and deliver us from evil…or, if not  that, at least from the pervs and weirdos

and deliver us from evil…or, if not that, at least from the pervs and weirdos

A Story by David H Lapham

Howard has a secret. You won't have to read far to discover it. Question is can you handle it? (pun intended)


and deliver us from evil…or,

if not  that,

at least from the pervs and weirdos


By David


My name is Howard (not my real name for reasons that will become obvious). I’m an unemployed former lingerie model. You may have already guessed my unemployment came about due to my decision, two years ago, to undergo sex reassignment therapy and surgery. It is not my intention to convince you of the justification for such a move on my part. Nor is it an attempt to dissuade you from any prejudice you may hold for such a procedure. This is very simply my story and I put it out there just for your amazement and amusement. Also it is the perfect proof of what my father always told me: “Sweetie, there’s nothing you can’t do once you put your mind to it.” I’m sure he wasn’t thinking of my gender decision when he so advised me.

So, with Daddy’s words in mind, I persisted in my job search. I didn’t really have to work during my transition; my modeling career had been that lucrative but I was bored and bouncing off the walls. Everything I applied for in New York turned up the same cautiously worded rejection: “While your academic credits are impressive, we find that we do not require your unique talents at this time.” Following two months of like rejections, I decided to bust out of New York for Florida. Half way to my destination I was stopped in my tracks by a newspaper ad in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 “Seeking men and women, 30-45 years of age, to fill positions of exceeding importance to the state of North Carolina. Must be willing to undergo two-week intensive training course followed by one week on-the-job trial. High School Diploma or GED preferred. Forty-hour week, top minimum wage + health insurance. Contact Office of NC Secretary of the Interior (a phone number was listed)”

I had no intention of resettling in North Carolina but the absolute lack of specifics regarding the position gave a flavor of intrigue and I did, in fact, want to work. From there it became even more curious. The only ID required for employment was a valid driver’s license and Social Security card. My recently renewed license pictured my new man persona and my real first name is one worn by both male and female. So, having bound my, yet to be removed, hormone reduced, female breasts in such a way as to resemble a man with well-developed pectorals, I was in like Flynn.

On our first day of training the air was ripe with hope and patriotic enthusiasm. Entering the hall, each of the over 4,000 trainees was given a welcoming packet that, in addition to the usual personal information and tax forms, held a colorful and oozing greeting from the Secretary of the Interior. That greeting also exhorted us to address our new responsibilities with “care and seriousness of purpose to make our state, indeed our nation, proud.” As we were seating ourselves, a group of maybe 40 middle-aged men and women filed onto the stage, stern and grim-faced. One of the forty stepped to center stage. He was in shirt sleeves, tie loosened, top button unbuttoned and made a show of rolling up his sleeves. He scanned the audience with not even a hint of a smile before he spoke.

“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Elwood Handful, Special Assistant for Urgent Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior of North Carolina. We, here today, are about to embark on a task that will require, not only your utmost dedication but also a delicate precision seldom asked of public servants. You probably know already that forces at large are ruthlessly attempting to change the time-honored social landscape this great land.” Handful paused and betrayed an ever-so slight trace of a grin as an absolute hush fell over the auditorium. In some quarters one could sense that fear was beginning to take a grip. He continued, “To counter this scourge the legislature has passed and the governor has signed a bill to require people to use male or female public restrooms in accordance with the gender designated on their birth certificate. You, my friends, will be the first of tens of thousands more to be trained and stationed in restrooms throughout the state to act as Gender Monitors, GMs for short.” What it says about Elwood Handful that he said all of that with a perfectly straight face, I will leave for others to decide.

A rumbling, slow-moving reaction built to a crescendo as many in the hall rose and cried “Yeah!” in tandem with the slapping sound of high-fives. But the rumble also included the groans and moans of those less than enthusiastic at the imagined prospect of inspecting not only birth certificates, but genitals of patrons experiencing a biological urgency. Here, I should note that the fact that not one of the 4000+ trainees walked out should at least raise doubt to the oft expressed belief that the unemployed are just a bunch of lazy b******s who don’t want to work.  I must say though, that initially, I had an impulse to split until I realized that on me had befallen an absolutely unique opportunity.

 Handful then gave a brief explanation of birth certificates, specifically the location of the space designating the sex of the new born on each of 38 different birth certificate forms contained on pages 3-22 of the training manual. Finishing his explanation, he dispersed the 40 men and women on the stage to the floor where they divided us into roughly equal groups. The group leader then directed us to one of previously reviewed pages on which we were to find the sex designation and once having done so, raise our right hand. Looking around, I counted 24 of the 54 trainees in our group had raised their right hand while the rest had or eventually would raise their left. The objective of the exercise, we were told, was to get the entire group to the point that all were able to find the designation in five seconds or less no matter the form. I tried to remember if I had ever taken my birth certificate into a public restroom. This dragged on till lunchtime without achieving the five-second objective.

Waiting in line to be served lunch, the guy beside me asked “Where you work out, bub?” 

“Not here, I’m from Boone. You?”

“Boy’s club, Center City. But I ain’t near as good as you,” he said, delivering a backhanded whack right in the middle of my flattened, bound b***s. “Yeah, you been doin’ this a good while, ain’t ya?” he went on and pressed with thumb and forefinger to test the elasticity. “Yeah, a good while.”

I recovered my breath, if not my dignity, in time to choke out, “Yeah.”

Upon returning from lunch, my group’s instructor, Kevin, told us we would be moving on because, after all, nine seconds to find the sex designation space wasn’t that bad. The disappointment of those in the group who had taken their books to lunch to practice was noted so Kevin agreed to one last try. “Eight seconds,” he cried enthusiastically. “That’s a better than 10% improvement. Now let me direct your attention to Chapter 3, pages 43 to 66.

Chapter three held the horror of over thirty pictures each of male and female genitalia: all sizes and shapes each bearing some sign of having been artificially constructed. Here the heavy breathers came out and, in fact, excelled at finding each tell-tale sign of surgical modification. So absorbed in their study, some, at the end of the day, begged that we be allowed to continue our study in the next session. For me, if I never see another picture of such detail, it will be too soon.

The next three days were spent on visual and tactile clues for determining a person’s sex at birth. Though I have been known to stretch the rules of propriety where discussions of sex and body parts are concerned, I nonetheless feel obligated to dispense with a description of what transpired on those days. Suffice to say that I was amazed to discover what could be determined by simple strategic touching and so, I should say, were the heavy breathers. Their probing questions taught us more about the inner goings-on of the breathers than about detecting transsexuals but the instructor seemed impressed. And this only encouraged the breathers to further stretch the boundaries. But more than the breathers what was shocking to me was my realization that someone, at public expense, must have conducted studies in order to catalog all these clues and giveaways.

At the outset of week two we found that fortunately, though uncharacteristically, the legislature had had the wisdom to develop a politeness quotient which they believed would prevent violent reactions by people seeking to flout the law. So the second week was spent on role-playing methods for discovering and dealing with transgressors. Fortuitously, I only played the role of the GM or, in other words, I was always the toucher rather than the touchee.

Finally on the last day each of all who had stayed the course, a certificate of completion for Gender Monitor Training was issued. Then we were bussed to the state uniform store where we were each issued three shirts, two pairs of pants, belt, hat and name plate.  Mine read GM JONES (also not my real name). All of this would be paid for through twelve paycheck deductions over the next six months. And that’s exactly how long I lasted. During those six months, posted just inside the restroom door, I did not make a single arrest nor did I prevent anyone from using the restroom facilities. When I detected that someone might be a gender bender, I would smile and greet them warmly. It was not what they expected and always they looked at me askance. But almost invariably, upon leaving, they would smile, shake their head and wish me a pleasant day having, I believe, figured out our kinship.

In August I received notice from my New York doctors that I was slated for the reassignment surgery on the 15th of September. Today, my gender monitor certificate hangs on the wall of the New York Apartment that I now share with Callie, my girlfriend. It continues to be a conversation starter even among friends who know my whole story. Oh, and Callie loves to dress up in my old uniform to greet me when I come home from work. On those days, I know it’s going to be a perfectly lovely evening.


David’s novel, The Ghost and Mrs. Sweeney: Starting Over, is in preview on Kindle Scout till July 4, 2016 where you can read the first 5000 words.

© 2016 David H Lapham

Author's Note

David H Lapham
Like all of my stories, in this one, too, there is a kernel of truth.

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An unusual tale to be sure, but interesting and very well written. Bathroom monitor--is that a real thing? I tell you--certain aspects of these modern times make me want to be even more of a hermit than I already am. For a while in the late seventies, the Navy had people watch us pee in a jar (drug screening, ya know) and it was pretty unpleasant. I'm sure the rule was applied equally to the officers. (Not!) As for our antagonist, I can't imagine a worse job than this.

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Added on June 12, 2016
Last Updated on June 12, 2016
Tags: Modern Historical Fiction


David H Lapham
David H Lapham


I taught history at Coral Gables High School for 35 years, retired, reconsidered and went to work for Gulliver Prep in Pinecrest, Florida. Six years later I felt ready for retirement but again found i.. more..