Would you Madam and Eve it? A Trans Woman’s Struggle With Faith

Or Pinky and Perky fight back.

Fiona Evangeline Leigh
Prism & Pen
6 min readAug 27, 2023


Partying on Anal Street, Manchester, July 2023.

It’s funny how I noticed it.

I have a navy nightdress, flecked with tiny white stars, that I got in Dunne’s Stores for 6 euros. Goddess only knows how or when it ripped at the right breast. For the last few weeks, I’ve been lollygagging around the house with my right ta-ta sticking out. I’m like the world’s laziest Amazon. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Perhaps the cheap material had met a spin cycle too many. Or maybe it was just appalled by its own quaintness.

Or maybe it was a sudden growth spurt?

Whatever the case, I just happened to look down at my chest.

Wait there now a dang second.

I stood in the center of the living room studying the white breast that jutted through the rent in the fabric.

Sweet Mary of Magdala, when did this happen?

I’d grown a breast size overnight!

I turned the main light on and took to the mirror. I took exploratory selfies of my chest. My mind struggled with the geometry of my tits. I stuck ’em out this way and that. Yeah, there was no doubting it. I had a license to wear a bra now and the girls were standing to attention, the left one Pinky, the other Perky.

Like mushrooms growing overnight, they were.

Would you Madam and Eve it?

I was convinced my transition had plateaued. That my meds had their work cut out for them against 40-plus years of testosterone running amok through my system. I’d long since accepted that I’d only ever have pygmy boobs. That’s the lot of a trans-lady of a certain vintage after all. And I was okay with that. If having breasts is that important, go get them augmented.

In the very early days of my transition, almost choking on a primordial fug, I’d have visualized such an instance as completely and utterly life-changing. I’d take a guy’s eyes out with the firmness of my knockers. I’d turn sidewalks into carnivals by walking down them.

Laura from Linc and I at the Pride 2023 Parade.

What struck me that silent, velvety evening was how natural it all was.

I regarded my discovery with delight, don’t get me wrong, but my reaction to them was mature and considered. It felt good to see the physical manifestation of my unwavering diligence. I may doubt the fact I exist at all, but come hell or high water the pills would be taken, and estrogen sprayed on my skin.

Only the angel of death could mess with that ritual. It’s faith in its purest form. You can’t fuck about with ritual.

I’m a self-made woman, my own midwife, patiently encouraging what was always in there to come out. I am living proof that we all share traits of both sexes. The process is cumulative, a slow-acting profundity. The night lit up with a shouted Ariba from my good self with a celebratory jiggle of my new sternal buds.

This must be a game-changer, I thought. How does this challenge my perception of who I am?

It can be a humdrum affair to be trans. There is the constant, nagging feeling one isn’t measuring up and never will.

My recent trip to Manchester to strut my stuff through the gay village had started out well but ended in nihilistic despair on my part. I’d gone to a lot of trouble to prove that the old ways didn’t work anymore. I was no longer a party animal. I sat in a bar, dressed to the nines, focused and unchanging as all around me careened by in a blur. I felt like an It girl, but I was now the type to make my excuses to leave once the popper seals were broken. I hadn’t surrendered myself to the night by drinking myself senseless. Sober as a judge I danced with a few people but was turned off by their drunkenness. The music was frothy nonsense. You’d find more groove in tapioca.

What in the sugary-shit was I doing there? I’m no longer male.

I wasn’t going to cop off with anyone. I didn’t fulfil the criteria. Gay bars had become standardized since I’d last frequented Canal Street (known as Anal Street by the locals). I was 23 and wearing a brown velvet suit with a goatee and long curly chestnut locks. I was like a messiah with an Etsy fixation.

The Shadow of Death (detail) by William Holman Hunt 1873.

I also identified as being straight.

Forgive me as I stifle a guffaw.

At the time life had become an uncertain sea I couldn’t seem to navigate correctly. I chose comfort over empiricism.

It seemed I was destined to never fit in. As the lights flashed and the beat boomped I realized it was the end of an era that had never started. I made no sense in Manchester town. I had no context. I had completely outgrown it. I thanked my lucky stars as I walked back to the hotel, sidestepping the casualties of Friday night. I pitied the poor saps who streeled around the sidewalks like Bears after a baiting. Once upon a time, I would have been one of them.

So back to my Chesticles.

How could these puppies tether me to the here and now? With the right frame of mind, they could be like life buoys in an ocean of constantly shifting meaning. I couldn’t be dysphoric now, could I? Arse in, tits out, shoulders back, bombing it through town, I couldn’t reasonably fall victim to the old question that fever-looped in my mind.

Do people see a man or a woman?

And the inevitable answer

A man.

I hear the septic surprise of guys as they pass. They are usually thugs and drop-outs. They don’t even have the manners to hide their shock at the Russian doll in their midst. “Fuck lads, that was a man”, they bark as I quicken my pace. Even the arseholes of the town are onto my ruse. All the blond hair, legs, tits, and lips in the world can’t seem to hide my shame. My better angels, stronger now, rush to my defense with their mantras and affirmations.

It’s what I think matters. Once I am okay with myself that shit won’t hurt anymore. Keep walking baby, arse in, tits out…………

I’ve learned to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Their derision throws a spotlight on my transformation. What would I prefer? That they didn’t say anything? It’s a pity only the freaks and pervs seem to get me. All the proper lads are unfazed when I pass them. I love the idea of them. I love their hero’s builds. I’m desperate to appeal to them.

The strongest weapon in a transwoman’s arsenal is faith.

Faith in the process of the journey. Faith in that the self can never be perfected but it can improve in ways one can never imagine.

We need faith in ourselves to guide us through the hard times.

And maybe one day, like a tit in the night, we’ll find happiness.



Fiona Evangeline Leigh
Prism & Pen

An Irish writer, transgender woman and singer currently living in the Republic. Has just completed a memoir Marabou Barbie.