Transman was born Laura Dillon. From an early age, she always knew that she wasn’t like other girls. She wasn’t interested in the same games, or the same conversation, or the same clothes as them. As a student, studying archaeology, Laura began to wonder what life would have been like had she been born a boy. Going out at night disguised as a boy, Michael, Laura experimented with how different things might have been.
One night, whilst walking back to his lodgings, Michael was recognised by a gang of students from another college, publicly humiliated and badly beaten. Michael’s battered body was found lying in the street by Ali Gillies. Fearing what might happen if he were admitted to hospital, Michael asked Ali not to call an ambulance. Ali did as he asked and, instead, took the unconscious Michael back to her home where she could get help for him.
Undressing Michael to treat his injuries, Ali and her father, Professor Gillies, a brilliant scientist marginalised by the establishment, discovered his secret and decided to offer to help him. Professor Gillies had been working on plans for a method of delivering testosterone to female patients wishing to transition to male by means of a solar-powered, self-renewing testosterone crystal permanently embedded in the subject’s chest. The research was considered too costly, and the population helped by the treatment too small, to justify funding and the Professor was forced to abandon his research. Seeing a means to test his prototype, the Professor asked Michael whether he would be willing to try the new delivery system. Michael agreed and Professor Gillies implanted his prototype T-crystal in Michael’s chest.
The prototype crystal worked better than expected. The first day that Michael was allowed outside to recuperate, the T-crystal gathered a much larger charge from the sun than Professor Gillies’ research had predicted. The crystal increased Michael’s physical and mental powers, building Michael’s body up to a peak of male physical perfection and giving him a rare ability to see the spectrum of human sexuality and gender. Michael found that he could look at a person and know their sexuality and gender immediately by an aura that surrounded them and was visible only to him. It was at that point that he discovered that Ali, whom he rather hoped might be more than just a friend, was a lesbian.
Michael continued to work as an archaeologist; the fact that he had been born female, unknown to everyone except Ali and her father. It was whilst working on a dig in the French town of Rouen that Michael Dillon uncovered the torch used by executioner, Geoffroy Therage, to set light to the pyre that killed that Joan of Arc. Encouraged by Ali to get involved in LGBT rights, it was whilst they were protesting against an anti-gay marriage rally that Michael discovered that the Rouen torch shines brightest in the presence of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry, especially homophobia and transphobia.
The anti-gay marriage rally against which Ali and Michael were protesting was being held by Dr. Binary, the famously vitriolic evangelical preacher. As Dr. Binary’s rhetoric against same-sex marriage became more and more hateful, the Rouen torch began to glow with a white light. The intensity of the light increased with Dr. Binary’s fervour, filling the room, eventually blinding those listening and Dr. Binary himself. Over time, the audience members regained their sight as they let go of their homophobia and transphobia, but Dr. Binary has never recanted and remains blind. He has never forgiven Michael Dillon.
Remembering his own beating at the hands of the student gang, Michael Dillon fights injustice and bigotry as Transman using the Rouen torch to temporarily blind those most twisted by their hate and inhumanity until they come to see the light of tolerance.
Copyright © 2013 Liberation Publishing (www.liberationpublishing.co.uk)