Telling Sexual Stories: Power, Change, and Social Worlds

By Ken Plummer | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Making sexual stories

I came to the conclusion that the inner dilemma was the one that had to be sorted out. I only came to that conclusion a couple of years ago, so that when I say I have sincerely tried, I mean it. I’ve tried for not less than fifteen years. For the most part I feel the time has been wasted, as I would have been better employed coming to terms with myself. But I couldn’t dress all the time. I thought that I was the only man who wanted to dress as a woman and that therefore I must be some kind of nut. Not being the sort of thing that people could talk about, and even less understand, there was nobody to tell me what I was all about. All I could do was grasp words that came up in Sunday newspapers—like homosexual, pervert, people in the twilight world and so on. But with my limited knowledge all these words seemed to me—seemed to be—synonymous. I assumed that everyone else would think they were too, and although I felt the News of the World descriptions didn’t apply to me exactly I still felt that I must belong to that category because nobody wrote to say that there was another group of people. Reading of the distaste shown by people, and of convictions brought about, etc. I felt that I must be wrong. Yet there wasn’t a wrong thought in my head. How is it that I should feel that I would be misinterpreted if I was to say what I felt? One paragraph read that ‘Maurice was standing in the dock wearing a flowered blouse, a pleated skirt and white heels’. All I could feel was envy that he had the guts to dress the way he did. Although later I came to realise that his motives were different from mine. I used to gather piles of old newspapers, a habit which has not yet dried, for any article that might throw some light on the subject. But all I found was a series of articles of varying types and lengths, about all sorts of odd situations in which men were dressed as women, and the only thing they had in common was the fact that they were objects of ridicule and social rejection. This led me to believe that I too would be an object of ridicule and rejection. So my secret had to be a closely guarded secret. Another set of articles that had a touch of sympathy, only a touch mind, were those sensational articles on people who had actually changed their sex. To me this was incredible. Men had actually become women. Now how I had absolutely no idea. So much for my knowledge. It was all found out from the public university of lavatory walls. And I didn’t believe half of it.

-32-

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