Another week, another radio interview. This was a short exchange over the phone during a local radio programme. They were discussing a local young man who was wanting surgery to confirm his gender but he had a long wait on the NHS and was hoping to go private. I think I was brought in a second transgender person but they never got round to asking me “the question” viz. Should GRS be available on the NHS? Of course it is at the moment with horrendous waiting times because demand massively exceeds supply. I hope I was able to put across the difficulty of understanding exactly how a transsexual feels about their body and the desperate need to change it and that failing to acknowledge this need can lead to suicides (or mental health problems that cost the NHS more than the surgery.) I was cut a bit short because they were going off to speak to an “expert”. No idea who that was or what they had to say.
Anyway, I failed again to promote Jasmine so I’d better do it here. Below is the second instalment in the new Jasmine Frame prequel set in the time just before she entered the police force.
Aberration Part 2
Jasmine rose just before noon and slumped in front of the TV in vest and short skirt. It was a hot day so she had the windows wide open and the curtains drawn to stop the flat becoming an oven. The athletics events were getting underway and she looked forward to seeing some great races but she found herself disinterested. She had to admit that bar work in the evenings while Angela worked a regular day was a bore. She had little to do in the daytime, no money for trawling round the shops or finding other entertainment and all the time they spent together they were asleep. Still, this evening was a chance to be together, to do something they both enjoyed – dancing. But they couldn’t stay out too late because Angela had work in the morning. This pressure of being careers people was a new experience.
Late in the afternoon Jasmine spurred herself to exercise. She changed into shorts and running vest, removing her bra and fillers. James pulled on his trainers and set off. A short run through the straight narrow roads of the Victorian superb brought him to the River Kennet and he set off along the riverbank path towards the Thames. It was still rather too warm to be completely comfortable but he enjoyed the feeling of the air on his face and his feet pounding out the metres. He noticed that he wasn’t at the peak of fitness he had been a few months earlier when he had been competing for the university. Holiday and getting down to work had taken precedence over exercise. He resolved to get back into regular roadwork so he would be fully fit for his police training.
An hour later James returned to the flat feeling enervated and virtuous. He went straight into the shower. Having let the tepid water cool him he shaved his legs, arms and ‘pits noting that the growth revealed how long it had been since he had last been “out” as Jasmine. He dried himself off and tucked his bits into a pair of stout knickers. Jasmine put on a clean, attractive bra and inserted her falsies. She went to the kitchen and began to prepare the salad for their supper.
She was tossing the mixture of salad leaves, cheese and boiled egg when Angela staggered through the door, hair plastered to her head and shirt drenched with perspiration.
‘I hate working in an office in this weather,’ she moaned.
‘No air conditioning?’ Jasmine asked, chuckling.
‘You must be joking. The windows don’t open either. It’s been baking.’
‘Go and get under the shower. Dinner’s ready but can wait.’
‘There’s no rush is there? This nightclub won’t be open till late will it?’
‘Ten.’ Jasmine glanced at her watch. It wasn’t quite seven. ‘There’s hours yet. Time for lots of things before we get tarted up.’ Angela returned his cheeky smile and started to undress.
The dancefloor was filling up and bouncing to Ultrabeat’s “Pretty Green Eyes”. Jasmine liked dancing at LGBT nights. It meant that two girls like her and Angela dancing together wouldn’t attract guys hoping to make a conquest as invariably happened at a straight club. Even in their short summer dresses they could be seen as a lesbian couple having fun or even two trans girls out together. It was getting steamy and with her long blonde wig making her overheat, Jasmine was getting uncomfortable. Jasmine took Angela’s hand and lead her to the edge of the dancing.
‘I need a drink to cool down,’ Jasmine shouted to be heard.
‘I’ll fight my way to the bar. Stay here.’ She eased through the crowd surrounding the bar and finally got within hailing range of a barman. She’d done this enough times now to not feel nervous speaking to strangers, and especially at a special night for LGBT folk she felt comfortable in who she was – a bloke who liked being a girl. Or was it that, perhaps she was really a girl who happened to have a man’s body. Jasmine/James was still torn and confused. In their lovemaking earlier that evening he had played the expected male role but while inside Angela, wrapped together, moving as one, she had nevertheless felt that it was Angela fucking her. She kept that to herself; Angela could cope, in fact was comfortable with, James being Jasmine much of the time, but Jasmine wondered how Angela would feel if she became Jasmine permanently and surgically. Still for now it didn’t matter. They were having a great evening together and all she needed was a long, cool drink.
She was hemmed in by two blokes; on her right a muscular, bald guy wearing leather straps rather than a shirt; the man on her left was about her height with short, dark hair which had been gelled into spikes. There was sweat running down the side of his face. He had a light jacket on over a loose fitting, open neck shirt. There was a familiar look about him and then he spoke to the barman. Jasmine recognised the voice and was speaking a greeting before she had thought.
The young man turned his head to look at her. There was a hint of a shadow around his chin and jaw and surprise in his eyes.
‘It’s Andy,’ it was an attempt at a growl but it came out more as a squeak, ‘Do I know you?’
‘Andy! Of course,’ Jasmine gasped, realising what was happening. She wiped the hair from her face. ‘I’m Jasmine.’
Andy looked confused, ‘I don’t know a Jasmine but you’re sort of . . .’
Now it was Andy’s turn to gasp. The barman put a glass of lager down in front of Andy and took the note from his hand. Andy continued to stare at Jasmine. The barman put the change down by the glass and shouted at Jasmine.
‘What do you want, luv?’
Jasmine was jerked out of the locked gaze with Andy, ‘Er, two pints of grapefruit and soda. Thanks.’ The barman nodded and moved off.
‘You’re a . . . a tranny,’ Andy said loud enough for Jasmine and their near neighbours to hear.
Jasmine nodded, ‘Something like that. And you?’
Andy’s eyes showed fear. ‘Don’t tell Kevin.’
The barman placed the two glasses beside Jasmine and mouthed a price. Jasmine rummaged in her shoulder bag for the cash and handed it over. Andy picked up his beer and started to move away.
‘Andy, wait. Let’s talk.’ Jasmine grabbed her change from the barman, and clutching the two glasses hurried to follow Andy through the masses. Sticky liquid slopped over her hands.
Jasmine caught Andy up at the edge of the crowd.
‘Tell me Andy. What are you afraid of?’
Andy retreated into the dark recess at the edge of the room. Jasmine followed.
‘Look Jim, er Jasmine, I don’t want anyone to know.’
‘Know what? That you’re a man, F to M? Is that it?’
Andy sighed. ‘I AM a man. I know it. I should be. But . . .’
‘But what, Andy? If you’re sure, then you can transition.’
‘I can’t,’ Andy’s voice wavered. ‘It’s not just Kevin and what he’d say. I’d lose my job; and It’s my family. It would kill them if I said I was their son not their daughter. It’s bad enough that they think I’m a lesbian.’
Jasmine knew how difficult it was. Holly, her sister, was the only one in her own family to know about Jasmine.
‘I know it’s difficult,’ she said, ‘But you look great.’
Andy snorted. ‘Hmph, hardly. Not with these great things.’ He thumped his chest with his spare hand.’
Jasmine saw that Andrea’s breasts were less prominent than usual. ‘You’re wearing binding?’
‘Yeah, and it’s bloody uncomfortable. That and putting a touch of make-up on to give myself a hint of a shadow. It’s make believe. I want to be a real man. Have these off, get rid of my ovaries, take testosterone.’
Jasmine nodded in agreement. ‘You could, and now we’ve got the Gender Recognition Act, you could change your birth certificate and all that.’
Andy shook his head. ‘It’s all going to cost. I’ve got no savings. I need my job and my folks to support me and they won’t. They’d say I was being stupid and selfish and should be happy with what I was born with. Don’t you get that?’
‘I have Angela and I’m not planning on transitioning. I like being Jasmine but I don’t want anyone else to know either.’ Especially the police, Jasmine added silently.
‘Right. So none of this gets back to Kevin.’
Jasmine nodded. ‘Agreed. Look come and meet Angela. She’ll be wondering what’s happened to me.’
Andy shrugged and followed Jasmine towards the dancefloor where they found Angela looking anxious. Angela’s eyebrows rose when she saw Jasmine with a fella.
‘This is Andy,’ Jasmine roared over the noise of Liberty X, ‘Let’s go somewhere quiet for a chat.’
They climbed to the floor above to one of the dimly lit chillout rooms which was empty. Andy and Angela greeted each other. Jasmine encouraged Andy to talk about himself and although reluctant at first he was soon describing occasional outings and his lifelong and daily desire to leave his existence as Andrea behind. Jasmine and Angela each tried to reassure and encourage him but couldn’t offer a way out of his dilemma.
Angela yawned, ‘Oh, sorry, you’re not boring me, Andy, it’s just that I was up early for work this morning and I’ve got to do it all over again tomorrow.’ Jasmine glanced at her wristwatch and saw that it was gone 1 a.m.
‘Oh, heck, yes. It’s getting late. Look Andy I’ll see you at work.’
Andy’s head dropped. ‘You won’t see me, you’ll see Andrea.’
‘Yes, and I’ll be James, but we must meet up again. How often are these sessions.’
Andy screwed up his face, ‘Just once a month.’
‘OK, well perhaps there’s other places we could go. Perhaps we could meet during the day?’
‘You two would look fine in a straight club or a coffee shop,’ Angela said.
Jasmine nodded but Andy looked doubtful.
‘Anyway, I’d better get Angela home for her beauty sleep,’ Jasmine said, taking Angela’s hand. ‘See you soon, Andy.’
The air was still warm outside the club, as Jasmine and Angela walked arm in arm. It wasn’t too far to walk from the town centre to their flat and it was a lot cheaper than a taxi.
‘What do you make of Andy?’ Jasmine asked.
‘He’s a nice boy,’ Angela said.
Jasmine frowned, ‘I’m worried. He should transition but he sees so many barriers in front of him.’