Once upon a time, when I was 19.

I woke up this particular morning, 26 years ago, and decided that I would go out en femme like I had done so many times before.

This time I decided, however, I would go to another town to shop. A town where nobody knew me. I chose Anderson, Indiana because it was close.

I got all dolled up in my finery of choice, white blouse, short black skirt, black hose and heels and off I went. The drive was amazing. I looked good.

I pulled in to Mounds Mall and drove around to the back side (no jokes please) and got out of the car to head in. About half way to the entrance I got the feeling that perhaps I should not do this so I turned around and went back to the car.

Upon entering the car I sat and thought about other possibilities and what stores I knew. I pulled out deciding to go to K-Mart. As I was leaving I passed a dark car with dark tinted windows. It didn’t strike me as unusual at the time. Off I drove.

I got to K-Mart and again was hit with this feeling of not really wanting to go in so I pulled out. As I was driving away, I passed that car along the road. This time, I decided, I was going to Target and that was that.

I got up to Target’s door and realized I had forgotten my money in the car so I went back. There was the car again. I got in and quickly drove to K-Mart thinking if I went in I could see who was in that car if they followed me in and report them. I got there and went in but nobody followed. I stayed close to the entrance and customer service desk but nobody came in. I went back to the car again and decided I should just go back home.

As I got to the main street, Scatterfield,  I decided to run by Fashion Bug because I had a card there and I desperately wanted to shop as Jenn. I pulled in and was about to get out when I saw the dark car again. This time someone got out and walked past my car. A man, about mid 30s, walked by toward the plaza and then walked back. Well, that was that. I was heading home.

I pulled out of the lot and was back on Scatterfield when a motorcycle cop passed me and quickly turned around and hit his lights and siren. He pointed at me and I pulled off into the nearest parking lot….a Perkins restaurant. Then here came the car that had been following me.  Everyone in the restaurant came to peer out the window at what was about to take place.

The cop stood by my car as the other guy came up and asked for my license. I got into my purse and pulled out the DL. “This here says you’re a guy”, said the guy from the car, “seems we got a little discrepancy going on. You a guy or a girl?” “a guy”, I meekly replied.

“Well, what were you doing?”
“I was driving around and…”
“I mean back there in the parking lot.”
“I was debating on whether to go in to shop or go home.”
“Oh I think you was bating alright, but not DEbating.”
“What are you talking about?!”
“I think you know and I want to hear you say you were masturbating. Look, you ain’t the first guy to try this. Hikin up your skirt to..”
I interrupted, “I most certainly was NOT!”
“You callin me a liar?”
“No, but I wasn’t doing anything.”
“I say you’re callin me a liar.”
“no sir.”
“If you don’t agree then you’re sayin I’m lyin.”
“No, I’m just saying you didn’t see what you must have thought you saw.”
“Look. I’m gettin tired of this. You better tell me what I want to hear or I’ll arrest you right now.”
He walked away and the motorcycle cop came up to the car. “You really should just tell him what he wants to hear. It would be easier. Believe me you don’t want to make him mad.”

I knew nothing about good cop/bad cop and I was scared shitless. The undercover cop came back up. “So, you gonna tell me?”
“yes sir”
“Well let’s hear it.”
“You were right. I was.”
“Was what?”
“What you said.
“yes.” I said this in the meekest position ever known to me. I was lying. I hadn’t been doing that. I had honestly just been sitting there and when I saw him walk by I freaked and decided not to go in and just get home.  However, I still never said I was doing that, just agreeing with what he accused me of.

“Get outta the car.”

I got out and they proceeded to go through my car. They went through everything. Then my purse. Inside they found a letter from my girlfriend at the time.
“Does she know? Bet she’d love to hear about this.”
“Yes, she does know.”  This took him by surprise and momentarily took the wind out of his sails, but not for long.
“Bet your dad doesn’t. Where does he work?”
I told him.
“Bet he’d be real proud to get a call from us to come and get you.”  I began to tear up and begged for him not to do that.  I knew what would come if my dad received this phone call at work.

Then came the squad car. They gave me back my purse and the new officer came to get me. He took me roughly by the arm and said to get in. “Your chariot awaits, princess.” All the way to the station he talked about picking up prostitutes and he-she’s in the park and that I should fit in just fine.

When we got to the station he marched me inside. As soon as we walked in there was a large group of detectives that started hooping and hollering and whistling. They had been told I was coming.

He took me upstairs and locked me in one of the interrogation rooms. As I sat there wondering what was to happen, they all took turns standing outside the door and talking loudly.
“I think we should throw it in with the drunks in the holding cage. They’d love that.”
“We should make it strip and then laugh at it.”
All sorts of things were said.  I sat there as patiently as I could, all the while fighting back that instinct of ‘fight or flight’.  Finally the original detective came in and talked to me. I’m sure he had been behind the mirror watching what I did as they mocked.

His attitude had lightened up a bit. “You know I can book you on public indecency for that. For being dressed like that, you know?”
“no sir”
“You know, though, it took me quite a while to figure out if you was a guy or not. Really not until I spoke to you. So I guess, good job on that.”
“So, do you shave your legs?”
“yes sir”
“What are your boobs made of? They ain’t real, are they?”
“Nerf balls.”
“Hmm. Nerf balls huh?”
“Well, I’m gonna let you go, but you have to see a shrink about your problem. If I don’t have a letter from them in 3 days I’ll issue a warrant for your arrest.”
“Now, let’s go get our picture taken, sweetheart.”

He took me to the next room and had me stand where they take your mug shots. Side, front, side. Then without the wig.

“You’re free to go. We impounded your car so you’ll have to get a cab to take you there.”
“Can’t you take me?”
“Sorry, I’m not a cabbie. And remember. 3 days. Then I want a phone call from you every Friday updating me. If not, I’ll issue the warrant.”

I called a cab to get me and went down to wait. On the way down I put the wig back on and tried to compose myself. I waited outside for the cab to arrive, as I just HAD to get out of the station. He pulled up and I got in.
“Where to?”
I told him I needed to get money and then go to the pound yard to get the car.
“Yes ma’am.” he said.

When we arrived at the yard he told me he would stick around in case anything happened…which was not very reassuring.

I went in and there were two rednecks at the counter. As soon as I spoke they started to laugh at me and went to the back to send out their secretary to wait on me. All the while they were in the back gawking and laughing and making rude comments. She was quite polite and got me out of there quickly.

I went back to the cabbie and gave him a $20 tip for staying around and thanked him over and over. He even stuck around till I got in my car and had gotten out of the gates.

Upon arriving home I spent the afternoon traumatized and kept waiting for the phone to ring. It did not. I purged everything I had.  It all went in bags and then to Goodwill.

I spent the next day waiting for something in the paper or something to be sent home or anything at all, but nothing happened.

I ended up talking to a counselor at Ball State and it was the best thing that could have happened. She helped me embrace this side of me rather than drive it away.

She sent the letters he wanted. I made the phone calls. My last phone call, the cop told me that if he ever caught me in Anderson again like that he would arrest me on the spot. To this day, if I drive through Anderson while dressed, I get very nervous. I still drive through, as I have a good friend that lives there. We would go to some goth nights in Indy and then I’d have to drive home.

I guess it made me a little stronger in the end, but I wouldn’t want to relive it or have anyone else experience that ever.

I may have to write about the counselor. She was tremendous.

As I have stated before.  Everything that has happened to me has helped make me who I am.  It has made me a fighter.

About Jennifer

She grew up in an Indiana town Had a good-lookin' mama who never was around But she grew up tall and she grew up right With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights Well, there are partial truths above. Being from Indiana, I did grow up in an Indiana town. I did not have a good lookin mama, but she was always around.'I did not grow up tall, but I suppose I grew up right. I spent lots of time with Indiana boys on Indiana nights. It's because I was one. Still am in some ways. Certainly not in others. My transitional journey has begun. Goodbye to my male self and hello to this wonderfully feminine world in which I was meant to live. At the age of 45, I am beginning my true journey to self and home.
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5 Responses to Once upon a time, when I was 19.

  1. bronzegirl says:

    Wow, I remember you telling me this, but to read it with all the details….it’s despicable, you didn’t do anything illegal, and the detectives were a bunch of red-neck assholes. You have told stories of the general public accepting you, it’s obvious some of these cops are getting their kicks enjoying the power of authority. Bad cop. Bad, bad, cop. It’s very scary that someone so sexually and emotionally juvenile should have the authority to carry a deadly weapon…sigh…
    Glad your counselor did the right thing and encouraged you to embrace your true self.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you. It really is a different story read as opposed to said, though the telling of it will reflect stronger emotions, from the teller, me. 😉

      I will always be indebted to the counselor. I wish I could remember her name. She was magnificent.

  2. Tracy says:

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this harrowing ordeal…insensitive ignorant jerks doesn’t really even begin to described those guys. I’m early on in my transition (ftm, though) and of course have heard of such horror stories like yours, or ones that have been somewhat sensationalized in the media, but reading your story with its details literally made me sick to my stomach. It’s makes me so angry, and a bit fearful, to know that not only did this happen years ago, but those cops’ sentiments probably still exist today in many others. So glad this made you stronger instead of breaking you!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you so much. I think it is important to show others that, though these feelings exist, you can get through them and grow from them.

      It is pathetic that it exists today, in so many of our heralded offices (police, emt, hospital, fire). I can, sometimes, get pretty mouthy (in a humorous and thoughtful way) when faced with such hatred, but in this case I knew how ugly it could turn right away. I am just glad it was in broad daylight with a lot of witnesses. It could have been very bad.

  3. Pingback: Different Stages | deviant thoughts

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