The other day I was watching “Law and Order SVU” and this episode dealt with a transgender adolescent child. A child that was born a male and had been named Henry. The log and short of this story is Henry wanted to be called Halley and (her) father refused to call his son, a girl. Henry dressed, walked, talked and acted as a girl. Watching this show brought back a memory for me, one from the fifth grade right after our teacher, Mrs. Hunter passed away. The sub was a newbie and I was a practical joker, yes even at eleven! My first name “VERTIS” is an androgynous name( for males or females) like Shaun or Chris. I was out getting vaccinations when Mrs. Schuler replaced Mrs. Hunter, so she had never seen me in her class. My classmates told me all about her after-school on her first day and mentioned that she thought I was a girl. When she called the role that morning and I didn’t answer, asked if she was saying “her” name right. This brought a chuckle to the classroom and got a laugh at my expense.
So, to even up the score, I had my cousin Rita to make me up as a girl for class the next morning. She put bangs in my hair, complete with the little pink berets on the tips of my braids. She loaned me a pink blouse to complete the look and I was off to school as a girl, all the time Rita was saying that when I got caught, not to drag her name into it. I made it through the whole day without being exposed, but I had a few close calls (some students nearly gave me away). I had to change out of my feminine attire before reaching my house. The victory was now complete, until the next day. Mrs. Schuler called the role that morning and made no mention of my gender reversal, until we were back in our home room and getting ready to leave for the day. Do you know how much chalk a black board can hold?