In 1989 just before I did my final big show with the Playgirls Review I was working William Street (the Meryl). We had been moved by the police from Premier Lane down to William Street by this time, laws were changing in respect to workers and it was a much more exposed place than the lane. More traffic both in cars and on foot. More exposure. Good in some ways and bad in others. People where constantly walking along William Street to go to and from Kings Cross. One night I was doing my usual thing, parading my ass around in the hope to lure customers when I was approached by a rather handsome man. He was just slightly older than me. I had a thing for European men; olive skin with dark hair was my preference. The man that approached me was of this caliber and I found him extremely attractive. We got to talking and I found him very charming and sexy, he had a lovely toned muscular physique, jet black hair and beautiful brown eyes. We struck up a great conversation even to the point of me offering to take him to the local rooms where we took our clients and I would pay for the room and provide him with sexual favours. However he declined my offer and went on his way. I didn’t really think much of the incident after that.

Shortly after I performed my last gig (show) with the Playgirls and had my accident I was convalescing at home with a cast on my leg. I couldn’t really do much except hobble around and slowly go mad with boredom. Luckily my flat mates were very understanding. I had some savings put aside but it was for my breast surgery and the main way I survived was being on social security and Nan & Pop M providing me with food hampers and support to get me through. Then one day I received a phone call. Out of the blue it was the sexy guy I spoke to on the Meryl (William Street). I thought what’s going on here. We chatted and he told me that he had been back down the Meryl (William Street) looking for me and one of the girls had told him that I had been in a car accident. I asked him why he was looking for me and he said that he liked me. I felt this warm buzz inside me I hadn’t felt before. So the Trans he spoke to had given him my number. If it wasn’t for her passing my info on nothing probably would ever have happened. So we got to chatting and I found myself liking him a lot. He lived far away though, up on the central coast with his parents. I thought this probably won’t work due to the distance and the fact that I was still in my cast from the accident. I took a chance, I invited him to come down and see me at home as I was still pretty house bound. I was excited as this was a whole new set of emotions I hadn’t experienced before. I felt a tingle in my heart.

So the date had been arranged and he was coming down to see me. I asked my flat mates for some space and privacy for the meet and they willingly obliged. I was so nervous and frightened I was almost a wreck. However the day had come and I was rife with anxiety. What to wear and how to act and all that goes with a new meet with someone you like. I always found it hard to let people into my world, especially intimately. This was a whole new ball game. I did have these feelings for men before but they never eventuated into anything that felt like this. It had always just been a pure sexual thing. This felt different. I think it stemmed from being a sex worker so young that I just didn’t understand relationships very well.

So I prepared myself as best as I possibly could, when you’re wearing a cast on your leg the options of wearing something seductive can be awkward without being tacky. He arrived and I let him into the unit and we started chatting. He was interesting, intelligent, sexy and all I could ever ask for. He was really caring and helped me with prepping lunch as we got to know one another a little more. Then he kissed me. I went haywire on the inside. My emotions were running wild. He was an amazing kisser and had a scent about him I just found so arousing. It soon eventuated into a romantic interlude wilder than 50 shades of grey.

Things were going well. He would come down and visit me often and my cast was soon removed and I was mending well. We got on really well, he was spending his weekends with me, and we would go on dates and really enjoying each other’s company. When I spoke to Ali about it all she was really happy for me and encouraging me to go with my feelings and enjoy what was happening. Letting someone into my world was hard, especially on this level. I wondered though how he was coping with me being Trans and also being a sex worker, when we discussed it he said I like you as a person your sexuality comes as part and parcel of you and the sex work was the tricky bit we had to work out. It was a bit challenging at first for me as there was never really a big amount of talk about love and feelings in our household when I was growing up. All I remember is the constant tension and aggression. I knew my family loved me; it just wasn’t spoken about a lot. Constantly I would think the sex work was going to be the issue to kill this magic that was happening in my life.

So I decided to just take it all day by day. It was just as hard for him to accept my world as it was for me to accept his. He was a very introverted person. Somewhat shy to a degree and he came into my world which was a lot for him to take on. My wild party ways and drug taking behavior was a lot in my eyes for someone to tolerate. I took him to a dance party to show him how I lived my life, just as much as I started to travel to the coast to see his way of life. He loved martial arts and was quite philosophical in a way. He was a modern thinker; unlike me who could dwell on things and let them get to me he was more about dealing with things and getting over them much quicker. Our love blossomed and a few of my friends found him weird but as life is not everyone is meant to get along. So we both had things about one another we had to tolerate.
So I had had the cast removed and was recovering well and I decided it was time to have my breast surgery. I didn’t tell anyone, didn’t even mention the thought to anyone. So off to the Dr’s I went. I had heard other Trans girls speak of certain surgeons and I soon made my decision. I went for my consult and discussed the options with the surgeons and made my decision. I was to have a Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty. Boog job. I decided to have more natural size, not so huge I couldn’t see my toes. Something nice. Then the date for surgery was made.

Soon I was telling people about what was to come and everyone couldn’t have been happier for me. So the day came and off we went to hospital. I was admitted and operated on and allowed to go home 2 days later. If I can say it in anyway, the pain was like a car running over your chest. It soon healed well and I had to take it easy for 6 weeks and wore a elastic vest as much as I could tolerate. Well they were amazing. A real game changer for me in the way of confidence and self esteem. Oh boy and weren’t they a huge success with the new man.

As our relationship grew I was becoming less and less interested in sex work I soon had to make a decision. I loved him that much that it was time to give it away. What was I to do, how would I make money, how would I survive. So many challenges to deal with so I could make our relationship work.

While this was developing Ali was getting sicker. The virus was taking control of her body and there wasn’t much she could do. The drugs were not helping her condition very much, she was strong but the disease was getting the better of her. I watched a slow deteriation within her. With my new relationship growing i wasn’t spending as much time with her. It saddened me a lot. She became agitated. I could sense a kind of giving up inside her and it tore me apart to think we were drifting apart.

After a few months my new relationship was blossoming and I felt myself falling deeper and deeper in love. I was enjoying the new emotions I hadn’t felt before. Allowing someone to love me and me opening up and loving someone in a whole new way. I always thought love was love. So after an in depth discussion and a lot of soul searching we had made the decision that I was leaving Sydney and moving to the central coast to live with him. A huge change for me but one I was looking forward to. I discussed it with Ali and although she was happy and very encouraging I could feel a sense that she felt I was leaving her. In a sense I was but I was also there for her as a sister and she could always reach out at anytime. She had a lot to deal with as the disease progressed. I just wasn’t going to be around in a physical sense, there were times when we were pretty inseparable but my new intimate relationship changed everything.

So I packed all my worldly possessions into a small van and ventured north. I was leaving the security of the big smoke behind. My friends, my family and the world I knew. I arrived at the central coast. We had made a decision to move into a small cabin behind his friend’s house. Going from a Sydney apartment to a small shack was a drastic change for me. What you do when you are in love. The cabin consisted of 3 very small rooms, a bedroom, a lounge and a very very small bathroom. It was winter time when we moved in and it was so cold, freezing to be honest. It wasn’t well insulated. The best way to stay warm was to stay in bed. He would go to work and I became the housewife.

I had a passion for gardening and I created a humble yet efficient environment for us to live in. I would constantly ring Nana M for advice, it was hard though because she didn’t call me by my girls name and when we took turns in ringing each other she would ask for me by my boys name. We then made the agreement she called me Sade so he didn’t have to hear that name. He was very understanding. It’s why I fell in love with him. Turning into a housewife it took me time to adjust. So the best therapy for me was getting into the garden. I loved growing things we could eat and lots of colour to make it look nice. I converted a quarter acre block into a sanctuary. I grew an array of vegetables and plants and Nan was always a wealth of advice. She has an amazing green thumb.

The central coast was full of lovely beaches and it was actually very lovely place to live. I just felt isolated in the beginning. I was quite fortunate though as I didn’t feel too alone with the move as I had family that lived in the area and I formed a close bond with my cousin. She had a younger daughter and a husband and I would spend a lot of time with her when my man was at work or doing his martial arts training. They didn’t really get along unfortunately. However she was a great support to me during that time. Hard when you used to live in the big smoke and have to adapt to hill billy life as I called it.

Adapting to the life change was good and we were enjoying living together. We lived in that small cabin for a few months until his friends moved from the bigger house so we decide to take it over. I also felt a shift and found my spiritual side opening up a lot so I decided to do a correspondence course in Astrology to keep me occupied. I was only surviving on sickness benefits. It helped me grow my spiritual side and I started delving more and more into spiritual subjects. I loved the moon and its ability to help with the growing of food and plants was inspiring. I even used it to cut my hair by.

I soon learnt that Ali was very sick and our friend wasn’t coping well who was caring for her. I spoke to my man and we discussed that I would bring her to our house and I would care for her. She came to our place and I was shocked at the dramatic change. I knew in my heart that my dear friend would not have much longer. She was very debilitated, couldn’t do a lot for herself and was very agitated and angry inside. She wouldn’t constantly verbally abuse me for stuff she wanted. We had a benefit night to raise money for Ali’s funeral. She would constantly tell me to use it to by a smoke, it was the only thing she was using to cope with the pain both physically and mentally. Not much else was working for her.

It placed a huge strain on my relationship after a while and Ali was getting very sick. This was my first time caring for someone in a one on one situation. However some friends offered their place for Ali to pass away, it was very imminent and my heart was breaking and needed help. They had a beautiful peaceful setting and they had helped a few other people in the same situation pass over. So we shifted Ali up north and it wasn’t too soon after that she had passed away. I was a wreck. It was the first time I saw someone I truly cared for pass away. I cried for hours, then I dressed her in her favourite outfit which she asked me to. It was a Rochford Design which was her favourite dress maker. I can still hear her now, “SPEQTRA is that dress ready yet”.

There’s always been some miss understanding between myself and Ali’s mum over her passing. It’s not something I am going to air here, I just want her to know that I loved Ali and I love her. Ali’s family were like a second family to me during my time with Ali early in our Bourke Street home in the early years. Her brothers and sister would visit, boy wasn’t that mischief time. I still speak with them and they always spark special memories of the times I spent with her and them. As I said to Ali the day she passed away, keep my space on the dance floor because we will have the last dance, just as we did in The Horden one morning at a dance party. Ali and I had matching outfits with polka dot full circle skirts and huge brim hats. We didn’t see each other for most of the night, then bang, last song in the Horden was Donna Summers Last Dance and we both whirled out from nowhere and danced the last dance together.

It wasn’t very much longer after her passing that my relationship began to break down. We were growing apart. He was becoming very distant and withdrawn. I was getting the feeling he was over me. As a Trans I had constant things going through the back of my mind all of the time. I constantly feared him leaving me for a genetic female, am I not good enough or is the Trans novelty over. It was soon that he declared he loved me, but he just wasn’t in love with me anymore at the time. I had finally learn’t the different types of love that exist. I was shattered with the loss of my friend and now the end of my relationship. It took me some time to get over the break up. I honestly thought I couldn’t make it. It was around the time Whitney had released I Will Always Love You from the Bodyguard. Didn’t that song get thrashed as I grieved my losses. It was an emotional time for me, he was my first love and she was best friend.

If you are wondering why I have left his name out of this it is because we made contact on social media once and then I got asked not to contact him again got blocked. So in respect he can have his anonymity. I just won’t remove his face.

So I then made some important decisions and moved up to Newcastle with my friends for a while and then I decided to make plans for the future and decided to stay in Newcastle for the next chapter.

Part 6 : Becoming a Nurse and The Nursing Home.

All content is copyright to Suzie St James. No part may be copied or reproduced without my consent.