Friends of Paul Wooton, a transgender man who unexpectedly returned to the UK after completing sex realignment surgery in Hungary, were disappointed to report that despite the life-changing transformation, ‘deep down she’s the same boring old sod she was when she was as a fellah’.
‘She’s made this profound decision’ remarked Jim Taylor an old school acquaintance, ‘opened herself up to becoming the subject of constant and uninvited scientific, moral, and legal debate, risked ostracism from her family, had her birth genitalia removed and re-shaped as part of a treatment involving major surgery and a lifetime commitment to painful hormone injections. And yet when it comes to a new name her imagination stopped at changing Paul to Paula. Just what you’d expect of a boring bastard like Wooton to be honest.’
The first Wooton’s friends knew of her feelings of gender misplacement had been when she arrived at the pub to participate in their regular Monday night pub quiz after a six week unexplained absence. Although profoundly shocked and surprised at the 42-year-old bus depot manager’s news, the excitement soon dissipated when the main subjects Wooton wanted to discuss at length were the Budapest public transport system, and how his airline meal compared to previous experiences of in-flight food. ‘And the clothes she was wearing!’ observed quiz team colleague Paddy West, ‘after the implants, liposuction and beauty treatments she could have been the Amazonian woman of men’s dreams – he already had the legs for it – but the frumpy frock she had on even made his old argyle jumpers look sexy. And she probably should have changed his haircut.’
As the evening continued conversation quickly moved on to other matters, largely due to Wooton’s insistence on concentrating on the quiz and lengthily disagreeing about the answer to a ‘poorly worded’ question concerning an Isambard Kingdom Brunel tunnel, but as last orders were called the friends finally drew up the courage to ask Wooton ‘if she’d brought back a special souvenir from her op in a jar’.
‘But all that did was start her off on the history of pickling in medieval times!’ complained West. ‘Still, she does know a lot about pre-war FA Cup history. You know for a bird, like…’