(WISHING ON THE CHRISTMAS STAR)
When we are children, we often wish upon a star and hope our dreams come true. Do our dreams come true without any action from ourselves, or is it just a deep understanding that all will turn out as we wish?
There is a lot of magic in the air at Christmas, the star on the top of the tree or the Christmas Angel you hang as a decoration on the tree.
Just believe in the magic, and the Angel and the star might just become real…
Happy to be a Cross Dresser.
Andrew Wallace was a proud Scot born and raised in the Central Belt halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. His accent often confused many as to where he grew up.
Andrew also had a secret that he only shared with a few people. He loved to dress as a woman using the name of Samantha.
Andrew was happy with being a crossdresser who just loved to enjoy the pleasure of being a temporary woman when the desire came upon him. He had never felt he was a woman trapped within his male body, he just enjoyed dressing in female clothing. He had a passion for the styles of the 1950s: petticoats, slips, panty-girdles, and seamed stockings worn with suspender belts.
Andrew had the advantage that his family were now aware of his feminine side. In her early years of dressing it was such a different story, ducking and diving when the children appeared. Clothing was something else however. It suffered from being stored in suitcases, boxes, along with other various bags.
Life was comfortable: they were not rich, they had enough to get by on, with a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and Andrew had a job that he really enjoyed – well, most days anyway. It was a pleasure to go to his work, albeit in male mode.
Andrew was not in the first flush of youth, more mature and experienced with many of the things that life sometimes throws at us. As such, he was able to offer support and advice to others helping at the drop-in centre once a month in Glasgow city, close by the river Clyde.
The Girl in The Wrong Body
Dani was tired walking the streets looking for a place to get her head down for another night. It was rare for her to even find a bed, all the hostels filled up early in the day, due to the increasing number of homeless these days.
This was not a comforting thought. The nights were getting longer and colder, and Christmas was just around the corner. It had been a long time since she had any joy at this time of year.
She was thankful for the hot meals and shelter, which were the modern day ‘soup kitchens’. The world had hoped that these soup kitchens had vanished, regrettably they were becoming more common again.
The economic crisis of the mid to late noughties still had had an adverse effect around the globe, with many remaining in dire need of shelter, clothing, and nourishment to this day.
Danny Falconer was a young man. He would turn eighteen a few days before Christmas, although from a very early age Danny had always felt he was a girl trapped in the wrong body.
Many things pointed to this as he grew up. Daniel wanted to be with the girls at school, at break time he preferred playing skipping rather than football, hopscotch on the chalk playground ladder rather than tag, unless it was with Joyce.
This created a lot of teasing and name calling from the boys, who called him a sissy for being with the girls, and for being soft, gentle and more understanding.
Daniel had a crush on Joyce Davidson from the first time he saw her across the School playground. Each time he saw her, it just made him go weak at the knees. Although Joyce liked Daniel, she was more drawn toward his sister Debbie, she had been too afraid to tell either.
Daniel was fortunate that his sister, who was ten months older than him – well, it had been an early and chilly winter that year – was understanding and supportive.
Debbie, detested being called Deborah as it usually meant she was in trouble, tried in her own way to help Daniel in the playground, defending him against the boys who called him names. However, having his sister stick up for him only made the name calling worse.
Debbie and Daniel were very close. They spent many an evening, often extending into the wee small hours of the morning discussing the internal conflict concealed from many. Debbie was aware of Daniel’s gender conflict, after many a late night spent talking about the issue, Debbie understood she did not really have a brother, but a sister born in the wrong body.
Gradually Debbie helped Daniel become Dani; they choose the name as it was close to her male name and they could get away with it if their parents overheard them using it.
Eventually their mum discovered the secret, although ‘discovered’ may not be the correct word, as she had long known that Daniel was different. Mum had noticed the way he reacted around the other boys, reading the school reports telling her about his shyness with the boys and how much happier he was with the girls. All these things became obvious to the teaching staff the signs were there that Daniel was more a girl than a boy.
There mum, encouraged by Debbie, helped Daniel to reveal his feelings. In the security of his own room, Daniel spoke to his mother about how he felt he was really a girl in the wrong body.
Mum sat and listened to him: at times there were tears and cuddles amongst the laughter and giggles, with periods of silence and gentle questions as mum had already discussed with Debbie about her other daughter and sister.
Spanner in the Works
The ‘spanner in the works ‘was Daniel’s dad.
Unfortunately, their father was one of those individuals who, once his mind was set on a matter, it was set, and he would not change his mind come Hell or high water.
He believed that a man was a man and a woman was a woman, just as with children, who were to be seen and not heard. His attitude was like something from the Dark Ages and he disregarded the opinions of both his wife and his daughter; all their support and understanding for Daniel would come to nothing. His father took the attitude that ‘after all, it’s MY house and you do as I demand’. After a huge argument, he threw Daniel out of the house.
Christmas Tree and Star
Andrew was sitting with his wife Mari in the comfort of their front room, having almost finished the Christmas tree. Over the years it had become a tradition for each of them to take an arm of the star and place this on top of the tree together to complete the decorations for the year.
After finishing the annual tradition they stepped backwards to take in the overall effect, the couple cuddled and kissed with the sparkle of the love they shared.
Both noticing this year the star appeared to shine even brighter than ever.
“The tree looks better each year and that star looks brighter as well,” Andrew said, looking over at Mari. “This year shall be the first time that we will be supporting the shelter on Christmas Eve.”
“I know,” Mari replied, “the children all have their own families now, and anyway, they’ll be with us on Boxing Day. Christmas Day will be a day we can spend together, just you and me,”
“Not just you and me, darling” Andrew said. “Remember, we’ve invited Debbie and Joyce to join us for the Day, they make such a lovely couple don’t you think?”
“Oops, I forgot about that,” Mari replied, “and yes, they do.”
“Like us, they have an alternative lifestyle,” Andrew said with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. “Two girls together… well, I mean, when I’m Samantha, that is.” Mari just laughed at his humour.
The couple had met Debbie earlier in the year after she had transferred to the Glasgow Office to gain more experience, having joined the company straight from school in the Ayr Office. Andrew got on well with her and since it was her first Christmas in a strange town, had invited her round for Christmas dinner.
Andrew had always been open with Mari that he was a crossdresser; to the rest of the world he was still in the closet. It was part of who he was and had shared the secret of his dressing with Mari when they were going out together, before they considered getting married.
Halloween was ideal for Samantha to appear at work, company events or family gatherings.
No Place to Call Home
Daniel only had time to get a few things together when his father had thrown him out of the house. With Debbie’s help, the hold-all had his female clothing and make up that he had used when Dani came out for her brief appearances.
Fortunately, he had some money put away from a part time job he had, as well as from birthdays and special occasions, he knew that it would not last long.
Growing up in Ayr, Daniel drifted towards Glasgow, his thoughts only of dressing as the girl he knew he was, despite those extra body parts. Finding a job was fairly easy, Glasgow was busy and the fast food operators, restaurants, hotels, and the various retail outlets all needed more staff, even if it was just seasonal.
Dani was aware she could pass: Debbie had been a great coach and she had been just as willing a pupil. The girl was always there in her, she just needed a little push to appear.
Dani passed so well she managed to get a job as a waitress, her employer at the time realising the advantage of employing girls in the restaurant.
No one noticed she was really a he, but Dani had to be alert when looking for somewhere to stay. A lot of accommodation was expensive or tied with a job; sharing was not really a suitable option. Dani really needed privacy.
Fortunately, she was able to rent the small flat above the restaurant that would be hers alone.
Everything was going well for Dani until her employer, who had been struggling to keep the business viable for some time, finally had to take the difficult decision to cease trading. With no place to work or live, she became homeless again.
Christmas Eve dawned. Typically for the time of year it was cold and damp. The chill wind felt even colder as it came up the Clyde, twisting the morning mist as it clung to the Broomielaw.
The drop-in centre was temporarily located close to the King George V Bridge. Growing numbers of people using the centre showed an urgent need for larger premises.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the many volunteers and grants from various organizations, they now had the funds in place to buy a more permanent place and this building looked promising.
The centre was as ready as it would ever be. The tables all festively decorated, with the Christmas Tree in the corner, camp beds on the floor above with limited washing and changing facilities.
Dani had been sleeping rough for some time after her employer had ceased trading. Sleeping in doorways or under the bridges of the Clyde, she had heard from some of the other homeless about the new drop-in centre.
Dani entered the drop-in centre with a few others, those homeless individuals who drifted in for some warmth, food, and a friendly chat. Andrew and Mari helped serve the food and took time to make everyone feel welcome. Debbie and Joyce cleared the tables and washed the dishes to keep the place tidy.
The centre filled up with many different people, old and young. Men and women came in with what little belongings they had, holding them closely to their chests in battered suitcases, black refuse bags, supermarket carrier bags and holdalls.
Debbie recognised one hold-all in particular; she had helped pack it several years ago. Although it was now battered, torn and dirty, there was no mistaking the logo stitched to the flap, which still read “Girls Together for Ever”.
Debbie had not seen Dani since that fateful day when their father had thrown her sister out of the house.
They had lost contact and the family home was no longer home. Their mother finally had had enough of their father and their parents had separated, divorcing shortly afterwards. Their mum then moved a few miles up the coast to Troon. Dani, however, would not have known this even if she had tried to contact her old home.
Was it possible that the old battered bag was still Dani’s or had some other homeless individual got it?
Debbie had to be certain and went over to the person who had their back to her.
“Excuse me…” Debbie began, her voice shaky with hope and anticipation. Dani turned to face the owner of the familiar voice she had not heard for such a long time.
“DEBBIE!” she shouted, drawing the attention of the whole room. The name was all that came out as the tears started at seeing her sister again.
“Dani, it really is you! Thank God!” Debbie managed to get out as her own tears started. She reached to cuddle her long lost sister in a tight grip.
“Girl, you really smell,” Debbie whispered in Dani’s ear through the tears, causing both of them to start to giggle and laugh. Another pair of arms grabbed them, as Joyce joined in to cuddle both her partner and Dani.
Dani just stared into Joyce’s eyes and remembered her feelings for her.
I know you’re really a girl inside,” Joyce whispered, “Debbie told me. We will catch up later.” Dani just nodded her head and smiled.
After Dani had had a shower and changed, she joined the rest of them for something to eat. Later the weather improved it was now a beautiful clear evening, the Christmas star shining brightly in the heavens above.
Dani was sure there was an angel standing in front of her, hands cupped with a globe in her palms. The gentle glow highlighting her face and those beautiful wings with the Christmas Star shining just above the Angel’s head. Dani heard a voice in her head say, ‘Make your wish; be who you were meant to be and no longer the girl in the wrong body’.
Silently Dani thanked the Angel as she felt her body change to become the girl on the outside to match the girl she had always been on the inside.
As the carol singers changed from singing ‘Silent Night’ at a minute to midnight to singing ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ at the first stroke of Christmas morning, Dani finally was happy and contented.
“It looks like we have another guest for Christmas dinner,” Andrew whispered to Mari.
There is a lot of magic in the air at Christmas, the star on the top of the tree or the Christmas Angel you hang as a decoration on the tree. The Magic we believe as children does not have to disappear as adults. After all, we are all children at heart, aren’t we?
I have a greetings card as a picture on my wall. The card is from an original painting by Anne Stokes of her “Yule Angel” and was the inspiration for the conclusion of this Christmas Story.
May you all, wherever you are in the world, no matter what you believe in, have a peaceful and happy festive season.
As always it is not easy to find the correct words to thank my Editor and friend Chris for reviewing the story with his suggestions, support and tweaks. Also to another author friend Kat for taken the time to comment with helpful suggestions and support as well. The word Thanks just never seems enough.
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