Gender reassignment

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it

I’ve just had a gender reassignment. Well, two, actually. It’s been a busy day. I was having my car washed at Market Town, in Leichhardt. I’d neglected to go for a wee before I left home, but I figured, no problem, I’m going to a shopping mall, and they’re bound to have a Gents.

By the time I had got there, handed the car over to the cleaning guys, selected and paid for a deluxe wash with interior vacuum, my need to relieve myself was urgent, verging on dire. I shot up the escalator to the floor where the loos were, only to find that the Gents was temporarily closed on account of some unspecified but catastrophic plumbing malfunction which was receiving urgent attention. Not as urgent, however, as my need to empty my bladder. I’m 71, and my ability to hold my water under these circumstances is not what it was.

So I did what Eddie Izzard does – I imagined I was a woman, and nipped into the adjacent Ladies. Luckily, there weren’t any real ladies in there right then, but by the time I’d reached the cubicles and was blissfully unburdening myself, I was fully, authentically, passionately identifying as a woman (I even had a vague inclination to sit down) and was quite prepared, if challenged, to assert my right to use the conveniences set aside for those of my new gender.

Heading back to pick up my car, I reflected on what a simple and useful cultural development this gender reassignment thing has been. I had for long assumed that a bloke wanting to turn into a woman needed to be prepared to lose the old fella, and take some rather nasty potions to change his voice and stop his beard growing. But no, it turns out to dead easy – you just think yourself into womanhood, and hey presto, you’re a woman, and fully entitled to all the amenities reserved for them.

By the time I’d reached my beautifully valeted car, I had thought my way right back into being a bloke again. It’s a bit stressy, I’ll admit, having two gender reassignments in one day, but if I get caught short again I’ll not hesitate to repeat the process.

Tom Forrester-Paton

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