get there and are seated, when Mom hands me a small box. I look in it and find a matching ring to mine. She winks and I place it on Vicki’s finger.
Of course, we all have red wine.
I am in a small piece of heaven when my phone buzzes in my purse. I reach in and pull it out. I see that it is Mrs. Vogel and I feel my face go pale.
I answer, “Hello? Mrs. Vogel?”
I hear the voice on the other end say, “Gerry? Sorry, Dee? I just wanted to let you know… Dan woke up and would love to see you if you can come? He is going to be fine!”
I promise to be there tomorrow and hang up.
Vicki looks at me, the question clear on her face. I simply say, loud enough for Mom to hear, too, “Dan is awake! He’s going to be fine! He’s awake!”
Of course, we have that and much more to celebrate.
I still don’t know what I am going to do in a few weeks when I have to decide on continuing on with hormones, or not. I love being Deirdre—and my nipples have finally stopped hurting and are growing much bigger. But Vicki has made it clear that she doesn’t care whether I am Dee or Gerry.
We’re getting married either way!
I look at the diamond on my finger and wonder if am technically supposed to still wear white?
Vicki asks, “What?”
I say, “Nothing, love. Just wondering about something… We have plenty of time to figure it out. Do you think your Dad will give me another tattoo for my graduation? I can’t stop thinking about that lovely feminine dragon that he showed us a while back!”
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