I was recently reading Scrambler J’s Diane Castle’s stories over at the Whateley Academy site, Crystal Hall. (Note: someone pointed out in the comments that, although Scrambler J originated the character and stories I’m referencing, they’re now being written – including the one I quote below – by Diane Castle. Sorry for the confusion!) I was struck by the following passage, written from the perspective of a teenage boy who, after manifesting an X-Men-style mutation, has been sent to live with a relative (who, unbeknownst to him, is trans):
What the hell had I gotten myself into? Greg had gone nuts and had turned into a female impersonator or something. I may have said that aloud, since the brunette gave me a nasty glare.
“Trev, this is my wife Janet.”
I stared at the brunette, “And are you a guy with a dick too?”
She glared back. “You are such a prejudiced little fuck! No, I’m a woman. I’m what we call a ‘GG’. That means genetically female. I just happen to love your sister Gracie. We’ll see whether I love her enough to put up with a piece of shit like you!”
I tried again. “Greg…”
“Grace!” they both snapped at me.
“Umm, okay, I don’t understand. You were my big brother. You drove a really nice Bentley. You played basketball for Chilton.” I took a breath and asked, “What the hell happened to you?”
They looked at each other and did that ‘silent signals’ stuff that Mother and Father sometimes did in front of us kids. Janet finally said, “Maybe you’d better explain, Gracie.”
Greg – I mean, Gracie – sighed, “Did you ever wonder if I was just a little different from the other guys?”
I admitted, “Well, no. I just always thought you were great. As a big brother. I mean, you were nicer to your little siblings than most of the older brothers I knew…” I thought for a minute and realized, “Hey! You never dated anyone! I mean, Paul went through the girls at Chilton like a buzzsaw, and David’s dating Melinda Hughes-Carling, and I took Ravenna Sainte James to the junior high prom, but you hardly ever dated anyone!”
“Right,” Gracie said. “I was having a hard time dealing with my own sexuality. I realized around about kindergarten or first grade that I was in the wrong body. I really wanted to be one of the kids who got to wear the pretty party dresses and style their hair with their mommies. Instead, I had to be Greg. I had to be someone I wasn’t, in a body that felt all wrong. And it just got worse as I got older. Proms and weddings were the worst. I had to wear a stupid tux and a choking necktie. The girls got to wear the most gorgeous dresses… It was torture. It was like working in a bakery and having my mouth sewn shut so I could never taste all the delicacies that were laid out in front of me.”
(Emphasis mine.) I’d like to offer this as an example of why trans fiction is valuable to me – it’s an opportunity to read about the experience of being trans, something that I can relate to and that isn’t found in tons of fiction.
As a reminder, I’m compiling my thoughts about trans fiction at this page on this blog. Feel free to stop by and check out my musings, as well as my reading list, and let me know if there’s something I should take a look at.