Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holly: a cross dresser without the glamour on the Manhattan subway

Holly's hair was a mess. It was dishevelled with bits sticking out here and there. This could have been the result of a day's hard work but I have a feeling that Holly (whose name I have made up) wasn't really any good at doing her hair anyway. Neither was she any good at applying makeup. The makeup just didn't conceal the ridges in her face and the lipstick was too bright. This is what comes of being a woman in a man's body but with a man's brain in the cosmetic and dressing department.

You could tell that Holly was man by her big hands, big frame and the man's face behind her makeup. There were no rings on her fingers. She was, I speculated, on her way home from work with two colleagues, women. She sat beside them on the subway from Canal Street to Times Square admiring a top that one of them had bought. In this, and in the way she sat demurely beside them, she was all feminine. Regardless of her hair and her makeup, the women seemed to accept her as one of themselves.

Holly was in her fifties and I wondered how many years of pushing in among the girls she had had to go through and what it had cost her to get to this point. There was nothing glamorous about her. She had to go to work like anyone else. Her fake, furry jacket could have come from a charity shop. She wore ordinary jeans and scuffed boots. If she wanted an operation to change her gender I doubt if she could afford it.

So she does what she can to be who she is and I had the feeling, as we stopped at Times Square, that she just might have been the most courageous person on the train.

(This is the complete post. Ignore the 'Continue reading' link below).

1 comment:

Jonzie said...

I loved this post. I found it very touching.