I was sitting in a booth at Donut Time, and with me were Sin-Dee and Alexandra – two transgender prostitutes – and Chester, their pimp. Seeing some activity outside, we looked and saw a new black Escalade – still wet from the car wash around the corner – pull up in front. The passenger door opened and out stepped Caitlyn! She hastily folded some bills and stashed them in her bra, then came inside. Seeing her friends, she walked up and slipped into the booth with us.
She took one look at me and appeared to realize, “The jig is up!” But then before admitting who she was, she demanded the same coffee and donuts her friends were enjoying. Taking her first bite of a donut, Caitlyn looked over at Chester to see if he would have any objection to her answering my questions, but Chester was too deeply engrossed in Candy Crush to give a shit. Hence I started my interrogation.
Caitlyn and I spoke for nearly an hour, and here is what she revealed.
When she was left alone and friendless at Donut Time that first day, she was confused and disoriented. Soon, however, she was befriended by Sin-Dee and Alexandra, who helped her get established. At first, the only way Caitlyn could support herself was to sell off all the designer clothing, handbags and jewelry she had with her in her bags. This she did, and (she emphasized) she will be forever grateful to Diane von Furstenberg for helping her through this rough patch in her life.
But in time that money ran out, and she had to get a job. Which she did, as a dishwasher and waitress at Burrito Heaven. It was there, she said, she began to “remember who she used to be.”
First, she found so much simple satisfaction in those lowly jobs of washing dishes and cleaning tables. Because of her, the cooks had clean dishes on which to serve the meals they cooked, and the patrons had clean tables at which to sit. For a person who had spent years feeding that insatiable “Social Media” beast (which gives to no one any milk or hides or meat), it was refreshing to provide an honest “service” to others.
Then, she saw that most of the workers at Burrito Heaven were living lives as much “in secret” as she did during those years she called herself “Bruce.” They had to hide the truth of their legal status, often using fake names and fictional biographies. They lived in fear of exposure – something the old Bruce understood all too well.
Then, she saw that some of the workers lived a “double-secret” life. Some of them were gay, and they had to keep that secret even from those with whom they shared the secret of their citizenship. Imagine! To carry the weight of so much falsity! Not who you claim to be… nor who they think you love. It was painful, Caitlyn said, to be “honest and authentic” in the work she did, but to see so many of her fellow-workers living secret lives.
After a month or so, Caitlyn went on, Chester took her under his wing, and she began to see even more “secrets” surrounding her. Here were Sin-Dee and Alexandra, who no longer even tried to use their family names. (As what’s the use? When your family has disowned you.) And their first names are but “street names” adopted to shield them from the cruel and unforgiving “street.” Each living hand to mouth. Without a past, alone, outcast and shunned.
Not “secret” because of any fault of their own. Their story too well known to all… the world will not pause to hear it… or hearing it, but turns away in silence.
Finally, she revealed that – plying her trade for several months under Chester’s benevolent tutelage – she had learned of yet another group of souls who live their truth in shadow. It is those men who seek her out for her unique “attractions.” They, too, are ever vigilant to hide their faces from the world.
How could they bear the shame if family, spouse or friends were to hear the truth of who-they-love? That most unspeakable of all erotic fascinations, of which Caitlyn Jenner – newest member of the Kardashian Posse – is the most notorious and (if truth be told) the most voluptuous example.
The interview was ended. Snow White got up and went outside to meet one of her admirers, who had pulled up in front. I was left alone with Chester, who told me that – in his professional opinion – the new girl has beginning to fit in real well with Sin-Dee and Alexandra and the other girls who hung out at Donut Time.
“Sometimes,” he said, “the only way to find out ‘how the other half lives’ is to get down and dirty – and share the life they lead.”
(This article was published in the April 19, 2016 issue of GRAB Magazine.)