Part 16 - Barbara Jean (BJ)
BJ (b1926) was involved in the Southern California Transvestite scene in the late 1950's and early 1960's. He drew the art for 'Fated for Femininity' in 1960 for Virginia Prince and her 'Transvestia' publications. His work caught the eye of Nan Gilbert who contacted BJ and began requesting drawings from him.
BJ says it this way:
"My drawings were made in the 1960's at the request of 'Nancy', the prolific author of such classics as 'Tales From a Pink Mirror' and 'Adventures in Petticoats' after seeing my drawings in 'Transvestia' and 'Turnabout'. For many years I received story material to illustrate which always featured elaborately detailed descriptions of the clothing worn by the participants in 'her' fantasies which increased my fascination with the 'cultural taboo' of cross dressing. I did not draw to produce 'art'! I drew for the strange pleasure I felt in 'getting carried away' in trying to portray femininity in 'off beat' drawings designed to appeal to the fantasies and imagination of the cross dresser. Heterosexual cross dressers love, admire and are attracted to females and anything of a feminine nature with a secret obsession bordering on envy. My sketches do not portray any males unless they are in the process of 'transformation'."
"I hope you enjoy my doodles as much as I enjoy my incurable (I hope) compulsion to draw them!"
I met BJ a few years ago and purchased all of his early art. I also commissioned many more pieces.
Here are some of the first drawings he did for Nan Gilbert. Unfortunately the text has been lost. BJ was kind enough to redraw two of the images for me. You will see that he soon became a much more accomplished artist.
His first published art was in 'Fated for Femininity', a 1960 Virginia Prince/Transvestia novel that tells the story of Lennie Parks:
Lennie Parks was a great yell leader at his former school. He was surprised that there were only girls at the tryouts, but he easily showed them all up with his acrobatic performance.
The other four members of the squad were girls and they resented the skill he displayed in their practices. Their uniforms arrived for their first official appearance - blue satin overall jumpers, frilly white silk blouses, blue sox and white girl's shoes.
"I won't wear that sissy outfit," he said.
Mona, the head cheerleader, shook him forcefully and said, "You little fool, it's too late for us to get anyone else. Will you put this uniform on, 'Linda', or do we have to dress you?"
Soon thereafter, in order to make him an even more convincing cheerleader, the squad took Lennie to a beauty parlor for a permanent wave.
In advance of their next official appearance, the giggling girls not only fluffed his curls into place, they also pinned him down and applied powder, rouge and lipstick to the squirming boy.
When Lennie arrived for the next game, he was horrified to see how Mona was dressed.
"Darling, I'm afraid I forgot to tell you that we had a last minute change in our uniform."
"Is . . . Is it . . .?
"Oh yes, it's like mine." She was wearing a bright blue slip-on sweater and a cream colored flannel skirt. "At the last two games we all wore trousers for your benefit, but this time we are all wearing skirts, for our benefit."
The girls also trick him out in stuffed bra and panties. He doesn't do any flips that day. He performs carefully, trying to prevent his short skirt from flipping up.
More or less as a joke on him and Mona, his classmates choose him as homecoming queen. Lennie is exceedingly embarrassed to have to appear at the dance in a dress in front of his classmates some of whom are now wondering about his gender.
From here forward Lennie/Linda wears dresses more often until his classmates think he was a girl all along.
Mona is a bit of a sadist who enjoys dominating and punishing the boy/girl.
The color drawing BJ did later for his own amusement.
The story ends with him as a bride marrying a boyish girl who dresses as the groom. By now he is enjoying this life too much for me.