Reading Mike: The Annotated Bailey: Chapter 8, page 151

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Bailey Commentary

[151] 8 Terese and Cher

very attractive feminine daughter rather than an unhappy and noticeably feminine son. When she visited Terese, she proudly took her new daughter shopping.
In an attempt to make a new life for herself, Terese has distanced herself from her old transsexual friends. When she goes out to meet men, she does not want to have her secret revealed because she is with people who are visually identifiable as transsexual, or who are widely known to be transsexual. This has caused varying degrees of difficulties with her old friends. Cher, for one, is deeply hurt, and they have fallen out as friends. Even Cher admits, however, that Terese’s new life appears to suit her.

In important respects, Terese’s story is the story of all homosexual male-to-female transsexuals. Her early, extreme, and effortless femininity, her unambiguous preference for heterosexual men as sex partners, her (however brief) attempt to live as a gay man, and her difficulty in securing the right kind of guy prior to surgery, are universal among this type of transsexual. There are some differences among them, to be sure. For example, although Terese disliked her penis, some homosexual transsexuals not only like, but use, their penises while they have them. Some, like Terese, alternate between unsatisfying and limited sexual relationships and self-imposed isolation; others earn good livings as she-male prostitutes (more on this later). These differences reflect differences in personality styles. Fundamentally, all homosexual transsexuals are similar, and after a bit of experience, easily distinguishable from the other type of transsexual.



Cher, né Chuck Mondavi, was born in Chicago, to lower middle class parents. Cher remembers her father as nervous, punitive, and eccentric man, who had a "nervous breakdown" when Chuck was young. Chuck was sometimes withdrawn and shy, but not feminine. He participated in boys’ sports and activities and had male friends. Cher remembers that Chuck had occasional wishes to be a girl as

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