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Encounter with a cross dresser


IT WAS on the day of Churchill’s funeral in January 1965 that I escaped from the cold into a café in Paddington to warm up over a coffee: the sort that we’d now call a cappuccino. At that time it was known as an espresso, and was invariably served in a Pyrex cup and saucer.

As I began to thaw out, alternately puffing at a cigarette and spooning up froth from the cup, I became aware of a middle-aged woman of more than usual homeliness smiling invitingly towards me from a nearby table. I smiled back. It would have seemed unkind not to. Instantly, she was on her feet, and pulling back the chair opposite me.

‘You don’t mind if I join you?’ Scarcely waiting for my reply, she sat down, and began to chat away in a desultory fashion. Something seemed to be bothering her: some affliction which she couldn’t quite bring herself to mention. Perhaps, like me, she was suffering from unrequited love. Not surprising: she really was quite startlingly plain, and that headscarf didn’t help. I offered her a ciggie.

‘Thank you,’ she said, as I tendered a light. She took a long, thoughtful puff. Then, leaning forward conspiratorially, she whispered, ‘You know, don’t you?’

Recoiling slightly, I nodded. Clearly, like me, she was struggling to get over yet another failed relationship. 

‘I knew you’d guessed,’ she continued. ‘It’s the hands, isn’t it?’  She sighed, large nose looming unattractively over bright scarlet lipstick, inaccurately applied.

I hadn’t actually noticed her hands until then. They, like her nose, were certainly large and, despite the deep red nail varnish, ungraceful.

‘It’s always the hands,’ she said sadly. ‘And the feet, of course.’

And the thick ankles, I lamented silently, self-absorbed as usual, and ruminating upon my own shortcomings.

Confident that I had cracked her secret, she leaned closer, and launched her bombshell. 

‘I’m a builder from Leeds,’ she confided, ‘with a wife and six children.’

I was stunned. In those days, of course, such naivety was pardonable. The agony aunts in Woman and Woman’s Own were discreet when it came to the more recondite human urges, and even three years at university among people whose sexual ethics diverged sharply from those of Clayhall Baptist Church and the suburbs from which I sprang had given me no hint of such things.

As her features reasserted themselves in line with reality, it struck me firstly that I must have been blind not to see beyond the illusion; and secondly, that he would probably make quite a passable man. But why, I wondered, was he so eager to blow his cover? Once I knew the truth, I would scarcely continue to behave as if he were a woman, nor, it seemed, did he expect me to. Not that there was the least element of hatred in my reaction: rather, I was overtaken by a wave of amazed sympathy; partly for him, but mainly for his wife and children. 

Autres temps, autres moeurs.

No twenty-one-year-old nowadays would be confounded by anything as tame as a transvestite, nor is the spontaneous female reaction towards a man caught masquerading as a woman (compassion, laughter or fear, as the case may be) forgivable, or even, in some places, legal. No, nowadays, with the advent of transgenderism, we must pretend to accept as reality what, in the mature but not yet geriatric male, is almost always an unconvincing sham: less Danny La Rue than pantomime dame, and as offensive to the aesthetic sensibilities as it is to rationality. (The person playing to packed houses as the US assistant secretary for health springs to mind.) The truth is that neither the scalpel nor a lifetime of drug dependency, as the body fights back, can suffice. It is impossible to change one’s sex, and to achieve a presentation of ‘gender’ successful enough to induce the suspension of disbelief, you need the looks of the lady boys of Thailand or the services of a magician. The actors who played Rosalind and Ophelia were, after all, teenagers.

Set aside, for a moment, what many would consider to be the criminal alliance of the medical and educational establishments, with the complicity of churches and government, in encouraging children to believe that it is actually possible for male to become female or vice versa when every cell in the body screams that this is a lie; set aside the wickedness of ‘the experts’ in telling parents that if they do not support their child’s delusory hopes of physical transformation, he or she may commit suicide; set aside the insanity of introducing men into female prisons and lavatories, or allowing them to compete against women on the sports field and in the boxing ring: the transgender agenda, like so much else being thrust upon us, is a full-frontal attack on our sanity.

Thinking back to the start of the covid regime, what caused me the most outrage was the demand that I make a public display of fealty to Unreason by queueing outside shops and putting on a mask, in violation of my own judgement and of my experience in previous pandemics. (Naturally, I refused to comply.)

The same attack on our minds is now being pursued in relation to the anthropogenic climate-change scam, as well-founded objections to an unproven hypothesis are slandered as ‘denial’, and irrational net-zero policies are forced upon us.

But it is the transgender issue that constitutes the most shameless assault of all, demanding that we acquiesce to a lie so obvious that it requires no scientific expertise to refute it.

There is no reason why a man should not pretend to be a woman, or vice versa, and dress and behave accordingly. Equally, there is no reason why I should be expected to discount the evidence of my own eyes and collude in that pretence. Why should the vast majority of the population be bullied into conflict with their own perceptions to pander to the sensibilities of people who, for whatever reason, are choosing to live a lie? If the deception is so good that it convinces me, fine. If not, only my personal decision to opt for politeness rather than reality, as individual situations present themselves, should induce me to pretend that it is.

For the children who have been cruelly misled by those who should have recognised their immaturity as a ‘protected characteristic’, and for their parents, many of whom have been subjected to a campaign of emotional blackmail to enforce compliance, the transgender ideology is a tragedy. For the public, hectored into accepting Widow Twankey as a real woman, it is one more attempt to obliterate reason and common sense in the construction of an obedient hive mind. We can but hope that this week’s publication of the Cass Review marks the beginning of the end of this insanity.

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Gillian Dymond
Gillian Dymond
Gillian Dymond is 78, a mother and grandmother living in the north-east of England.

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