Scene: Two smartly dressed women are walking down a gravel driveway towards a small cottage in a village. The cottage has an old fashioned greenhouse nearby.
Doris: Would you like to go first this time?
Georgia: I’m a bit out of puff after that hill. Would you mind?
Doris: Of course not.
Doris knocks on the door and both ladies wait.
Georgia: Do you think they’ll answer? I wonder if word has gone round?
Doris: Well, they’ve got one of those fancy iSpy doorbell cameras. Best smile now… No, your other best smile. We’re not auditioning for Crime Watch.
There's the sound of a door creaking open from the garden. Alice is stood in the doorway of the greenhouse.
Alice: Hello? Can I help you?
Doris: I wonder if we might have a moment of your time?
Alice: Possibly. I could do with a break from repotting. Isn’t it lovely today? A break from the rain and some sunshine at last.
Georgia: Aye, duck – I mean, yes. It is lovely isn’t it.
Alice: Would you like a seat by the glasshouse?
Doris: Oh yes please. I shouldn’t have worn heeled boots with all this walking.
Both callers sit on a beautifully painted wooden bench. Alice moves a potted plant to sit a ruled up jumper.
Alice: Is this about the upcoming parish elections?
Doris: Ah, not quite. We’re good newsists.
Alice: It’s a little chilly for that isn’t it? To be good nudists?
Doris: Ahem. Sorry. I meant we come to talk to you about the good news around transgenderism. That all are free to be who they need to be.
Alice: For us all to be who we need to be and to be loved, who could ask for more, indeed.
Georgia: We were wondering if you would love to join us?
Alice: I’m not big on activism, but I do consider myself an ally.
Doris: Have you ever felt held back by who you are? That there’s something you long to do? That you have a secret calling?
Alice: I have always wanted to paint –
Georgia: If you were to transition, you would gain the necessary male privilege to do that.
Alice: I’m sorry? Transition where? My family are very settled here.
Doris: To accept your true calling and transition – to change your gender – and become a man.
Alice: I’m not sure that’s for me. I don’t feel very man-like –
Doris: It is often that your spark falls on the damp earth, wettend by self doubt of the cisgender conspiracy.
Alice: Umm. Pardon?
Georgia: My friend here, what she’s trying to say is often the truth of who we are is buried at deep, it can be a struggle after all these years to accept the truth.
Alice: Ah, I see. Well, I would like to think in my autumn years that I’ve found my truth. Out of curiosity, is it a long process?
Doris: No, you can simply decide today. Tell people your new name, start wearing trousers, grow a big beard, and have access to all male spaces without issue. Just the same for others who wish to go the other way too.
Alice: Gosh. That sounds very efficient. My friend Jane, she stated her journey to womanhood over about a decade ago. The poor love had to wait years for an appointment and there was such a wait for treatment. Not just medical, but support in general. Still, that’s the state of investment in the NHS isn’t it…
Doris: Ah, uh, yes well the Church of Transgenderism is much more efficient than that.
Alice: Oh, are you a religious order?
Georgia: For tax reasons, yes.
Doris: Ah, my colleague means tax reasons, so that we may give help to those who must cross over. We keep our investments off shore so we do not burden the UK Tax Authority with all that messy paperwork.
Georgia: We take privacy very seriously, which is why we don’t talk about who funds us –
Doris: – from donations by the grateful and kind. We absolutely don’t take money from the New Right or any of that.
Georgia: Oh of course not! How would we have anything in common with a group of people trying to push forward fixed gender roles and encouraging traditional stay-at-home values for women while promoting male superiority? Ha! Boo and humbug to such thoughts.
Alice: Well, I think it’s great that you’re supporting those in need, but I’m not sure this is for me. My partner married a woman, and I’m happy in my gender.
Doris: Is your partner the same sex as you? By one of you transitioning, you’d be able to take up our limited time offer of cisheteronormality and that comes with a guarantee on more invitations to dinner parties. Plus it helps erase G and L people –
Alice: Is that a word? It would be a belter at Tuesday’s Scrabble club. Wait. Could I pick you up on the point about gay people disappearing?
Doris: We’re open to all questions.
Alice: Well, my friend Jane, married her wife back when Jane was her old gender. I think it’s beautiful that they’ve stayed together. So, how does that play into your agenda to erase gay people?
Doris: Well it’s obvious really. They’re not proper lesbians. We can’t have people coming out left, right, and centre. It’ll knock the stats for a start.
Alice: How’s that then? You’ve said people can change gender and that people are free to be who they need to be, how are two women who love each other, such as Jane and Maria, not a gay couple?
Doris: You have to have faith that that’s just the way it is.
Alice: There’s faith and then there’s confusing statements like that.
Doris: It’s a parable.
Alice: In what way? What are we supposed to learn from it?
Georgia: Well, if we explained that here, we would, uh, be taking up a lot of your time and somethings are best discovered for themselves.
Doris: Like enlightenment.
Georgia: Yes, exactly like that. Thank you, Doris.
Alice: Oookay. Well, I think it’s time I got back to potting.
Georgia: But don’t you want to be free and able to be your true self?
Alice: Look. I’m happily retired and married to a lovely man. Our children are leaving the nest. I’m looking to do more in the village and I think, I am as free as I can be. At least, as modern society is currently.
Doris: So you feel transitioning would stop that? Think of the male privilege you’d gain and how much more you could do! Painting! Promotions! Never having to ask for directions! It could all be yours. Yours by just popping on some trousers and, now don’t tell, but a fake beard until your real one comes in.
Alice: Look. I get you are both very keen. But I gave up being a man years ago. So much introspection, worry, and stress that I felt there was something wrong with me. At one point, I wondered if I should be here at all. Later with some help, I was able to come to terms with who I was and with the help of friends, be who I needed to be. I decided to change and it was a slow and complicated process. It was not a choice, I am trans, I just didn’t know. I gained new friends, lost some who didn’t understand, and a job, but it was all worth it. I would not be married with the family I have now. Tom, my husband, knows and being an enlightened soul, he’s okay with it. So to our are kids – adopted if you’re curious – and they have grown up knowing that they decide who they want to be and who they love.
Doris: What’s your point exactly?
Alice: You both seem very nice. I really don’t think trying to recruit people is sensible or kind. Arthur and Jake don’t try and bring people over to the pink side; I feel that we should let people be, let them find their way, and support and accept them.
Georgia: So you’re one of us? Didn’t you put your TranMafia secret symbol on the house using the special UV paint?
Alice: It must have been lost in the post. Ha! If only there was a secret cabal running the show! We might actually be able to make the world a little better for everyone. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Doris: Thank you for your time. Would you mind one of our leaflets? In case you’ve anyone open to our message.
Alice: You know, I’m seeing the Neighbourhood Friends this week. I could hand some out if you like. If you let me have all you have now, I’ll spread them around.
Georgia: That really is very kind. Thank you for listening and maybe our paths will cross again.
Doris hands over the leaflets, goodbyes are said, and both ladies walk back up the driveway, returning to their car.
Georgia: Jeez, my feet feel like they’re on fire. HQ should have recommend flat boots, Boris.
Doris: Come on, chap. Let’s get the aircon going. I’m on the cusp of glowing profusely thanks to this shapewear. I don’t care what the pay is, after next week, I’m going back to selling time shares. At least folk want them eh George?
Georgia: Aye, chap. I guess there’s some things you just can’t sell folk. Luckily, time shares and plant friendly WiFi ain’t them.
Boris: Gah, look at the time. We’ve got two public loos to visit and a shared changing room on the list.
Georgia: Can we just say we caused a fuss with the assistants at the changing room? I’m feeling quite fat today. Why does everything have to be so fitted and change shape and colour every season? Does my head in.
Doris: You know what, chap. Let’s get back and charged and go have a pint. There’s got to be an easier sell than this gig.
Smoke rises from the greenhouse as Alice distributes the leaflets into the wood burner.
Tom: Oo, it’s lovely in here, Ally. Fancy a tea, lovely? I see you’ve sorted the vegetables.
Alice: All but two, dear, but they won’t be back.