Monday, March 29, 2010

Transgender Fender Bender

When I get blogging block, it always helps to read someone else's post and steal their ideas. That happened to me today when I read Imagine. I was reminded of my first experience, in my late twenties, of coming face to face with a man in drag.

We were driving in the evening, not yet totally dark, in spring time. We were on a kind of rural road that wound its way along a river. As we approached a bridge from the south, we watched a southbound sedan shoot off the end of the bridge. It flew up into the air and then flipped, landing on the car roof. In those days, cars actually had some steel in them. You kind of felt like they were something heavy and substantial. It was astounding to watch that car flip through the air like a plastic toy thrown in a child's temper tantrum.

We stopped. My husband went running over to the car and I went running back down the road to a house where we might contact the police and an ambulance. (Remember the days before cell phones? Remember the days when you didn't think twice about knocking on a stranger's door to ask for help?) When I got back to our car another car had stopped and a woman was looking into the front passenger window of the overturned car while my husband was at the driver's side window. Later, my husband told me that the driver had greeted him with, "I'm okay. I'm fine. Just go!"

Then the woman who had stopped came running over and was yelling, "Ma,am! Ma'am! Are you okay? Help is on the way!"

She got a similar response from the driver, "I'm fine. Don't call anyone. Just go away!"

Well, obviously things were not fine, but my husband was thinking to himself, "Ma'am??" because, although the car was kind of flattened, he could clearly see the hairy, masculine hands of the driver and had already determined that there was only one person in the car.

The police came. They were also asked to go away, but they didn't. They were able to get the driver out of the car. Miraculously, he was not seriously hurt at all. He had a few minor scratches and a bump on the head. His nylon stockings were badly ripped and runny. His blond, curly wig was askew, and his skirt was twisted uncomfortably around his body. Clearly, he was incredibly embarrassed and I guess that explained his insistence that he needed no help--we should just leave him there, upside down, until his nightmare just went away.

I will say, the State police officers treated that man with dignity.


  1. What an interesting story. In Texas a man running for public office was transgender and some helpful soul just had to bring it up. He withdrew from the race, his standing in the community shattered.

  2. I'm happy to have been the catalyst for your post, Olga! I wonder if that man ever dared to dress and go out again?

  3. Got to agree with kenju. Think that might have just scared him back into trousers, at least while traveling. Kind of ruined all his fun.


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