Are you in this gang - or not ?

"The three of us were a gang, Rachel, Charles and me, Johnny. So we did everything together."

Intro - The SisterDom is a group of wonderful women who know that it is important to help their men to access and, when they are comfortable with the concept, to release their inner girlhood. These women are willing to train and transition their new-girls using a variety of simple techniques, sometimes with a touch of ‘domination’ and strong encouragement. Characters overlap between the stories.

Charlie / Faith Miller aged 13 the narrator
John / Joy Firth 13
Rachel Goodfellow 13 who has two elder sisters, Sandy & Fiona
*Leonie shop assistant, mid 20s

- - - - - - - -

Are you in this gang - or not ?

Joy began the story first, with regular interruptions from the others.

We were a gang, really, the three of us, Charlie, Rachel and myself. With our birthdays only weeks apart and our houses only streets apart, we had known each other for several years and grown up as a team. Three young kids just on the edge of becoming teenagers. We did all the usual things, bicycling, larking about in the nearby woods, and what we didn't do together, we talked about. It might surprise you what we talked about and how sensibly - for example, we learnt about those bicycle-shed topics such as reproduction when Rachel talked about the changes to her body as she became a teenager. We weren't interested in sex, certainly not within the gang - it would have been too close to home. But, by golly, we talked about everything. I suppose Rachel's openness in talking about herself might have shown her how much she could teach us.

The time that my life changed was early one spring, a month after the three of us reached thirteen. We were some way from anyone's house and the rain started pelting down. It had been a nice warm day, so what we had was dripping within seconds. We were soaked by the time we got home to Rachel's place. Rachel's mum insisted on us putting on something dry - and as chance would have it - all the clothes in the house were for girls. Not too surprising really, her husband had died a few years before leaving her with three daughters - Rachel and her two older sisters, Sandy and Fiona. And when I say they were girls, there wasn’t a pair of jeans or plain t-shirts – these three were all girls who liked dresses and frocks and every variety of pink and frothy.

There were some complaints from the two of us, but we were more interested in getting our sodden clothes off so that they could dry. It was only when we had done this, that our alternative clothing was presented. Rachel was considerably slimmer than we were so almost none of her daytime clothes were going to fit. I was the nearest in size to her but the choice was really limited to looser fitting nighties.

So, there we three were at six o'clock on a bright summer evening - Charles in a pretty pink nightie and silky dressing gown, me, John in an even prettier white nightie with red edging and a peach satin wrap, and our friend Rachel in some of her own ordinary clothes. At first glance, there were three young girls on the sofa. Rachel's mum took the quick glance and liked it, her second glance to reveal two male heads was less pleasing.

I saw her eyes flash a message to Rachel and fluff her hair up as if to say, their hair is terrible. Rachel smiled in return and left the room to fetch combs and brushes and things.

Her mother then announced "You've got to stay until your things are dry, dears. But it looks horrid seeing you like that. Can I please pretty you up a little. Just a little game to see if I can't make you a bit more real. Instead of a couple of boys in my Rachel's nighties which I have to say does look terribly wrong. So, since you are already wearing nighties curled up next to my darling daughter, I'd far rather see a set of girls. Can we have a go and do something with your hair and so on. Treat it as an adventure. I can't believe that friends of Rachel aren't game for a bit of a lark. It would be fun to have three girls back on that sofa. It seems so seldom that Sandy and Fiona come to stay."

It was hard to argue and everybody loves a game. Rachel had already guessed what was going to happen. It took me a few moments extra. Charles was the first to be prettified. He sat there with a silly smile on his face as his hair was brushed and blown into what I could only call a girl's style – it was thick and quite long, a good inch or so past his collar. I sat watching with amazement as he continued to say nothing. Gradually, his face and head became that of a girl. I was bemused at his acceptance of this transformation. As expected, Rachel’s mum did his hair first – but then they went on. Rachel began to give him a manicure and to paint his nails while her mum actually put a touch of makeup onto my mate’s face.

I sat waiting for my turn, simultaneously horrified yet intensely excited.

Then Charles-the-girl was completed and three female heads turned to face me. It was hard to say which of the two young ones was the prettier. I smiled at them, concealing my nervousness.

I can't remember which of them said, "Now it's your turn to become a look-alike girl." It might have been any of them. I was so dumbfounded at the turn of events that I too sat silent while my tutors worked on me.

Charles did his bit too. He had said before that his sister sometimes asked for his help with her nail-varnish. But his skill was clearly the result of more than occasional practice as he manicured my hands and nails to a glossy, dark red sheen. I watched as he did this. My mate, sitting beside me in a delightfully frilly soft nightie, painting my nails to look like those of another teenage girl. I was transfixed by what he was doing, and I almost ignored the tug and pull as my hair was teased into a suitable style.

I had turned in my seat so that all three could share the work. This meant that I could not look in the mirror to see the gradual stages of my conversion. It took quite a long time and I must confess that I didn't enjoy it all. The little puffs of scented foundation as my own skin was covered up were inconvenient but as nothing to the quite considerable pain as Rachel plucked half a dozen eyebrows. I squeaked at the first one, but subsided as she said 'there's only a couple to do. I couldn't leave them all straggly and horrid. But don't worry, I won't leave you permanently as a girl.'

At last, I was transformed. Rachel passed me a mirror so that I could look at my new self. It was a true transformation. I saw no evidence of John - a girl was looking back at me. "It's not possible," I muttered, but my soft whisper was still heard by the others who I could see smiling at me.

"You look adorable, dear. And so do you, Charles," said Rachel.

"I couldn't agree more, Rachel," said her mum. "I think it's been such fun - I'm almost sorry that you'll have to stop this adventure soon and go home. It's getting late and though I haven't checked whether your things aren't dry, we'll have to send you home soon."

My face sank as I realised that this meant I would have to stop this exciting adventure and go home dressed once more in my probably still damp clothes. Everyone saw how unhappy I was at the prospect.

Rachel spoke first, "If I look harder, there's probably some dry things I can I can lend both of you. The easy bit is - d'you want to have a pair of my panties?"

I smiled and nodded almost as fast as Charles did. "I really should say no, but I'd really hate to put wet things on again."

"Speak for yourself, Johnny. As for me, Rachel, I'd love to wear a pair of your panties," spoke Charles.

I felt myself sneer at his eagerness and Rachel snapped out, "I don't know what you're looking like that for. You agreed just as fast as he did. You didn't even pretend to wonder if any of your things were dry yet. So much for the macho image, my pretty boy. You're already wearing a nightie and you've just agreed to wear panties. You've got painted nails and painted face, your hair is hardly boyish. My friend John, you look like a girl so behave like one." There was really nothing to say.

While I was suffering this tirade, Charles sat opposite me, still in his nightdress, his knees pressed together and his hands folded on his lap. It was quite impossible to see another boy. I was outnumbered and so, with remnants of unwillingness, I went upstairs with Charles so that Rachel could choose a pair of panties for her two new girls.

Actually it was rather fun. Rachel insisted on measuring us, waist and hips, of course, and just for a laugh, our chest too. She had a little chart and jotted all the numbers down; foot-size, length of leg, thigh, hip, waist, chest, neck, length of torso, so many I lost track. When she started, Rachel was giggling, but as she continued she got more and more serious.

I started to tease her a bit, "What's all this measuring thing for? You're only lending us a pair of panties to go home in." She stared at me for a moment, clearly she had forgotten the reason for having two boys in her bedroom. I had no idea what she was thinking of.

"Well, I want to make sure. There's nothing worse than having clothes that don't fit nicely. For your first adventure in panties, I want to be certain that everything is right." I couldn't read anything from her expression.

"This pair should fit you, Charles, and this pair is for you, Johnny." Mine were rather plain but they did have a pretty pink bow at the side, Charles had a much more ornate pair, with frills at the hem and ruffles down the front. I knew that I looked envious, because I caught his expression of sly pleasure. I held them in my hand for a moment, not sure what I was to do next.

"Come on, put them on."

I stood on one foot then the other so that I could hook them past my foot and slide them up my legs. They felt different from anything I had ever worn before, stretchy yet clingy. The sheer nylon whispered up my legs - and I liked the feeling. I wriggled them up beneath my nightdress and eventually stood triumphant.

Rachel said crossly, "Well, show us how well they fit then. Get that nightie off so that we can see."

I swallowed nervously. Stand almost naked in front of a girl and my best friend-in-a-dress! But my body was more obedient than my head. I stood and took off the flimsy, soft nightdress and the wrap. I dropped them on the floor but quickly picked them up and folded them neatly onto the bed before anyone could say anything. So - there I stood, in my first pair of panties, awaiting comment from my friends.

"Those look awfully pretty, Johnny," Charles said. "But what about me," and he cast off his garments to stand revealed in his first panties. He pirouetted slowly so that we could all admire. I had to confess they did look sweet. I said so, and gulped at the suddenly girlish way I was talking and reacting. I was not a girl, I was a boy - but then I saw myself in the mirror once more. Panties, makeup, curls - not much of a boy really. I smiled at myself and patted my hair into place.

Rachel sat us both on the bed and asked if we wanted anything more than panties. Her expression pleaded with us to ask for more and suddenly we were all passing clothes to one another, trying things on and seeing what would fit and whether it looked good. Even now, looking back after a year and more, I'm amazed at how quickly that afternoon we all became comfortable at being boy-girls.

But when we finished and went downstairs, it was just so wonderful. We had raided her big sisters’ wardrobe – not that they had left much when they moved out – but there was enough.

I now wore a lovely thin blouse over a blue satin vest, a pair of tights and a really clingy grey jersey skirt. Rachel had put a bracelet and a necklace on me too as well as a clip-on pair of earrings which were really making my ears sore. I think I was more worried about them than anything else. The rest of it was still a game. Rachel had borrowed an old pair of shoes for me from one of her sisters and I was concentrating hard on every step as I made my way down the stairs. The thought that girls volunteered to wear shoes like that amazed me. Jennifer teased me that those shoes only had tiny heels compared with what was available.

Charles wore a long frock which just brushed the ground. He was shorter than either Rachel or me, for us it was well above our ankles - and he was that little bit thinner too. It was pretty but it just wouldn't have fitted me. He looked really swish and when he walked in it, he even looked like a girl as, balanced precariously on his borrowed 1 inch heels, his hips wiggled to and fro. When I mentioned this, he took it as a compliment! Jennifer had given him a lovely black velvet choker and this made him look gorgeous.

The room was quite big and there were chairs and sofas enough, but the three of us sat snuggled on the big sofa. Rachel showed us how to sit down so that our dresses wouldn't get crumpled. It was such a funny feeling to sweep my hand behind me so that my dress swished out of the way. I loved it and kept practising. Even when I sat down, my hand kept moving, stroking, caressing the lovely satin or the jersey, or Rachel's dress or Charles's frock. I had no control.

We had a lovely evening. Mrs Goodfellow, Rachel's mum, behaved as if there was a roomful of girls. We had a really nice time. In fact, without anyone saying a word, it became obvious to each of us that we would meet up in order to do it again. I sat quietly, thinking about this. Meanwhile, Charles was obviously thinking the same. Suddenly, he burst out, "This is really fun, you know. I don't know whether it's the company or fact that we've all had a bit of a giggle getting dressed up. Whatever, I'd really like to thank you for not making fun of Johnny and me. I'd have hated that. Instead, I have to say, that this evening has been really enjoyable."

I still didn't know what to say but Rachel giggled, gave him a kiss, and said, "I'm really happy that you're enjoying yourself so much. I had no idea how much fun we'd have when we started. It did begin as a game, an adventure - but that was just at the beginning. And now you look so fabulous, so pretty that it never crossed my mind to tease you. If you'd obviously been boys dressed up as girls, that would have been one thing. But you saw for yourselves in the mirror - there's not a trace of boy to see. You are, without doubt, a pair of very attractive young girls. So if you say you've enjoyed it, can we do this again sometime? What d'you say, Johnny, Charles."

"I can feel myself smiling, so I guess that means I'm willing," said Charles. I didn't say anything.

"Oh, Charles, how can you be so feeble, you're not just smiling, you're whole face is sparkling with the prospect. And, Johnny, you've got much the same expression too, so don't try to look scornful at Charlie."

I tried, oh how I tried, to keep my expression cool and calm while we talked about when we would next have an opportunity to dress up. Rachel was just as eager as we were, but we still pretended to be shocked and a little disgusted. She said that she was always at home in the evenings, so, her wardrobe was available anytime either of us came over. Charles and I exchanged glances. Who would be the first to visit? Would either of us be willing to come without the other? Neither of us spoke for a while, but Rachel chattered away making suggestions and proposals for our new game.

Soon, can I say all too soon, it was time to slip out of our new finery and be shown how to remove the makeup. Mrs Goodfellow sprayed our hair with water so that we would be easily brushed back to being boys once more. It felt strange now that we had some idea how different it was to wear girl’s clothes instead of the boy’s clothes we had worn all our lives.

I thumped Charlie on the shoulder as we left, “That was all a bit strange wasn’t it?”

He grunted and then growled back at me. “So you’re back to being a boy already then. Didn’t I just hear you saying we’d be back soon.”

“I’m just being me. Boys bounce and clatter around and do boyish things. Come on, Rachel joins in with us too.”

“Exactly, Rachel joins in – with our boy games. So if she can be a boy some of the time then it’s fair that we can be girls some of the time. I’m going to say I really enjoyed this afternoon and I meant it, I’m now sure I meant it, that I’ll be going back and doing it again.”

“You mean it don’t you.”

“And you didn’t. I bet you – no I dare you - that if I say I’m going back as soon as possible then you’ll be there too and we’ll have a wonderful time getting pretty again and wearing soft and adorable dresses and everything and asking to be prettified even more than last time.”

“So it’s a dare is it.”

“Not really, because a dare is something you don’t want to do and I can see the same excitement in you as I’m feeling. This is something I want to learn more about.”

We didn't plan it , but we arrived absolutely at the same moment next time. Well, alright then, it was actually next day as soon as we could change out of our school clothes and speed round the corner on our bikes. Rachel and her mum both greeted us with a hug and a kiss. Even though we were wearing ordinary trousers and shirts, we knew that they were already treating us as girls. My reaction was to smile with pleasure and say how excited I was to be back.

Her mum spoke first, "It's so lovely to see you here again. Now you just scurry upstairs and let Rachel help you get ready. We've put some things in the spare room, the one Sandy used to have." (Rachel was the youngest of three sisters. Sandy and Fiona were several years older. They now lived in another town about an hour away. They were really busy working and they didn't come home often.)

It was really electrifying when we reached the spare room. Rachel had laid out clothes on the bed - they were for us. It was so wonderful. Without asking, I somehow knew that the pile nearest was for me and the one at the other end of the bed was for Charles. Once again, I slithered willingly into panties, vest and frock.

When we came downstairs, Mrs Goodfellow was ecstatic. She had seen us the last time, but now we had had more time to get ready and we were both much more relaxed about it too. "Oh, you look lovely. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see two such gorgeous girls come down those stairs. And now, I've got a little present for both of you." She handed each of us a little box.

I opened mine and gasped with delight. A complete set of thin gold chain necklace and bracelet, a Celtic knotwork brooch and matching earrings. I was giddy with the excitement of being given my very first jewellery. I could tell from the gasps beside me that Charles felt the same. We both kissed her to show our gratitude.

"But there is one thing missing still, dears. The necklace has a clip to attach a dingle-dangle. If you look at Rachel's, she has her name on hers. I'd like to do the same for you two, but I don't know what names to call you. I have been thinking about names for you though, and Rachel has too."

I was almost skipping with enthusiasm, "Tell me, tell me, what're your suggestions."

"Well, dear, at first, I thought it would be more sensible to have something sensible like Jo or Joanna - but they didn't feel right. Then I was at church recently and the lesson was all about Faith, Hope and Charity. So I wondered about names of that sort. In the end, I wondered if you would let me call you Joy. I know how exhilarated you are by all this - I sensed that Joy would be good."

"Oh, that's so sweet of you. I really, really would love it if you called me Joy because Joy is what I feel when I'm dressed up. This may only be the second time but it seems so comfortable, so nice. Yes, it makes Joy feel joyful. But what's your suggestion for Charles?"

I looked at my friend to see his face aglow, eager with anticipation.

"Please, what can I be instead of Charles?"

"I had the same problem with you as well. I thought of Charlotte, of course and Carla - but in the end I wondered about Faith. Hope was my second guess, but Rachel felt that made it too complicated - what might you want to hope for?

"Oh, I feel a bit wobbly. I need to sit down," said Charles and fumbled his way to a chair. I noticed he still had time to arrange his skirt before he sat. "I love the name Faith. But you're right about Hope too. Now that I'm wearing a dress again I have to say that I do hope to do this more often. It feels as if I'm intoxicated, addicted already. I don't know where this will lead - but I do hope that I can wear skirts and frocks and dresses whenever I want."

"Did you say 'whenever', Faith dear, or did Hope hope for 'forever'? I do know how exciting this is for you, but I'm going to make the decision for you. I think Faith is more suitable at the moment. Rachel, fetch the glasses and let us propose a toast to two beautiful girls, Joy and Faith."

We all giggled and kissed one another. It was the first time I had kissed anyone with my glossy lips. I found the sensation quite strange. I even kissed Faith. A lip-to-lip kiss from another boy, I loved it because he was another girl.

I felt like a princess as I sat there with a glass at my coloured lips and my new jewellery glittering in the firelight.

Suddenly, I felt the burden of transformation - how could I balance the fabulous feeling that I was experiencing against the humdrum day to day life of a schoolboy. It would be hard to cope at school even with the assistance and help of Rachel and Char.. Faith, I remembered. What would happen at home!!! I felt myself start to cry.

"Joy, darling. This is supposed to be fun. Don't cry. What's the matter. – said Rachel from one side and her mum from the other.

"It's everything. I mean, here I am, dressed as a girl and loving every moment of it - and I started wondering - what about school, what about home, what about my parents. Can't you see. I've realised that I want this to continue, to be real. In just two evenings, you've shown that I can look like a girl. And this is my reaction, I'm crying like a girl because I want to be a girl. It's nicer than being a boy, having to bottle up my feelings, to be rough and tough and manly. Wearing hard, harsh denim and corduroy, smelling of sweat and dirt. As Joy, I can wear soft fabrics, gentle colours and I can splash myself with lovely perfume instead of cheap deodorant. It's really no fun being an ordinary boy now you have shown me the delights of being a girl."

"Have we really had that effect already, dear? Do you truly want to be a girl instead of a boy. I never wanted to do that to you. It’s only been a day since we first dressed you up after you got so wet – I know we all agreed that you looked quite delightful and we did all have a lot of fun. We just wanted to show how much pleasure you could have. Later Rachel and I talked and we saw that you could be being both at once, sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl. We then thought you would be able to learn about the gentler sex from the inside, so that you could feel what we feel, understand the unfairness of life both as a boy and as a girl."

"Oh, I want that too, I suppose. But it is so nice, that's not the right word but it'll have to do, it's just so nice being here with you and being able to wear, being encouraged to wear these lovely clothes. It feels right. I don't know what to say."

Rachel’s mum said, "You're still very young. It wouldn't be fair for me to force you into anything or even to encourage this too much. If this is really going to continue, then I'm sorry to say that we will have to tell your parents."

She could see how much this upset both Faith and myself. Rachel looked pretty worried too at the risk of somehow losing her two best friends if their parents cut up rough.

"Now, you mustn't worry, dear. I am totally confident that I can arrange things so that it works out right. I'll say nothing until the weekend but then I must insist on meeting both your parents. I want your promises that you won't tell them, no, I won't ask for any promise like that. I'll just set up a meeting on some general topic. But don't worry."

I must have looked worried because Faith held my hand all the way upstairs and asked Rachel to spend some extra time doing my makeup.

After a little while playing downstairs with Rachel’s old dolls and games, we had gone upstairs to collect our clothes and change back into boys. We realized that this was going to be the last time until at least the weekend – and we didn’t know what to say to each other.

Rachel had been quite glum about it, but we joshed each other until we all relaxed. I think the atmosphere changed completely when Rachel offered to let both of us wear a pair of panties home.

Of course, we all knew we'd have to be very careful about keeping them out of sight. It was such a little thing, but it meant to me that the evening would be repeated, that I would have the chance to wear pretty clothes again. I don't know if Rachel meant that to happen - but it most certainly did. It did feel different wearing those frilly, lacy, satin pants instead of my own, very ordinary, very typical cotton boxers.

At the door, with a little ceremony, Mrs Goodfellow held out the little boxes and we put our jewellery – our very own first jewellery – back into her safekeeping.

To my amazement, it was still daylight when we left. I felt that such a tremendous change must have taken more than a few hours. I enjoyed the walk home, even though it was only a few hundred yards. I could feel the satin brushing my legs in a completely new and interesting way. I liked it.

It was hard to keep calm for the next few days. Mother obviously realised that I had some worries. She kept pestering me but I said nothing. But I still worried about what would happen at the weekend. Actually I was so pleased that it was the end of term that most of the time I never gave a thought to the weekend.

During break I talked about it with Charles. He said his mother had asked him to do her nails one evening last month after his sister Gloria had complimented his skills once too often. He had been quite annoyed at first, but now he saw it as a really neat opportunity to show his interest and willingness to help to his mother. He had started the very evening after our first dress-up when she had to get ready for a party. 'All of a sudden' he had asked his mum if she wanted help with her nails again. She had been a bit surprised after his reaction the previous time but had, eventually, accepted his offer.

She had done the rest of her makeup while he did each hand. Both of them had to work together to avoid smudging the varnish. This had meant that Charlie had to watch what she was doing. The effort had been rewarding. He had found it easy to ask why she did certain things, was there a particular way it had to be done. He had investigated all the pots and potions, oils and unguents, salves and solutions with deliberately childish questions.

The next night, she was going out again and, this time, she had asked him if he wanted to help. When he had said, 'alright', they had once more gone into her bedroom. To his concern and surprise, his mum had stripped off and got into her party clothes while he sat on the bed waiting for instructions. She had laughed about how difficult it was to put on stockings with straight seams, and then she told him about the first time she had tried to put on a bra, how strange it felt with the shoulder straps pulling at the skin, the way her chest felt squeezed and somehow scrunched up. The change in how the weight of her breasts was balanced - and how happy she was that she was at last developing. Charlie had felt really really uncomfortable, yet excited as well – he was being told about stuff that ordinary boys never knew about. And of course, he was keen to wear his first bra and he would soon feel those sensations for the first time too - but he couldn't tell his mum about that.

She then grinned and said as if reading his mind, “I shouldn't really be sharing this with my young son - but it's all part of getting that extra knowledge that will make you more understanding of girls. You need to understand them in order to make them your friends - and you need girls as friends before you can make any of them in girlfriends.”

Once she sat down to do her makeup, he had expected to help but she said there wasn't time to do her nails this time. Instead, she talked in even more detail about the techniques and methods of makeup while he had listened eagerly. As she put on her coat, she said she hoped he had found their time together interesting. Charlie's head was in a spin. What did his mum think was going on. He hoped she was treating it as 'mere teenage interest'.

I tried to tell him to cool it down. If Rachel's mum was going to let the cat out of the bag, we should keep quiet about our new hobby.

"But I don't want to. It was such fun dressing up. But it felt so horrid going back into our ordinary things. I felt so different, so free, so relaxed in that dress. Even those undies felt nicer than my old worn-out clobber. I want to wear pretty things all the time. There, I've said it again. I want to dress pretty – and I guess that means as a girl all the time. Wouldn't that give you joy, Joy. I want to hope that I can be Hope, I want to have faith that I can be Faith. Every time I say it, I can hear myself say it with a bit more certainty."

"Golly. D'y mean it. Do you really want to wear dresses all the time? You don't just want to play dress-up now and again."

"No, you bozo. I'll say it again. I loved wearing Rachel's lovely undies and those dresses and skirts. I want to do it again. Not now and again, but again and again. What about you, which way do you want to go. Do you want to go out with Rachel and me as a boy-in-a-dress just 'when you feel like it' or do you want to do it often and properly until you can look and behave as a real girl?"

What sort of answer was I supposed to give. Catch-22. If I said that I wanted to play dress-up just sometimes, I felt he was accusing me of being chicken, if I said always I would be behaving as a girl almost every day. Which did I really want. I didn't know. Neither my heart or my head gave a major hint either way. My heart said, 'dressing-up was fun, wasn't it. It can't hurt joining in a bit'. My head said, 'this is leading somewhere and I don't know where.'

To delay a decision, I said nothing. Charlie took this as uncertainty and gave me a little shove, "You'll come round to it soon enough. You'll feel so left out of it when there's two of us in dresses and you're on your own all holidays."

I felt something then, 'What, be left out of the gang!' I knew right then, although I said nothing, that I would do whatever Charlie did. If he persuaded his mother that it was alright for him to wear skirts, then I would have to do so too. I couldn’t go through the holidays without my team. What on earth would I do without Rachel and Charlie.

The weekend drew nearer. I had more sympathy with Charlie's interest in his mum's makeup now. Twice, I had found myself looking at my Mum to see how a little eyeliner or blusher changed her whole face. She had teased me about it. "Us girls have to keep the boys on their toes. If we looked the same all the time, they'd get used to how we look. A little camouflage helps dazzle you."

The second time, she grabbed me and rubbed a little lipstick on my lips, "There, that'll show you what it feels like. Strange, isn't it. Now, rub it off on this tissue, quick."

It did feel strange. But because it wasn't the first time, it also felt nice too. I looked in the mirror. "Hey, mum. You've missed a bit. Which lipstick did you use." My hands dived into the pile of makeup.

"Don't be silly, dear. I said rub it off. You really don't want to play with my things."

I teased her, "You always say a thing should be done properly or not at all. It's just that you missed the bottom corner."

"I said don't be silly, dear. But perhaps just this once, sit still and turn to the light." Dab, wipe, smear. "That is better, actually. But it doesn't suit you. If I had time and you were a girl, I'd put try some more things."

"I don't mind, mum. I do have to learn about girls sometime."

"Yes, dear. You do have to learn about girls. But I don't think putting makeup on will teach you very much."

"It'll teach me how difficult it is. Then I'd understand better what you mean when you complain about having to start getting ready for an evening party at about lunchtime. It can't be that hard."

"How little do you know, my lad. Sometime soon, I'll find the time to give you a lesson about girls that you'll remember for a long while."

I chuckled and answered back, "I don't care, mum. It can't be that hard being a girl. Fifty percent of the planet manage it without having any lessons. You just need to be born a girl.”

"That's a really dim comment. Girls get lessons in how to be a girl from the day they're born. You never stop learning how to behave, how to get what you want from other women and other men. Really, how could you think that girls don't get lessons. Boys get lessons just as much for themselves too."

"If girls get all these lessons, what do they get taught then."

"You're succeeding in getting me quite cross, dear. Now don't keep on so. I'll make you a promise. You keep your eyes open and see if you can detect any of the special training girls get, then ask me about it. If you're right then I'll give you a lesson too."

"What a boy lesson or a girl lesson," I smirked.

"Just for that, you'll get a girl lesson, I think."

"Ooh, girls, that'll be just lovely," I sneered with a deliberately girlish sort of lisp.

"Don't make me want to give you a real and painful-to-learn lesson, dear. You really don't want to get me wound up on the subject of male/female indoctrination."

Friday night after six o’clock supper. The phone rang. Mother answered it. When she came in, she was clearly puzzled. "Do you know why Mrs Goodfellow wants to have a chat with me. She's asked me to go round to her house tomorrow morning for coffee. I know you and Charles and Rachel are a sort of team, but I don't really know the woman that well. I've not seen any need to interfere. You're quite well organised children - I'm sure that any problems can be sorted out between you. Is this something a bit larger. You've gone red - am I supposed to realise that you know what this is about - or are you just going red because I'm interfering?"

"You know I go red whenever you ask questions like that. I truly don't know what she wants to talk to you about, mum. Perhaps Rachel has said something. Shall I ring Rachel and ask what it's all about?"

"I don't think so, dear. I'm quite happy to wait until the morning. In the meantime, I've been thinking what sort of lesson you deserve. It’s the end of the week now and time to have our weekly roundup. So, after our discussion earlier this week, have you noticed anything that could be called girl-training or boy-training?"

If I could have crawled under the sofa, I would have done. I really didn't want to focus mother's attention on girl v boy behaviour. I knew it had been a mistake asking about makeup and teasing her. "Erm, uh, I dunno." Pause. "Erm, well, yes I do have one. You said yesterday, 'just be a good boy and go out and play.' That's got to be one because playing outside is more of a boy-thing than a girl-thing. And at Rachel's last week, when her mum said, 'Rachel, be a good girl and help me with the tea.'"

"Good, that's quite observant of you. That is exactly the sort of comment which encourages boys to be boys and girls to be girls. I suppose it's a bit different when there are only girls or only boys in a family - but you've picked up on the right sort of thing. Now, can you help me tidy up after supper!"

"Oh, but that's ...."

"Yes, dear. I'm trying to show you and teach you that some, if not many, jobs can be done by people - not girls or boys or men or women - but people. You are a person and there is a job that needs doing. It can be done more quickly by two than by one - so I am asking for your help."

"Suppose so. Alright."

So the dishes were done. Then mother used the same trick - would I load the washing machine, help hang out the washing, brush off the dining table, tidy up the sitting room – not forgetting the cushions. She then allowed me to concentrate on my own stuff . By eight o'clock, I had done a lot and my room was rather tidy – yukk.

In the morning, mum did the same manoeuvre on me - strip and make the beds, tidy the house, vacuum the downstairs, wipe the tables, dust the windowsills – on and on and on. It didn’t seem right to argue but it did also feel strange to realize how much was going on that I had never noticed before. To the surprise of both of us, I said “Thank you, mum” when we had finished.

We sat in the kitchen while she asked me to make the tea. "Just one last job, dear. I'm really proud of you. You could have got really tiresome about this, going on about girls' jobs and boys' jobs. But you haven't. Do you think there's as much difference between girls and boys as you did before last night and this morning?"

"Well, there is and there isn't. I mean, this has shown me that some of the jobs can be done by, well, anybody. I know I've done most of these jobs before - but I've never thought about them as part of an indoctrination process until today. But now I don't think the jobs they are asked to do doesn't have much to do with how boys and girls actually behave the rest of the time. Look at Rachel when she comes over. I'm dressed in my nice, comfortable, well-worn, occasionally scuffed trousers and stuff. Whatever we do, Rachel looks as smart as a pin. She can wear colours and stuff that boys can never do."

"I never realized that you had noticed. And the description you want is not 'scuffed', it is dirty, grubby, filthy and soiled or ‘boyish’. Like most boys, you attract dirt. Within seconds of putting on clean clothing, you have managed to wipe it, smear it or stain it. I would almost admire your skill if I didn't have to wash everything so often. But Rachel is a girl. She has been trained to keep herself clean, spotless and sparkling. Since she can do this simple task, she also gets the benefit of pretty clothes, delicate fabrics and a much wider range of colours. If you were able to keep clean then you'd be able to wear things like that. Not actually girl's clothes, of course, you'd look silly in those. Think of it like those nature programmes - males in nature need bright and vivid plumage to attract the female – in the human western world, the plumage usually involves money and the other masculine labels. Strangely, in this century in the western world, the colourful plumage now belongs to the female of the species. Fortunately, that stage of life where you need to look to attract the female is some years ahead of you."

Mum looked at the clock, "Goodness, we must dash with these last jobs. Be a good person, dear, and give me a hand. Will you be coming to Rachel's with me?"

"Don't know. I haven't decided yet. Probably, yes. I might give Rach a call first."

As we did the last few chores, I asked why she was smiling.

"Oh, its just that daft comment I made about how silly you'd look in girl's clothes and then thinking back to last summer."

"Why silly, mum - and what happened last summer?"

"Well, there was one time, you three were all wearing shorts and t-shirts and I actually called out for John and realised that I was shouting towards Rachel. If I can't tell you apart when you're dressed alike, perhaps it would actually be funny to see you in a dress."

"Don't make jokes like that. Or aren't you joking?"

"Oh, don't worry so. Perhaps I was half joking. You're quite small still and, if anything, a tiny bit smaller than Rachel, so the opportunity is there isn't it. I mean, if I really wanted to try this out. No. The whole things stupid.

"But the idea did make you smile! Would you like me to ask Rachel if I could borrow some clothes for a laugh. I could say it was your idea. Would that be fun?"

"Oh, don't take me up on something like that. I’ve already said no – and so, no you don’t need to borrow clothes from Rachel. As if."

"You did say there were things boys did and things girls did. I've spent all morning being a helpful person, perhaps it's time to get a girl-lesson next. That was what you threatened me with, wasn't it? I seem to remember something of the sort, mummy dear."

"You are pushing it a bit, darling. Who’s wanting this to happen – I can’t tell anymore. Alright – you’re going to get a girl-lesson just to teach you not to be so silly. I suppose I don't mind you trying something anti-boy for once. But only so you can get a bit of understanding. You're my son and I would prefer it if you stay that way. Dressing as a girl is to show that it's possible, for a laugh. Why not. Do you want to ring Rachel and set it up.”

“I’ll pretend it’s a prank of some sort. Like we did last year. I’ll call Rachel.”

“If she says no, then obviously the whole thing is off. Do be sensible about how you ask, dear. It could so easily become embarrassing."

I had no idea who would be most embarrassed. But, of course, I had rushed into the hall and was on the phone almost before she had finished speaking. I tried to tell Rachel the exact conversation so that she would be able to prepare her mother. This was getting so complicated. When we arrived, she would pretend to my mum that the whole idea was silly, but just as a one-off, she would let me borrow some of her things. We would go upstairs and I would get dressed-up. How the situation would change when I came downstairs as a girl, we could not guess.

So that was what happened. As mum got the car out while I set off on my bike she asked if I was still willing. I tried to be nonchalant, "Oh, don't worry. It's just a bit of pretend. I'll put on a dress, look rather daft in it, take it off again. End of story." I was still unsure of which way I wanted the story to continue.

“I’ll be popping to the shop and be with you in about 10 minutes, okay”

When I got there, Rachel was really excited and her mother was trying to be cool and calm. She told us that she wanted us back downstairs in ten minutes when my mum was due to arrive. Rachel was wearing a new pale blue frock and matching ribbon which my mum commented on.

We went upstairs both Rachel and I trying not to get too excited while Mrs Goodfellow waited downstairs. Apparently unaware of what we were doing upstairs.

Rachel had got a costume ready for me. It was really pretty. All laid out on the bed, sandals, stockings, panties, vest and accessories, everything except a dress. She giggled that she and her mum had bought some of the things especially for me the previous evening. The pale-blue frock she was wearing was actually for me – she slipped it off and changed into the similar looking green version. If my mum could mix us up once, why not make it really confusing for her.

I got dressed as quickly as possible so that we could spend a little longer on the makeup. I wanted to show mother how I could be a girl as well as a boy. To make the game harder, Rachel arranged my hair to look as much like her's as possible. She put a lovely alice-band in my hair which made me look so different and she put on my necklace and other jewellery.

Of course, we had to work out who should go downstairs first. Should I go first in 'Rachel's frock' or should Rachel go first. In the end, I went first and my gang-partner waited just out of sight so that she could hear everything.

"Is John ready, Rachel dear?" asked Mrs Goodfellow with a smile as I came into the room. I smiled back and went to sit beside my own mother. She looked at me with some surprise - why would Rachel sit beside her. Then she realized.

"Oh my gosh! It's not possible. Why Johnny darling, I'm so sorry, I mistook you for Rachel. Oh, it's not possible. I can't believe you look so good, so gorgeous, so feminine."

By now, Rachel had joined us. As agreed, she now wore a lovely pale green frock almost identical to mine. We had spent a few seconds upstairs wondering whether she should stay looking as like me as possible or whether to change to emphasise that she was different. Eventually, there had been no time and so it looked like there were two sisters in the room.

"Oh, Rachel love, Johnny, please sit together so that I can admire you both. Oh, you look so lovely. Oh. I still can't believe this is possible. And this is in just ten minutes. Oh golly."

"Don't be so exaggerated, mum, I'm still Johnny. I'm not a girl."

"But, darling, you look so real. I'd defy anyone to detect that you're a boy. If I wanted a daughter, I've got a ready-made one already."

Rachel interrupted on cue, "It'd be so much fun if Johnny would play dress-up once in a while. We could have such fun and, like he said on the phone this morning, he'd learn a lot about girls too. It'd be nice to have a new friend to teach about girlish things. I might even learn something myself."

"Have you been rehearsing this, Rachel."

She went scarlet.

"Oh," said my mum, as she realised that there was more to the story.

"I think it's my turn to interrupt here," said Mrs Goodfellow. "It's only fair to tell you that this is the second time Johnny has worn one of Rachel's dresses. Last week, the three of them came in from the park absolutely soaked. I insisted they put on dry clothes, and, of course, the only spare things around belong to Rachel. So, I had the three of them perched like birds on a fence wearing pretty dresses. Rachel insisted on going a bit further and, well, nobody argued. In the end, three little girls sat by the fire, giggling and carrying-on like anything. When I heard this morning that you had teased Johnny about the difference between girls and boys and, more or less, dared him to dress-up, it seemed inevitable somehow. So Rachel and I decided to do our very best to show you how adorable we could make this young darling. Isn't she lovely? This was really what I wanted to talk to you about. I wanted to apologise for doing such a strange thing to your son. It's not the sort of thing one mother should do to another's child."

"I'm gasping. I'd never have used the words adorable or lovely about my own son. But yes, in a dress like this, she's sweet. I heard you say 'she' and it's not possible to call this little cutie a him. Will you be a daughter for me once in a while, darling? It's not fair to keep a girl like you locked up in ordinary boy's clothes. If you look this good, I'll let you dress up if you want to. Do you want to?"

"Mummy, what am I supposed to answer. It was fun doing it last week. But it's different now. You're calling me sweet and lovely and all sorts of words that just aren't me. Well, weren't me. If I'm sweet in a dress then I guess it's reasonable to wear a dress when I want to be sweet and pretty. When I'm being a boy, I'll wear my usual clobber. And if I'm wearing a dress, then I'll be as good a daughter as possible. I can't mind if you call me 'she' instead, 'cos it'd be horrid if anyone realised I was Johnny Cove in a dress, Yuk."

"If you look this lovely, darling, nobody on earth is going to guess that you're a boy. I'll agree for the moment. It's just impossible that this is just the second time, my darling daughter has worn a dress. It's going to be such fun. Shall we go shopping, dear? Buy you some clothes for yourself?"

"I can't be much of a girl if I don't want to go shopping. Rachel's taught me that one. How can I argue. If I've just agreed to wear this dress and be a girl for a while then I should do girl-type things. Alright, let's get going."

Just then the doorbell rang. We'd all forgotten about Charlie. The door opened and Charlie wasn't there. Instead Faith was on the doorstep, holding his mother's hand. He looked really worried until the door opened to reveal four females.

We went through the same explanations. I can't remember the details but in no time at all, a troop of six set off to the shops, three women, one girl and two sort-of-girls. We went in the Goodfellow's car because it was the biggest. My mum was the thinnest so she sat with the three of us on the back seat. She had Charles on one side and me on the other. We squeezed together and she put an arm around each of us. It felt different this time from how she normally hugged me. Somehow it seemed as if she hugged me like I was a girl.

It was like early Christmas or a giant birthday treat. I had never spent much time in shops like this before. We bought so much stuff. Once again, I was measured up, down and around. I enjoyed almost every moment except when Charles' mum insisted on buying a bra for him. This made my mum decide to get one for me. What was I supposed to do? Shout out in the middle of the shop that I was a boy! I think that would have been a BAD idea.

So I stood there, arms out while I was measured once more. Then I was escorted into a changing cubicle while mum and the sales assistant put my first bra around my male chest. It felt really ghastly, confining, uncomfortable. It got worse when the assistant chirped, "The dear girl doesn't really need one yet, I think. But it really is better to get them used to a bra before their breasts start to develop. And I'm sure your daughter will get used to this pre-teen trainer we've just tried."

I smiled to myself and thought let's tease mum a bit. "Mummy, I don't really like this bra. Isn't there anything prettier?"

The girl smiled at me, pleased with the opportunity to sell something more expensive. My mum frowned at me for a second, then giggled quietly and winked at me.

After a moment, the girl came back. She was in her mid-twenties I would guess. She had several boxes and a hanger as well which had a complete set of undies. She put the boxes down and tried the bra from the set. It was much prettier than the trainer-thing. Then she passed me panties off the hanger, "This is the prettiest set of undies we have for your size. You'd better try them on and see if you like them."

I was so excited that I forgot my previous decade of boy's clothes and began to take off my other clothes to try on the panties. Mum wasn't quick enough to stop me so I stood there in my bra, naked apart from my shoes. The girl was to one side so didn't see my difference at first. I almost had the panties on when she gasped. But she was a professional. To my amazement, to all our amazements in fact, she smiled quietly, looked around to see that nobody was near enough to overhear, and gave us the most startling news. "It doesn't matter to me what my customers wear. In fact, I don't really care who my customers are. I've just realized that this pretty young girl who I've just sold a bra too is, er, otherwise endowed. I'm surprised rather than shocked, however, as it has happened to me before. It really is of no importance, as far as I'm concerned the customer is always right. Nevertheless, I would suggest that in future, if this dear girl is going to dress up often, that you always ask for Leonie when you shop here. I'm always glad to be of assistance."

Despite gasping a little with shock, my mum replied, "Well, my dear, in that case we shall indeed always ask for your help. It seems that you may be able to give considerable help as my daughter grows up."

As we left, Leonie passed my mother a card. Mum flipped it over to read the message and her eyes widened once more as she did so.

As we left the room, I couldn't help exclaiming to my mum, "That was amazing. Everything. I mean, she didn't get upset when she found out I was a boy, and she offered to help. And what she said, it must mean that there are other boys like me."

"I think it does, yes. There must be other boys who love dresses as much as it seems you already do. But isn't it fun. At least, this card makes it quite clear that Leonie is aware of several shops that are willing to help out. I had no idea.”

I had to smile, "Yes, it actually is – this is fun. I've been wearing a dress for only a few hours and it's really fun. It's not just wearing something so soft and so on, it's so much brighter and more colourful than anything I've ever had as a boy. It's the opportunity to be a girl, even if I'm only a pretend girl. I'm enjoying it all so far."

"You may be only a pretend-girl, dear, but you're pretty and attractive and so for the moment you're my daughter too. And you're right, let’s keep having fun. Let's join the others and decide what to do next."

"Charles has asked me if he can have another name when he's wearing dresses. He says he likes the name Faith," said Mrs. Miller, his mum. "Do you think Johnny wants a new name too."

Mum looked at me with a smile, "Oh, that's a lovely idea. Have you any suggestions, darling. Perhaps you've thought about this before, you naughty girl."

I pretended to think for a moment, "Do you have any preference, mummy. After all, if I was your real daughter then you would have christened me as a baby."

It was her turn to pause. After a few seconds, she said, "There was a time I thought I was getting a daughter. I was going to call her Juliet."

Just as she said this, I said, "I'd like to be called Joy. I think that's a really lovely name."

The two names hung in the air. Mum mused, "Juliet, Joy, they're both pretty. But I think your suggestion is the better. Somehow, Juliet is in the past, a bit of history now, Joy is new and young and everything. Yes, so it's hello, my daughter Joy. Let me give you a kiss and a hug."

We were in a tight hug, all six of us. Now we were six girls with real names. Rachel suddenly called out, "There's my hairdressers over there. Do you want something done to your horrid, boyish hair. Girls like Faith and Joy deserve the best on a day like this. Wouldn't it be great to let them have a proper makeover, you know, the lot, hair, hands, makeup."

I looked at Ch...Faith beside me and she was clearly split. She wanted to look as pretty as possible, but a complete makeover would surely leave telltale signs. "Mum, do I have to. I thought you only wanted me to play at this. Won't a new hairstyle be a bit obvious."

"Well, Joy is getting one," said my mum. "We can't miss a chance like this to show her how gorgeous she can look with a bit of effort. It's just the sort of thing you'd give a teenager as a birthday present. I've got thirteen years of presents to give my new daughter. I might draw the line at dolls and things though. I think the complete one-year-old up to teenager catch-up might be a bit out of order. Unless you want a dolly or two, darling."

"Are you going to force me to do this, mum?"

"I wouldn't force you, dear. But just think of it as an extra lesson in how to be a girl. You'll learn more in one afternoon being treated as a girl in a salon than anything I can do. And it gives us so much more opportunity over the holidays for you to learn your girl-lessons."

"Alright, it looks like there's not much choice. But what are you going to do meanwhile. Doesn't it take ages getting your hair done."

"Yes, it does. But we can stay and watch for a while, or perhaps the three of us will leave you with Rachel. We might go shopping after we've had a chat about our three daughters."

Rachel decided to have her hair trimmed as well. But her instructions to my stylist were much firmer. "My cousin needs her hair really done over. She's such a tomboy and she needs to be helped to look as feminine as possible. Just give it a little trim to tidy up the split ends and stuff, then do the best you can. But the important thing is, the more feminine the better."

I winced as I realized that I really was going to be feminised. I would leave the salon looking like a girlish girl instead of the tomboy that I was sure I was. Was this what I wanted?

I entered that salon as a thirteen year old boy-in-a-dress, straight brown hair down to my collar at the back and with the minimum of makeup that my tutors had allowed me. When I left I was a beautiful young girl, the assistants all said so. My hair had been trimmed, curled into a gorgeous page-boy style, given a few sun-bleached highlights and my makeup had been enhanced even more. My eyebrows had been plucked, but only a little; my fingers had been manicured and the nails painted too. The only thing I had been able to refuse was to have my ears pierced. Rachel had been quite cross about this, but I got my own way on that issue.

Charles was done next. His hair was shorter than mine but somehow those clever girls managed to primp and colour it into the most delightful reddish-ginger mass of curls. He looked so sweet. Also it did make him look quite a lot older, almost sixteen I would have guessed. Charles was about to leave his chair when our mums all came back in. They gushed with excitement at how wonderful we now were, how impossible it was to see any evidence of non-girlishness. We were girls. We were daughters.

Rachel complained, "Joy refused to have her ears pierced, but I think Faith is willing."

This wasn't really true, I could tell from Faith's expression of shock. But it seemed that his mum was instantly eager to have that mark of femininity to complete her son's transformation. "Oh, of course you must have it done. If you're brave about it, I'll buy you something really special as a present, that red dress, perhaps - and several pairs of earrings. I haven't got any clip-on ones anymore so let me get you ones that can't get lost."

Faith was excited by the idea of extra-special red dress that we had noticed him admiring in the last shop, but worried about the pain of the piercing and the long-term concern that the boys at school would notice and tease him/her. His mum saw this and said, "The holes will heal in a day or so if you're worried about them showing after the holidays."

Faith's expression suddenly cleared as she made her decision. She nodded eagerly, flashing a sneaky smirk at me as she did so.

I looked in the mirror to see if I looked older or younger and saw Rachel watching me with a smile. As I looked back at her, it was a pleasant surprise to see those pencilled lips curve into a smile - and those lips belonged to me.

My mum interfered now, "I'm think I'm glad that you're less eager to be permanently marked as a girl than Faith." She paused for a moment, "Really, Joy, you pulled such a face when I said that, you're not jealous of her are you. I'm really not worried if you're not as ready as she is for this but I do want you to get that sour look off your pretty face."

"Mummy, will I look even prettier if I do get my ears pierced?" I found it easier to say Mummy now. It did feel a little twee, a bit little-girly, but then I was dressed that way - it felt right.

"If you want it, then I can't refuse, darling daughter. What do you really want?"

"I'm not sure. Let's say that if I see some earrings that I really want and they need me to have my ears pierced, then I'll have it done. I don't quite like the idea yet."

"Er, darling, would these be enough of a temptation?" she dangled a lovely pair of hoop earrings before my dazzled eyes.

I giggled, it wasn't a laugh such as I would have used before. It really sounded like a giggle. "Oh, they're sweet. Are they for me? Oh, yes, alright. Let's get the deed done. Brand me with my new image."

I wailed, more with fright than actual pain as my ears were stabbed with the needle. As soon as the little gold studs were in place, I stared into the mirror, suddenly excited by the fact that I, a mere boy, was looking so boldly feminine.

That was nearly the end of our wonderful day out. We drove back in our loaded cars and went back to Rachel's. My mum and Faith's went off immediately to 'get things ready' at home, while the three girls played with our new clothes and toys. Yes, we had been bought some suitable toys as well. Faith had a lovely doll with hair which exactly matched her own. We had smiled when she had wondered about calling it Faith-too. Eventually, she settled on calling it Hope. I had a really fun-looking set for making bead jewellery. I tried to pretend to myself that I would be able to make efficient, boy-type organised patterns - when what I knew would happen was that the three of us would actually make the most garish things possible - and we would absolutely know that they were pretty and neat.

About an hour later, Mrs Goodfellow took us home. The three of us piled into the back of the car so that we could continue to be 'the Team'. My house was nearest so we went there first. I had sort-of guessed what my mum had been doing. I was right. My room had been reorganised. Not completely, it just wouldn't have been possible in just over an hour. But my clothes were all hanging in the wardrobe, the drawers were open in my cupboard, showing where all my undies were stored. My desk had been swept clear so that my makeup and so on was on show. I was excited but just a bit horrified too. Was I being turned into a girl permanently or was it going to be just for the holidays as I had agreed. Fortunately, mum answered my fears, "I've only done a ultra-speed tidy up, Joy dear. At the end of the holidays we can put it all back quite quickly."

"Oh, mummy, I love you," and I rushed into her arms to give her a kiss and a hug. At that moment, I felt more of a girl than I had ever expected as I pressed myself against her warm soft body and smelt the perfume she always used.

I was too excited to leave my own, Joy's, room so Rachel and Faith went over to his place by themselves. I would see it for myself tomorrow. I was so tired I just wanted to have a nice lie down in my half-boy half-girl room. That was my intention, but it soon became clear that Joy didn't like half the things that John had on his walls and lying around. Joy spent hours, even with mum's help, taking down the posters and tidying up. At the end of it, I almost collapsed onto the bed. Mummy helped remove my makeup, (I didn't know how, did I,) then insisted that I have a quick shower, I could use some of her showergel rather than John's. Then she cooked me some eggs while I sat in the kitchen in my nightdress and dressing-gown. It was quite late when I reached my little bed, but now it felt like the room belonged to Joy instead of being John's room.

As we had a last chat, Mum gave me one more surprise. "I love you as my daughter more than I would have guessed. Despite the apparent humour, I'm not joking when I tell you that my new daughter Joy is a great joy to me. I'm so pleased that you've chosen such a lovely name. But, seriously, there will be times I want to have your brother Johnny around instead. I'm not going to insist either way for this holidays, well, not too often. So, generally, if you want to be Joy or Johnny for each day or any part of the day, I'll be very happy. Now give your mother one last kiss, my little princess, and go to sleep to dream of skirts and dresses, panties, stockings, lace and frills."

I woke happy and refreshed. I wriggled around the bed, delighting in the squirmy feel of the shiny satin on my skin. I looked around and smiled at how the room was beginning to look feminine instead of boyish, especially my stockings hanging on the back of the chair. I had had ideas last night for posters and ornaments to improve the whole image. While I lay there relaxing in a contented half-doze daydream, Mummy came in with a comb and brush.

"Come along, dear. It takes longer to get ready in the morning for us girls. We can't just leap out of bed, pull on a t-shirt and shorts and rush out. We have to make sure our hair looks nice, that we smell good, that our clothes are nicely co-ordinated. It does take a little longer, but I believe it's much nicer being a woman."

"So I'm a girl again today. Oh, lovely. Can I wear my pretty blue frock?"

"Don't be silly, dear. I'm not making the decisions about whether it's Joy or Johnny who gets out of bed each day. My darling princess went to sleep last night. This morning I may be chatting to my lovely daughter or I may be talking to Johnny who to my apparent surprise is wearing a girl’s frilly nightie, but may about to change out of it. The decision is made once you’ve got dressed for the day. If the program for the day requires the attendance of Johnny, then he’ll be there as required. On other days, the decision is yours. Get me. Right. You –not me.”

"Oh, yes, I get you. But as for this lovely frothy nightie, I don't want to take it off yet. It's so smooth and swishy, it feels so swirly and snaky when I walk around in it." I woke up a bit more, "But aren't we going over to Faith's as soon as possible. I've got to rush. And if I’m going to see Faith then it’s a girl day and I’m not taking this off until I’ve decided what to wear. I just love the feel of it against my skin."

"No, dear. No rush. Girls take exactly as long as necessary to get ready. I'll come back in a moment to help with your hair. So, scurry along and get washed."

It was all new to me – but quickly I scampered off to the bathroom and sat down as that felt more suitable. Washed and scrubbed, back in the bedroom, I looked with concern at all my new clothes – somehow I couldn’t decide what would make a superior costume.

When mum came back, she said that my hair needed attention first in order to prevent any tanglements and snagglings. There was so much more to the getting-up process now that I was a girl. But it was intriguing despite the extra effort. It had been one thing having my hair done at the salon, but this was me and my mum. She brushed and brushed until all the tangles were gone. My hair did feel different already, fluffier and more alive. Mum did allow a dash of makeup. She said that a little encouragement to make me feel more of a princess was quite proper. Then back to the rigmarole of choosing the clothes for the day. My wardrobe wasn't big but I already had the correct attitude that nothing was really suitable. Mum said that I already had the most important requirements of a girl. Absolutely together, on cue, we wailed, "I haven't got a thing to wear.' We hooted with laughter at this. Eventually, I was ready for my first full day as Joy.

I had on my new pink panties, pop socks and strappy sandals, a vest rather than an unfilled bra, and the blue frock I had wanted. I looked in the mirror to smile with love at my sister. Mummy joined me and we gazed with delight at the image of daughter and mother that we saw.

Downstairs for breakfast. It seemed natural to be more helpful with getting it ready and tidying up. As Joy, I even used a napkin. Johnny would have been horrified. When I helped with the washing-up, I put on an apron too so that I wouldn't splash my pretty clothes. I had realised how important this was without being told, although Mummy grinned at me when I took several moments to choose the frilliest one.

It seemed only moments and we were on our way to see how Faith was getting on. His mum had been the more eager to buy clothes and things for her new girl, but then she did have more money. We never mentioned it, but her family was noticeably better-off than Rachel's folks or mine. It was just one of those things. But just now, Faith was going to be getting more assistance with the physical paraphernalia necessary for a girl than I would. Rachel had encouraged me by saying that since I was her size I would be able to borrow her things. That made me so happy. Borrowing clothes seemed to be such a girl-thing. Actually Faith was close in size to both of us so it seemed likely that there would be a lot of triple-swapping. What fun we would have.

We arrived at Faith's just as Rachel turned up on her bicycle.

"Hello, Joy. Hello Mrs Firth. Aren't you excited about this, Joy? Faith wouldn't let me come up to her room last night. She wanted to share the first time with you too."

As soon as the door was opened, we ran upstairs. Faith was on the landing waiting for us. She looked super, in a peach and cream trouser suit which she told us had belonged to her sister. Gloria was several years older but so tiny that a lot of her smart late-teenage clothes already fitted Faith. He and his mum had ransacked both Gloria's and Faith's rooms. S/he had got to bed at after ten o'clock. When we reached the bedroom, both Rachel and I gasped. There were clothes everywhere. On the bed was a huge pile of underwear, on the nearest chair was a pile of dresses and everywhere else were more piles of colourful, enticing fabric.

I turned to my friend and hugged her lovingly, "Oh, you lucky thing. You've already got such a fabulous selection."

She hugged me back and giggled, "I'm so happy now that you're here. Mummy and I had so much fun buying these things and, time after time, we told each other how much fun you and I would have sharing our new things. I can't wait to see you in this lovely red number. And we even bought a matching set of red undies to go with it - and you're going to be the first to try them. I can't wait. Come on, get going, I want to show off to Mummy. And Rachel, these are for you. Mummy said that it wouldn't be fair to leave you out. And how could I leave you out - you're part of the Gang and the Gang does everything together."

Rachel giggled too, "And now we can all be girls together too. It makes it just so much more of a pleasure to see how much you two are enjoying this."

"Aw, Rach, it's not just enjoyment anymore. This feels right. You sometimes seemed to be the odd one out in the three of us, now you're the leader. You've got so much to show us and we're just dead-keen to learn from you. Mummy shows me how to do my lipstick but it feels more, er, proper to learn from you. You talk the same language as we do."

"Well, my gang-member new-girls, as your leader, I instruct you to pick your new costumes and I will then begin this afternoon's lesson." She giggled and began to invent a song to the tune of Hokey-Kokey. "You take your old clothes off, you put 'em on a chair; you pick up your pretty bra and wave it all about, then you put your left arm in and give yourself a twirl, then the right arm in and clip it all around." She struggled on for a few more bars before collapsing into a heap on the bed.

"Hoy, get off, those are my best panties, don't crumple them." Faith shrieked and snatched at the microscopically crumpled silks. No hint of anything but an irate teenage girl in her reaction to the desecration of her underwear.

Rachel howled with pleasure at her friend's discomfiture. I could only stand there pink with embarrassment at how effeminate my best girl friend had made my other best friend. Then I realized that I was wearing a bra too - that I looked just as much a girl as either of the others. I tried to ignore the other two and just get on with getting dressed. I rolled the stockings carefully up my leg and attached them to the suspender. It felt so easy now that I had done it a few times. I squeaked as the clip came undone and smacked at my tender skin. As I relaxed a little more I realised, not for the first time or the last time, that it did feel very much nicer to be wearing frills and dainties instead of jeans and such.

"You'll have that happen lots more times. The time to worry is when a clip comes undone in the middle of the town. But if that happens, it's also a great way to prove to the boys that you're wearing stockings. And if we do our job properly then there will be boys watching. There isn’t a boy born who can resist peeking when you lift your leg to reveal a stocking-top."

"But we're boys. What d'you mean we'll get the boys watching."

"Now, come on darling. You're wearing a gorgeous dress with scrummy undies, you're calling yourself Faith. That makes you give the distinct impression of being a girl. It's nothing to worry about - I've been a girl for years and it's absolutely wonderful. In fact, I want to be a girl for the rest of my life. As for you two, you're going to have a wonderful time seeing what life is like from a feminine perspective. I promise you it'll be super. I'll look after you. We're all going to have a good time this summer."

"Golly, I was really worried for a moment there. I'm still not sure I like the idea of being on display to the boys. I mean, I know lots of them from school. What if they recognise me ? It gives me a horrid feeling in my tum now that I've begun to think about it."

Rachel gave Faith a hug and a kiss. "I'm not worried about it and I promise you that no one will detect the faintest bit of boy. If you didn't believe me yesterday, you will as soon as you look in the mirror. Dressed like that, you are a girl and you look scrummy. Relax. You're safe with your big-sister Rachel. I'll look after all the lessons you'll need as a new-girl. And the first lesson is to be comfortable in your new clothes. This will make a real difference in how easy it is for you to look and act confident. And you too, Joy. You're just as pretty. I'm sorry now that it took so long to get you into a dress. I've missed having Sandy and Fiona around - but now I've got two girls of my own age to do things with. It'll be such fun," and she gave me a hug and a kiss too.

Then Faith joined in. When we separated, we all giggled because Faith had left a lipstick smudge on both Rachel and me. This led into a quick lesson in how to blot our lipstick dry - for those occasions when we'd be allowed to wear it. Rachel ticked Faith off for dressing up too much for the daytime. Rachel made us all laugh about how she'd plan a party where we could all wear our prettiest frocks and get specially made-up to impress the boys.

We spent the rest of the morning exhausting ourselves once again. We tried on everything in Faith's squeezed-full wardrobe. We dressed up in simple skirts and blouses, summer frocks, slinky dresses (which were really a bit old for us), and the most lovely nighties. Then after lunch, all of us went into town to buy yet more pretties and frillies. It was just such fun.

Rachel decided that her idea of having a party was too good an opportunity to miss. It just had to be a good idea to introduce her new girl-friends to everybody.

It was a week or more before the party was arranged. We wore our pretties, we got dressed up every day. We practised our lessons on how to look like a girl and how to present as a girl. We all got very excited about the party as we would be able to dress up in something extra girly and sparkly for the occasion. Our mothers got excited too.

Her elder sisters Sandy, Fiona, cousin Sarah and their friend Alexandra were there. They gave us each a copy of a story called 'The SisterDom of Woman'. When we read it, we realised that we were part of the ongoing saga of how the women of our town had helped us learn about being feminine.

I was really happy that we were still a Gang. Even if it wasn’t anything like the Gang I thought I had joined. I loved being pretty. I loved being lovely. I really loved the swoop and swish and swirl of my skirts and dresses; the stretch and pull as they brushed against my stockings or tights. The pull of the stockings (or tights) as my legs walked along, the different feel of the shoes with heels; the smell of the makeup, the different tension in the skin as the makeup flexed; the strange waxy, shiny feel of the lipstick on my lips; the glitter of nail-polish and probably most of all the loveliness of sleek, satin and silk underwear; the shape of my breasts outlined by my blouses. I loved it all. And I loved doing things with Faith and with Rachel.

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