He was a pretty boy from the very start – a beautiful baby, a lovely toddler, a sweet child that grew to be a good-looking teen that transformed into an adult with his Ying and Yang battling for superiority. And all this took place on the edge of the war-zone, so for the most part he knew little else than a state of fear, the sound of gunfire and explosive blasts. The threat of being conscripted was always a fear for his mother and himself, but they survived the Tiger threat as well as the constant barrage from the security forces over the many years the war dragged on. Somehow, miraculously almost, he finished his studies in Jaffna, passing his ‘A’ levels and was selected to enter university.

Even prior to adolescence he discovered that he was somewhat attracted to ‘girly’ stuff and sometimes pretended to be someone else, draping his mother’s saree around him, wearing a pottu and making himself up by improvising with whatever was available. His cousins, all older girls, pampered him and encouraged his make-believe play acting, but as he grew older with peer-group pressure, he began to think that he must conform to what was considered ‘normal’ for boys. And so he tried to fit in, playing the games they did and acting out the role he knew deep down was not really where he was at. He was often the subject of openly insulting remarks due to his slightly effeminate qualities and was bullied by some of the boys, but always had a few friends who would ensure he was okay. He even had a girlfriend who he genuinely cared for, but never experienced the sexual attraction for her in the manner in which his friends talked about their relationships.

His first real sexual encounter was with an older boy in school that he was infatuated with but never expressed his feelings for in any way, so it came as a surprise when he was invited for a swim in the lagoon, where one thing led to another – and that was that. It was somewhat of a terrifying experience, as an army foot patrol found them soon after they finished their swim and very nearly took them in for further questioning. It was only the chance arrival of the bicycling school principal who persuaded the soldiers that they were innocent students of his school that saved them from what, he shuddered even to think about. And that was the beginning of his realization of where he was at – sexually speaking.

Then, quite by chance, he came across an old album by David Bowie – Hunky Dory – and when he listened to it on a friend’s player he was hooked – by the words, and the cover in which Bowie was looking like an ethereal sylph. After that he kept re-playing the album – particularly the numbers Changes, Queen Bitch, The Bewlay Brothers, Oh You Pretty Things, Quicksand and Life on Mars. He liked the philosophical twist that he could relate to, but most of all, he loved the allegories and saw himself right in the middle of it all. The cross-dressing followed – in private at the start, but as he grew more confident of his ability to impersonate a girl to the extent that even he had difficulty in believing the transformation, he ventured out with one of his trusted friends and a cousin. He couldn’t believe the freedom he felt and also the joy that no one seemed to recognize that he was anything other than a rather attractive young woman. He even had some lewd remarks and piercing looks aimed at him by some of the forces personnel doing their rounds. This made him happy, but also a little bit scared.

In the meantime, he just couldn’t get Bowie singing Changes out of his head..

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Don’t tell t hem to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strain)
Ch-ch-Changes
Pretty soon you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

He sure could relate to the words and loved the music.

And then one evening, as he was getting ready to go over to his friend’s house to watch a movie, he heard the unmistakable sound of a heavy vehicle pull up near his home. Looking out of the window he saw four armed soldiers get out and walk to the door. His mother had gone to her niece’s earlier and hadn’t returned so he was alone. He felt his heart pound and a cold sensation all over as he wondered what to do. The banging on the door made it even worse, as he stood there all dressed up in a long skirt and jacket, midriff revealed and all made up – looking very pretty. He thought they must have figured out there was someone home, as the windows were open and the banging on the door continued.

**************************************

Java thinks this is getting to be rather on the long side and a bit boring to boot and suggested to leave it for now – so shall continue later. See https://javajones.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/androgyne-ii/

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