Man? Woman? Or Both?

It didn’t surprise me that I crossed “Jen’s” path at the End Up in San Francisco. A striking female with hair longer than her skirt and purple stilettos as tall as Coit Tower tried to flirt with my good guy friend. We stood on the corner of 4th and Folsom looking for an after-after party, which my beautiful Swiss friend was trying to figure out with some gay guys who turned out to be not so gay. Gender bending seemed to be the theme of the night.

About eight of us were going to somebody’s house in Bernal Heights. In the midst of trying to arrange cars and taxis and whatnot, one guy came over and politely told me that the lovely Jenny was not exactly a woman. I relayed the message to my friend who didn’t really seem to mind chatting with the mysterious man-woman. We jumped into cars and drove around the city and the lights outside looked like those weird pictures that make lights just turn into streaks in the sky. As the sun made it’s way up, we made our way up the hill and into a fabulous apartment with a fat view of the city.
The party was underway when I went to use the ladies’ room. Jenny wanted to join me. We went to the bathroom together, like girls often do. Jenny was really chatty. She told me she was from Albania and had lived in the States for a long time. She told me she wasn’t into my friend anymore, now she wanted the “Captain” – a guy who wore a white hat sitting on the sofa with his girlfriend. I told her she probably didn’t have a chance with him. I sat on the toilette to pee, when Jenny decided to share her big secret with me. From what I heard earlier at the club, I thought Jen was really a man. I thought she was really a he and that she had had some sort of operation down there that made her identify more with the gender she portrayed.
Before I even had time to pee, Jen decided to confide in me.
“Sweetie, can I show you my situation?” she asked in her dark voice with her sultry eyes.
“Umm, ok,” I ventured, not realizing exactly what I was in for.
Before I even had time to blink, Jen straight pulled up her micro-mini skirt and flopped her junk out of her black panties. I mean, it looked like a penis and balls, but boy was I wrong. It was some sort of penis (and not small I might add). And they looked like balls, but since I couldn’t help but stare in this awkward situation, I examined these balls closer to see that they weren’t normal balls, but more like the biggest meat-curtains you’ve ever seen. Visions of turkeys fled my mind. It was so weird. Jen was not a man. Jen had super long labia that hung down like balls.
My jaw must have dropped because at that moment, Jen reached towards me and took my hand which held a piece of toilette paper it.
“Just feel in here,” she said as she drew the toilette paper in my hand and wanted to stick it in the hole that was hidden behind her male part. At this moment, I kinda freaked out and flinched my hand back. So she showed me with her own hand that the hole was not just an illusion.
I understood immediately she was a hermaphrodite. I read that book Middlesex last summer so I was totally hip to Jen’s crisis. She showed me how she tucked away her junk to look more like a girl. But then that thing swung back out and it just seemed too big for a girl! I asked her if it ever got hard.
She told me, (in the same dark voice), “Only once, with my ex-boyfriend.”
Oh, Jenny! Thanks for sharing your situation with me. If I thought I had any problems, I realized that that girl had ‘em all. I felt enlightened that she wanted to share that with me. See, you learn something new everyday. When the party ended, I drove home in the front seat of a car with Jen curled up on the floor of the front seat in front of me. She told us she lived in the Tenderloin. I pet her hair as she babbled about how she was gonna find the “Captain.” I asked her for her phone number. We dropped her off in front of her house and she disappeared into the foggy morning. I heard some crack-head whistle at her. I’m sure she adored the attention. I texted her once again when I was out, but never heard back from good old Jenny – a.k.a. Hermaphroditeee.
photo by: Diane Arbus

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About the author

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.