"I know one or two guys who were out as gay first and then they started to dress,"
ponders Sandra. "That I find strange because a lot of what we do, it's the attraction
to women that starts it. We're so attracted to women that you want to become the woman."
Right, so not just playing the female role so you can be fucked by a man? It's hard
to get that old theory completely out of my little head.
"TV icons tend to be straight women - from Bet Lynch to Maggie Thatcher," proceeds
Sandra regardless, who has herself had deportment lessons and owns a very full wardrobe
but always has nothing to wear. "I haven't got an icon, there's nobody I base myself
on at all."
The plot is about to thicken.
Enter Judith: a transsexual, 'pre-operative' since 1978, until the operation itself
in 1983 on the good old NHS at Charing Cross Hospital. She's a woman and that's
official: the law allows you - TV or TS - to change all of your IDs, except your
birth certificate, much to the chagrin of many TSs.
"I'm mainly heterosexual now," says Judith within her long-standing female role.
"I never considered myself to be gay before the operation - always transsexual -
although I used to go around with gay guys before I really knew what was happening."
"I think I had a TS gene myself," she continues. "I started to grow breasts when
I was sixteen, my hips were wider than my shoulders, my testicles didn't drop and
I had a very tiny penis. I also never had any hairs on my body. The desire for sex
with a man had nothing to do with me wanting the op."
Another dent in the old 'ill-at-ease-with sexuality' theory!
"The operation was very painful," winces Judith, who never felt like she was being
treated as mentally ill at the hospital - despite her school sending her to see
a psychiatrist from the age of eight. "They remove the testicles and take the
insides of the penis out and turn it inside out into a vagina. They put you on
very strong painkillers afterwards and you're stuck in bed for a week. Then you
have to take hormones and wait a couple of years before you're ready to have sex,
in case your body reverts."
"In my experience, gay men don't like TSs," complains Judith. "They like TVs better
because they look upon it as a drag act, just a bit of fun" - which certainly isn't
how TVs see it. "And the gay media don't seem to pay any interest or show much