TYRONE HUNTER was always effeminate. His father died early, and his mother, Irene, and two sisters gave him dolls to play with as a child. Soon he was fixing hair, applying makeup, and being the belle of the ball at the slightest opportunity. And always dressed to kill.
He fell in love with Bette Davis early. Then, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, but these days, he rather favoured the black drag-queen Ru Paul. At sixteen, he dropped out of school, started growing his hair, and changed his name to Tyra.
The constant dressing up in women’s clothes came six months later when he landed a job at a hairdressing salon not far from home. He’d been working there for two years before any of his clients worked-out that ‘she’ was a man. But she had been paying for the breast hormone treatments by then. And it was really only just a matter of time before the all-important chop, tuck and fold.
And God-forbid should anyone, management, client or staff, ever dream of getting rid of Tyra. Everybody loved her for no-one ever thought of ‘her’ as he. She brought the most money into the salon for sure. Plus all the boys on the block would definitely agree, Tyra was all-woman.
She faced no prejudice, no insults at all, at least not from people she knew. A kinder, more loving, more generous and thoughtful, more sensitive human being you could hardly find.
Women adored her. Men admired ‘his’ guts. She brought many people a great deal of joy; not least of all her very handsome boyfriend, Daniel, whom no-one ever doubted was utterly heterosexual, and those who knew the truth loved them both in spite of it.
On the evening in question, she’d been out on a hen-night with her girls from the salon and had got a little drunk. She phoned for her boyfriend Daniel to pick her up, and he left his apartment immediately but had somewhere got stuck in traffic. Dressed to kill and staggering on heels, Tyra had gone out to flag a taxi nearby. Then, she figured she would walk the few blocks to a local cab firm. She didn’t see the runaway car turn the corner or hear the screams of other pedestrians running.
The car broke a barrier. It swerved across the street and flung itself into an approaching vehicle, which skidded and piled into Tyra as she crossed the road. The whole street seemed to have seen it happen. Taxi-drivers, homeless drunks, Seven Eleven workers, and all men it seemed for miles around had turned to watch the beautiful woman pass. Not one of them, however, was able to avert the inevitable.
Someone called emergency services, and many people screamed. A man got out of the wreckage unhurt, while another man was dead. But Tyra was bleeding and still very much alive. The Fire Brigade was the first to arrive. They had been out in the area and were heading station-bound. They fought to clear the wreckage around. They asked her many questions to check her compos mentis. Just as she began to slip out of consciousness, they started the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
While his colleagues worked elsewhere, one particular Fireman threw himself into the job with great aplomb. He had recognised Tyra from the salon his missus used and was intent on saving this pretty girl’s life. He tore at her blouse to stop smouldering smoke consuming her chest. Then he decided that he would also have to remove her tight skirt to treat her upper leg and abdomen. He ripped from the waist and had the shock of his life. “This ain’t no bitch!” the Fireman yelled.
Tyra, of course, was still very much a man in the genital department. She was not a small man at that, which sent the Fireman into fits of embarrassed laughter. Neither his colleagues nor the people milling around could immediately understand just why he had stopped. Neither could they detect precisely what it was that he was laughing at until they came closer.
Minutes went by, or so it seemed, and the whole street was still in uproarious laughter. Then Daniel turned up, completely distraught, shortly followed by an ambulance crew who pronounced Tyra dead.