If body and gender identity don’t match, life is hard on people of any age. Hunter hasn’t felt whole since realizing in his teens that he isn’t Holly. As a teen with no hope, Hunter lived male in his head, but turned his female body over to sex, pregnancy, miscarriage.
By the age of thirty-nine, Hunter has saved enough to have Gender Confirmation Surgery, leading to legal identity as a gay man. His voiced deepens, and male pattern baldness sets in. He’s finally seen as a man. But without the final genital surgery, he still feels incomplete and lonely.
He’s in a bar nursing a martini as a tragedy unfold on the TV when a chance encounter from his long-ago past frightens him. Will Chris be another disappointment or a chance for happiness?
Enough musing. I’m sitting here in a gay club drinking, alone. I have the illusion of not being alone, at least, it’s warm and happy-sounding in here, and the martinis are exquisite. And I’m a man. I didn’t transition until I was thirty-nine years old, after a lifetime of low paid jobs because, after all, girls weren’t encouraged to learn anything worthwhile back then; well I know some did, but not me, I was too conflicted.
I finally had the money and got it done. The therapy, the counseling, the hormones, getting rid of the nasty boobs, and finally a hysterectomy. Yay! Happiest day of my life. Gradually my voice dropped and my hair did too, from my head to my ass and nostrils and ears, but oh well. It goes with the territory.
But I missed my youth; I had not had one, no male-privilege, no boys will be boys, no fun. No adventures. No slim young body that would have made me feel right. What I got was a middle age body, sun freckled, a scarred old thing with a bald head. I still liked guys, so there I was, gay. Yippee. Can you tell I still didn’t like myself much?
The football game on the television attracted the interest of many of the guys, which surprised me, as I’d thought all the gay guys were like me for a long time, not interested in bulk sports, but many were. Anyway, there was an interruption and the announcer said, “We interrupt this game to bring you news of a shooting outside a gay club in Detroit.”
Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch and listen. As the news went on, I started to cry. I wasn’t the only one. Several guys left to go home; others bought more drinks. Then someone slid into my booth next to where I was sitting and ordered himself another drink, and one more for me, as well. I tried to wipe my eyes so he wouldn’t know I was weeping.
“It’s okay, I feel like it too. I think we all do.” He patted my hand and looked from me to the television and back again. I noticed his eyes were a dark shade of green. His hair, what there was of it, was brown and curly and wafted around his head like a halo. “Here, use my sleeve,” He offered, joking, but I picked up a napkin and wiped them that way. I almost chuckled, though.
Then I really looked at him. God he was handsome -- well, to me anyway, not to some twenty-one-year-old, maybe. He had a few extra pounds on him and a ruddy complexion, like he worked outdoors. He was all man, and there was little moi, who always tried so hard to be strong and manly, weeping like a girl. He probably felt sorry for me. He probably knew I was trans. This sort of thing made me feel like a fake. I knew I’d play along though, because what was happening on the screen was too horrible to watch alone, and he probably felt the same way.