Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Becoming Jane - 1. Sports Day

t was the School sports day. Ian Hill had never been picked to represent his house. Small and uncoordinated he wasn't bothered about that. He detested the brutish PE teachers, for whom he represented an easy target for their bullying. He was setting off to find somewhere away from the striving competitors, the officious teachers and the other non-competing pupils whose shrill cheering was very annoying.
For Nina Dobson, the sports captain of Finch House, the afternoon called for military planning and decision making. She knew that covering every event was the key to success. All she needed now was one year 11 girl to cover the 400m. As she knew none of the other three houses had covered everything this was a chance for easy points. Her problem was that there was no one left to pick. Then, over by the cricket pavilion, she spotted Ian. At first, with his longish fair hair and slender figure, she thought it was a girl. Right house, wrong gender she thought. Then an idea came to her. It wasn't a good idea nor was it a bad idea; it was terrible and had no hope of success. But it was the only plan she had. She jotted down a list and handed it to Sue, one of her friends. "Meet me by the pav as soon as you can."
Nina strode purposefully to the pavilion and found where Ian was playing a game on his mobile. "Hello, it's Ian isn't it. You're in Finch aren't you?"
Ian shrugged. "So?"
"So it's time for you to make a sacrifice for Finch House and help us win sports Day!"
"Yeah, right. They've picked Mark, who has his leg in plaster, to throw the shot rather than me."
"You 'putt' the shot, but that doesn't matter right now. What matters is I need a girl from year 11, there isn't anyone... except you."
"Der, not a girl in case you've not been paying attention in biology lessons."
"Not a genuine genetic girl... but I think you're transgender and just can't wait to become the girl you've always dreamt of being. I mean you're a pathetic excuse for a boy, but as a girl you'd look so much better and you might even make some friends. And it'll freak your parents out." Nina paused then added, "Or you could force me to drag you over to the Head Teacher and report you for smoking and sexting on your mobile." As she said that she snatched his phone and chucked it to Sue, who had arrived with the things on Nina's list.
"You can't do that!"
"Wanna bet on it? And don't suggest I'm joking either."
Ian sighed. The teachers would believe Nina and Sue and not a 'weirdo' like him. "I'll be humiliated in front of the whole school."
"Probably, but your choices are limited and I'll be there, keeping an eye out for you."
Ian thought for a moment then said in a whisper, "ok."
Five minutes later he had stripped and redressed, with a bit of help. He was wearing a plain white, slightly padded, bra. Over this he wore a tight fitted white PE blouse. Under a pair of maroon PE briefs which were very clingy and tight, he was wearing a pair of pink panties, that were probably one size too small. The effect, with his tiny boyhood tucked between his legs, was that he now looked feminine and slender. Sue put a pair of white knee length socks on him and some white and pink trainers.  Nina gave his hair a brush giving him a girlish fringe, "let's go!"
"Ok here's the story: you're transgender, a girl, Jane, trapped in a boys body. This is how you're letting everyone know, because you wanted to help Finch House. Let me do most of the talking. Got it?"
They walked over to the start of the 400m. To get there they had to walk past all the crowd. Ian could hear some sniggering and jeering as they walked past the spectators. He blushed, feeling very exposed and self-conscious. Nina whispered some instructions as then, leaving Sue with Ian, she jogged over to Miss Keane, the house mistress of Finch House.
Ian reported to Mr Doyle, the starter. "Hello Sir, I am Jane Hill, running for Finch."
"'Jane'? You're Ian, go away and stop being a stupid boy!"
Nina reappeared. "With respect Mr Doyle, this is a big moment for Jane and you are being unkind. Here is a note from Miss Keane."
Mr Doyle took the note, read it, stuffed it in his pocket and "Very well, 'Jane' you're in lane 2." There was only one other girl in the race, who laughed and said, "Nice legs sissy."
The 400m was one lap of the track, a distance Ian had never run non-stop. Nina said "you can do this Jane, just keep going. Good luck!"
The race began and, as expected, the other runner sped off. Ian started off slowly and he was soon well behind. As he rounded the final bend he saw the girl finish. This is going to be when they start jeering and laughing, Ian thought, but they didn't. To the younger pupils who had no idea what was happening he was just a plucky girl doing her best and hearing Sue and Nina shouting "come on Jane! " joined in, drowning out anything nasty the older pupils dared to call out. Breathing heavily Ian amazed himself by putting on a sprint all the way to the line!
He had scarcely got his breath back when he noticed Nina by his side. "Miss K wants to see us in her office."
On the way they took a small detour to allow Nina to get a spare PE skirt for Ian to borrow. It was a maroon wrap around skirt, with narrow pleats at the sides and back and a plain front. There were two fasteners one each side.
"It's a bit short isn't it?" Ian commented, "but thank you Nina." She also leant him a maroon sweatshirt , you can put it on or wear it over your shoulders with the arms tied. Ian chose to wear it.
On the way Nina tried to prep Ian for Miss Keane's questioning and to get their stories straight. They arrived at the office.
"Good luck Jane," said Nina with a smile, "you know you're much nicer as a girl."
"Well it goes both ways; lots more people have been nicer to me."

The meeting with Miss Keane went on for ages and was a strange experience and Ian found his head spinning as, with help from Nina, they tried to tell the story they had concocted. After about forty minutes Miss Keane said, "so let me see if I've got this straight. You, Ian, have experienced this gender identity crisis since you were about 10 or 11. However until today you have not told anyone. You say you have dressed in girls clothes, purchased at charity shops, in secret at home, but you have none at home now as you recently threw them away, not for the first time, because of the guilt and confusion you are suffering. Now suddenly today, when Nina just happens to need a girl to run in a race for her, you decide that after keeping your secret for five years, you want to 'come out' and identify as a girl, in front of the whole school in spite of the embarrassment this must have caused. Is that right, Jane?"
Ian nodded and said "Yes Miss Keane and thank you for calling me Jane."
"Well it is your name now Jane." She stood up and as she spoke she walked into the small side room where the lost property and a small selection from the school uniform shop was kept. She called out, "how long are your parents away for?"
"They come back next week, it's a business trip to Germany; please don't call them I don't want to cause a problem for them."
Miss Keane emerged from the side room with two bulging carrier bags.
"I can't promise that the Head won't want to call them tomorrow but this is what he told me earlier. If, after this interview, I decided that this was just a silly prank to get some points and make a mockery of sports day, then you would both receive detention and Finch house would be placed last for all inter-house competitions for the year." As she said this, Miss Keane switched her gaze from Ian to Nina and back again. Is Nina blushing, she asked herself; perhaps she was just hot.
"On the other hand, if I was convinced by you Jane, that you are genuinely and sincerely transgendered, then this was to be taken seriously, and the schools new gender equality policy would get used for the first time.  This is your last chance Jane to change your story if you have any doubt. Understand?"
For a moment Ian nearly cracked. A wave of nausea swept over him as the words 'transgendered' and 'gender equality policy' swirled inside his head. In a voice that was a bit croaky he said, "yes, Miss, I understand and I am sure it is what I want."
"Excellent!" Miss Keane began to explain the consequences. Jane was to attend school as usual, except now she could wear the girls' uniform. For now she was to be just one of the girls. Any bullying would be swiftly dealt with.
"Be here, in my office at 7:45 tomorrow. Now off you go and Nina; look after Jane."