Author: L.H. Adams
Location: Paris, France
L.H. Adams is an LGBT and queer activist, particularly in the area of transgender visibility. In this story he paints an almost fairy tale-like picture, full of hope and the belief that life could be beautiful if only we remember the important things. He has been writing fiction and nonfiction, in English and Hebrew, for over ten years, under different names and on different topics. He currently resides in Paris, France.
Boy Meets Girl: A Trans Tale
Boy and girl meet—her waist slim, his shoulders broad—and they fall in love. The boy whispers sweet nothings in her ear, the girl rests her head on his hairy chest. That's what heterosexual dreams are made of, isn't it? Wait, wait.
Wedding bells are ringing; the girl's gown is a dazzling white, her nails are done in a tasteful pink. There are pink daffodils in her sister's hands, there are pink daffodils in her hair. She's the happiest bride, glowing with joy. The boy is in a light suit, pearl grey, his tie matching her flowers. He couldn't be happier. They kiss, and young love blossoms.
They build a house together, cozy and beautiful, and plant an apple tree in the yard. Sometimes she bakes pies. Sometimes he works in the garage.
Sometimes, in the darkness of the garage, he wipes the grease stains from his hands on his jeans and takes out an old shoe box, tied in a string, from the very back of the rickety, plaster-covered cupboard in the back. He opens it almost with reverence. There are shoes inside, high-heeled shoes his size. He tries them on. He takes a few steps, from one end of the car to the other. Nothing more. Then he hurries to hide them again, the string-tied box stuffed behind a pile of old newspapers. He walks back into the house and washes his hands. When he enters the bedroom, his wife stands there in shorts and nothing else. She stares at her breasts in the full-length mirror. She covers them with her hands, then turns to him.
"Would you still love me if I didn't have these?" she asks in a small, sad voice.
"I will love you always," he swears. He wraps his arms around her. She rests her head on his chest.
She starts wearing tighter bras and looser shirts. When she packs crates of her clothes to give to charity, floral dresses, pretty blouses, he sneaks some out of the piles and takes them to the cupboard in the garage.
Some time passes in tense, uneasy bliss. Then comes a point when it isn't enough.
The girl finds out she's not a girl at all. She may look like one to some people, her birth certificate may claim she's female, but that's not who she really is. And she can't lie to herself anymore, and she can't lie to the ones she loves. Nervous, fearful, she tells the boy. There are tears gleaming in her eyes. The boy holds her to him and swears his love again. What he feels is relief more than shock. He knows he married the love of his life; girl or boy, it doesn't matter. Her confession gives him the courage. He thinks of the shoes in the garage. He thinks of his dreams. He takes a deep breath, and tells his bride that he found out, a while ago, that he is not a boy at all.
It's a new situation, and a frightening one. Baby steps were already taken, but now they are taken out in the open. Concepts slowly change, language slowly changes. Sometimes it's one step forward, two steps back. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes too scary to contemplate. But they have each other, and they have their love.
The new boy with the breasts starts wearing a contraption called a binder, to hide his chest even better under the shirts he now borrows from his loved one's closet. The new girl without the breasts buys a special padded bra that brings curves where there were only flat muscles before. The boy cuts his hair short, and with each lock that falls to the ground he feels lighter, and with each lock a tear of relief falls too. The girl takes to wearing scarves with her dresses, to soften her broad shoulders. She uses her wife's old makeup, her wife's unused lipstick and frosty pink nail varnish. The boy tells his sister, the one who was his bridesmaid. She cries and hugs her new brother, hugs her new sister-in-law.
The girl and the boy are very happy together in their cozy, beautiful home. Sometimes he bakes. Sometimes she works in the garage. Sometimes they go to parades, walking proudly down the boulevard with its thousand placards and thousand colourful flags raised. They hold hands and their wedding rings touch. Sometimes they get strange looks, and all they can do is smile their beaming happiness at others, smile their joy to the world.
Every now and again they sit down in their living room in the evening, in front of the turned-off television set, and look at their wedding album. The memories in the photographs are as bright as the day the pictures were taken, showered with sunlight and joy. They lean against each other, curled together on the sofa, and laugh fondly at the boy in her dazzling white dress, at the girl in his pearl grey suit. They think about how much things have changed since that day, and about how much they've remained the same. The girl then softly caresses the boy's newly stubbled cheek. He looks at her and she swears her love to him once again, as she had the day they married.
The boy still likes colouring his nails a subtle pink on occasion. It gets him strange looks sometimes, but they don't care. He knows who he is, now. And he still loves to rest his head on his girl's changing chest.
This story is dedicated to all the transgender people who live a happy, fulfilling life, and to all those we remember, who were murdered and abused for being who they are.