The Lady and The Priest: Reconciliation
Today I start this story. Perhaps a short little Bio is in order. I am a 57-year-old Transgender Male to female. I have struggled with Gender Identity ever since I can remember. I only came out of my prison closet within this last year 2016–2017. I am not here to tell my story though. However, I hope to tell the story of the LGBT experience through the experiences and lives of a Transgender Lady and a Gay Priest.
These two lively and fictional characters cannot tell the whole story related to LGBT history and experience. It is hoped that their story may encompass part of all our experience. These two characters very much want to touch the hearts and minds of every LGBT individual who has and is struggling with Identity and sexuality. They will also strive to touch the hearts of non-LGBT persons with hope that we may be viewed as, persons and individuals who, love, cry, aspire, hope, create and live and die in this world, just like all other human beings.
Lesbian women, Gay Men, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals have dwelt on the planet Earth since almost the beginning of time, and at least, the beginning of recorded history. Since, we have been here, we continue to struggle with, who we discover we are early in life. Initially, our struggle is internalized with confusion and the pain of realization that we aren’t who they say we were born to be. The thought of being different haunts us until we can accept who we are and who we are born to be. Many LGBT persons realize their identity early in life and begin to act on their realization. Some go immediately in the closet and can stay in there for a lifetime while trying to deny their attractions and identities. As for myself, I stayed in the closet and would only come out in absolute secrete. I lived in a sort of hell or prison for more than 50 years. That is a different story for later.
All humans must make many choices and decisions throughout life in regards to right and wrong, good and bad, choosing a partner, education and finances to name a few. Most human beings have not had to spend years worrying about Identity and sexuality choices or fearing what would happen if they disclosed their true selves. In normal development one may struggle at certain points. However, non-LGBT person’s identity issues are usually resolved by very early in life.
Heterosexuality and binary gender are the norm in most cultures. For them, the struggle becomes the need to find a partner of the opposite sex, marry, produce children and to raise a family. Usually they find a great deal of support from family, friends and society at large. Often, LGBT people only find support within their own community. Many are rejected by family and friends.
LGBT individuals have been accused of making the wrong choices. One must believe that we really do not have any choice in our identity or sexual preference. Many of us have tried for years to fight our longings and urges. We or our parents have sought various therapies to fix our problem. Many of the so-called interventions in psychology have been harmful and detrimental to us. In the new millennium, there are those in the professional arena who want to still put gender identity confusion in the category of mental illness.
Current science and study have mercifully concluded that we are born the way we are and that gender identity and sexual preference are an actual construct of our personhood. Perhaps someday the majority will accept that we did not make the choice to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. Most of us reply to the accusation of wrong choice by saying, why would I choose this? The choice we finally did have to make at some point within our struggles was, whether we could accept ourselves and begin to live at peace within ourselves.
For us LGBT persons, that may be when the external struggles begin. In the developmental task for LGBT persons, of coming out, it is the most difficult rite of passage we face. Self-acceptance and disclosure of who we are to the world creates uncertainty and fear of how we will be accepted in the world around us. That was enough to keep many of us older generation LGBT persons in the closet for many years. The risk we take is larger than any other choices we must make.
In the heterosexual straight world, the idea or thought of coming out just does not occur. With all due credit where it is deserved, most of my family and friends have struggled with acceptance of me and most do accept me as a Transgender Male to Female.
The onset of Social Media has greatly helped in creating a truthful awareness of who LGBT people really are. It has dispelled much of the stigma and myths surrounding us. Social media has made it ever so possible for many of us to finally come out of our prisons. Science and medicine have come a long way in helping us to survive and thrive in this world today. Transgender individuals are closer than ever to having the body of the gender they always knew they were. With the safe use of sexual hormones such as, Testosterone and estrogen and various recognized surgeries as applied treatment for our gender disorder or dysphoria, we are fast becoming the individuals we were born to be.
The Transgender community could not exist in their own bubble. We are a loud voice for equal rights and gender acceptance. We could not have come as far as we have if it were not for the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual community. The gay community has been fighting against bigotry, hatred and non-equality for a long time. As a community, they have made great strides and the Transgender community owes them so much. They have taken us under their banner as we all will continue the fight for equality in every aspect of life. Together we are and will remain an extremely loud voice that can never again be ignored.
Finally, ‘The Lady and the Priest,’ Juliette Emma Pelletier and Fr. Francis Patrick, O’Conner Jr. would like to welcome you to their story. Like all people, they have had many struggles in their lives. As children, until their sophomore year of high school, they both lived in the same small town of New Castle Delaware, a historic town located on the Delaware River. Emma, as she likes to be called is a Transgender woman who made her full transition from an unhappy male body to a beautiful female in the early 1980s.
Her father was French Canadian and a very successful contractor and home builder. Her family lived in a secluded, exclusive neighborhood of historic homes. She started out in life as an only male child. Fr. Patrick as he likes to be called, since he was a Junior and his father was called Francis, grew up in a strict Irish Catholic home. His family lived in a blue-collar neighborhood. Both Emma and Fr. Patrick realized early in life that they were different from most kids in their school and neighborhood. This author and the Characters hope that you read this story with an open mind and heart as this is not only their story but the story of so many others in the LGBT community as we live our lives the best that we can.
I. Emma’s Bad Bitchy Day
Friday, the day Emma hated most. While everyone was getting ready for the weekend and talking with anticipation about their dates, clubbing and, parties to go to, she had that usual empty feeling inside. She had been alone for most of her life. She had taught herself to stuff those lonely feelings deep down inside her longing soul. She would work long hours, then go home to an empty house with a full bottle of Gray Goose vodka to escape those lonely feelings until she woke up the next day.
Emma was often called “bitch,” behind her back and several times to her face. Those that dared confront her would be unemployed within minutes and escorted from the five-story factory and warehouse that she owned. This ultra-modern and high Tech building housed her High-End Ladies Fashion design business and clothing manufacturing company. Emma was a genius when it came to business and had turned a dying clothing company into a billion-dollar business. She had this instinct and knew what women wanted in style and what they were willing to pay. Her clothing designs had a cult like following. A cult following of the highest income bracket. She recently located this new building right in the heart of New York Cities fashion district.
Emma was not a nice person. She always seemed angry about something. The smallest infraction could set her off and there was always hell to pay. All her employees feared her beyond reproach. With one tantrum, she could send the whole company into hiding, if they could get away. The middle management and minimum wage workers often took the brunt of her rage. She also employed a fair number of undocumented workers, mostly Asian and Hispanic. These exploited workers were her answer to not outsourcing to other countries as she paid them weekly in cash, and that was a meager sustenance. Emma did not see these workers as people, just a means to fill her coffers. Everything for her was always a bottom line, no matter what the cost to others. She was very crafty in how she got away, illegally, with running a modern day sweat shop.
Emma had turned out a lot like her father who sent her away when she was a sophomore in high school. She named her Company with the Family name, “Pelletier Fashion and Fabrics,” For the woman who wants everything. Yes, that was her company logo and slogan. The companies mission was to sell to women who had everything and wanted everything. She knew they would pay for it. Emma’s market share was women who were so rich and spoiled by money that they could have cared less about the little people or how a limited-edition Pelletier evening gown was manufactured.
Emma’s customers loved her. Perhaps Narcissists can love each other for what they could get from each other though, there were times in her life where she displayed compassion of the highest order and to the Transgender community. Many thought Emma to be eccentric in her giving to Transgender persons.
Her father was more of a curmudgeon than she would ever be. He was a horrible nasty man. A French Canadian whose father immigrated from Quebec Canada to upstate New York to begin making his fortune in logging and construction of log homes. As time went on, Charles Sylvester Pelletier Increased his fortune in real-estate by developing exclusive housing in gated neighborhoods for the very well off along with so many other successful real-estate ventures that netted millions.
Emma never wanted to be like her father. She hated him with a passion. When she left home as a sophomore, she swore to herself and God in Heaven that she would never go back. She never did. Her father set up an endowment that would generously last her three lifetimes. He didn’t provide for her out of love. He didn’t ever want her to come home, ever. According to her father, Emma was a total embarrassment to him and had the potential to destroy his reputation and the family name. She still carried the nightmares of severe beatings with several broken bones all because her father could not accept who she was and who she was becoming. She was a horrible inconvenience to him. His way to solve any family problems or issues was to make them go away and he had plenty of money to do this. Emma sometimes thought that maybe he would just pay someone to kill her and dispose of her body. She would laugh to herself thinking, he was low but not that low.
Emma always thought it amusing at the Friday Mad dash to get out of the building right at five pm. It was a justifiable dash to clear the threshold of the offices and production center. Often and at the last minute, Emma would force her workers to do overtime to meet deadlines. Not one worker was ever immune from Emma and the dictator she had become.
Fortunately for her staff. Emma had a horrid day, beginning with a broken heal and falling to her knees while getting out from her limo this morning. Emma did not cope well with accidental displays of public humiliation. The day only became worse as the clock ticked on. Someone really fucked up the logistics for her Neiman Marcus Shipment due today and delayed until Monday. She would also fire the person or person’s responsible for this on Monday. Today, all that Emma wanted to do was go home, get drunk and stay drunk for the entire weekend.
Emma’s work space was always immaculate. She did have a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder. She would even wipe her phone and desk with germicidal wipes three times per day. Going through todays mail There was a certified letter. It was mailed overnight with urgent reply requested. This letter was different than any mail she had received ever since she left home. It was addressed to Jonathan C. Pelletier. Emma’s hands shook as she opened the letter, as if opening a major can of worms. Jonathon Pelletier was her “Dead Name.” That was her name until she left home.
Most all Transgender persons vehemently reject their birth name as that person who they were born as, is now dead and has given life to one’s, “truer identity.” Just seeing her Dead Name after so many years was a total shock to her being. Emma fell to her chair. Right in front of her, that name dislodged a torrent of painful memories and flashbacks of abuse.
Dear Jonathon Pelletier,
It is with sincere regret that we inform you of the recent death of you father, Charles Sylvester Pelletier. He was found in his home by his house keeper and live in companion Imelda Sanchez on March 20th 2016 at eight am. The paramedics were notified by Ms. Sanchez and he was pronounced dead by them as the actual time of his death was approximately several hours before he was found. The cause of your father’s death was listed as heart failure.
We were not able to determine any next of kin besides yourself. Your presence is required as soon as possible to initiate funeral arrangements and estate settlement. Your father had no will and accordance with estate and surrogacy law in Delaware You are the duly named Power of attorney and executor of his estate. Please notify us of your receipt of this letter and the earliest that you can meet with our firm.
Jones, Jones and Pasqual
Attorneys at Law
Mother Fucker! You son of a bitch! You, worthless piece of shit! You had to get the last fucking word in! even in your death! Johnathon fucking Pelletier. You bastard. Just had to hurt me one more time, didn’t you! You mother fucker! Fuck you and your money! They can take it and shove it up your dead as for all I care. Oh, my God! I haven’t felt this pain since I left your horrible world. You think I’d cry over you, you are so fucking wrong. No, you won’t, you will never hurt me again.
Emma could not stop crying. When she arrived home, she drank two bottles of grey goose and for the first time since her teenage years seriously contemplated her own death. The life and misery she left behind in Delaware had come back to haunt her. She passed out before taking a handful of Xanax.