conveniently for Leslie
there was less of a need for a name change
when transitioning from one sex to another
unlike her penfriend Dave who became Davina
or Dave’s friend Mick who became Michaela

with a voice slightly too deep for comfort
we came to learn that Leslie was a ‘transgender’
a state of being not easily comprehensible
to our small town sensibilities
but we gave Leslie the benefit of our doubts

you can tell by the size of his hands
said one gran to her husband who tutted at the bus stop
by the ladies underwear shop that Leslie had just popped into
he doesn’t look too comfy in them high heels he said
and that dress looks like something your mum would wear

there was no denying that change was in the air
and Leslie was at the forefront of a new era
of emancipation despite the aggravation often encountered
when buying a pint in the Queen’s Head on a Saturday night
with red lipstick left as a statement on the rim of her glass

he would wait for the coast to clear
before heading out the back for a swift piss in the ladies loo
still getting used to the intricacies of his newly bought lingerie
that dug up his hairy buttocks and snagged his testacles
like winkles caught in a fishing net

by and large and as time passed by
we got used to seeing Lesley around the town
and even when she wore that pink shell suit and matching shoes
we didn’t much bother batting our eyelids in her direction
we just nodded and occasionally said hello

so it was with some surprise that we noticed
quite out of the blue that Lesley had moved on
the rumour mills gossiped and wove some stories together
about how she’d gone to the big city to have the chop
and would we see her back with bigger tits and without her nob

fucking queer / couldn’t stand her / glad she’s gone the dirty bugger
the banter down the boozer over pool and pints quickly changed
and before too long the whole town had turned against her for no real reason
and we never knew what became of Lesley or if she fully transitioned
but I always hoped she found some happiness in her own way


2 thoughts on “Leslie

  1. You offer an interesting perspective – how a small town reacts to something outside of their ‘norms’. Reminds me of a woman who frequented the dress shops of our local mall, never quite able to disguise her masculine traits, although she tried. At home, we hid a father, tortured because he could not be the woman he identified with, never able to freely strut his stuff. I am fascinated now by the show “Lost in Transition”. There was no talk of transgender when I was a kid, and no information to help us through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks for sharing those thoughts V.J. I wasn’t sure how this would come across but I’ve been heartened by some encouraging comments. Everybody deserves to be comfortable in their skin however that manifests itself. All the best, Colin.

      Liked by 1 person

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