Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Compassion

I wrote this short story for Transgender Tapestry in 2003.  It was a response to the Traditional Values Coalition who started campaign against me and the evil trans agenda I represented.  The Traditional Values Coalition claims to represent thousands of Christian Churches across America.  Anyway, I thought I'd share it here:

The Compassion

Gaius Marcus Pilate was as nervous as he had ever been in his entire sixteen years of existence.
His heart beat furiously as he made his way through the bustling streets. His young face was
flush from excitement, and his breaths alternated between short and shallow, and
hyperventilation. He was very aware that he was out of place in the relatively seedy section of
Jerusalem through which he walked. His rich, Roman robes were in stark contrast with the
clothing of the other passersby. He hoped no Roman Centurions would take particular notice of
him. He most definitely did not want to have to explain this to his father. He would not
understand. No one would.

He was a tall young man with a crop of dark brown hair, cut short and neat, as was the style of
the day in Rome. His thin, masculine face still possessed a boyish innocence that was quite
flattering to him. He tended to stoop and rarely held his head high. He had just earned his robe of
manhood the week before on his birthday. He wore it now, though not with the pride most
young men his age felt. He wore it to make his family happy; but that was part of his secret. It
was, in fact, his secret that brought him out to that part of the city on that morning. It was his
secret that drove him like some wild creature. A passion that raged in him, burning hotter almost
every day. A crushing desire that could never be quenched. It was an impossible dream that left
his young mind in constant torment, racked by the unattainable.

It was a cool, crisp morning in March. The sun had risen perhaps an hour before. The sky was a
still azure slate streaked with thin, high clouds lined in subtle shades of pink and gold. Though
early, the streets were already crowded. Merchants were setting up their wares and produce for
the day. Fishermen reeking of their catch were bartering vigorously with the fishmonger. The
youth hurried his step to put some distance between himself and their stench. He paused before a
stand of dates. They were perfectly ripe. He thought they might make a suitable gift, so he
bought a small sack of them from the merchant, who was clearly curious as to why a young, rich
Roman nobleman would be purchasing his own dates. Gaius paid the man considerably more
than the dates were worth and made some comment about his family's slaves being useless.
He was getting quite near to his destination, provided his sources were correct. They had better
be—he had paid them enough. Down the next street, more an alley than a thoroughfare, and he
was really getting nervous now. His stomach twisted and sent a surge of vomit up his throat. He
caught it in his mouth and swallowed, leaving him with a very unpleasant taste. He ate a date as
he walked, to help remove the foul flavor of his bile. The fruit was delightfully sweet and
quickly worked to relieve his beleaguered tastebuds.

Rows of narrow houses built of stone and wood flanked the alleyway. Most were in a state of
considerable disrepair. Litter and refuse from animals and people made passage on
the uneven road a task for skillful feet. Gaius kept his eyes firmly on
the paving stones and his own expensive sandals. Poorly dressed prostitutes called out to him from several doorways, but heignored them and quickened his pace. Now he was really sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb. Up ahead was a small line of people waiting just outside one
of the homes. Gaius made his way to the back of the line.

Six people stood ahead of him. They were a relatively diverse group from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. There were Greeks, Jews, and an Ethiopian girl of perhaps five years, who was so sick that she had to be carried by an old man. In fact, most of them had some visible infirmity which Gaius noticed as he studied them. They tended to keep to themselves, lost perhaps in their own thoughts and troubles. Gaius felt very ill at ease standing there—like some itinerant beggar languishing in the dole queue. Nonetheless, he knew all of them had come for the same reason. They had all come, against all hope, to see if the rumors could possibly be true.

Gaius stood there as nonchalantly as he could manage. He ignored the continuing calls from the nearby prostitutes and the inquisitive looks from those who walked by. Doubt churned in him and worsened the longer he stood there. He knew in his heart that his was a fool's hope. As his fear and doubt fermented in him, the old pain grew as well, crushing his soul like daggers of psychic torment. He felt as though he were playing a part as he tried to behave and present himself as society and custom dictated. Yes, he looked every bit like a young Roman nobleman, but that wasn't what he was. Not really. He felt like . . . the shame and guilt stormed in . . . oh, how it hurt to think about it. His desire burned even hotter inside him, even as he attempted to repress it. If only this fellow could really help him. He knew it was impossible, but he had to hope. He had to, there was nothing else. He did not allow his internal struggle to play out upon his countenance—he never did. His face was as calm and steady as ever.

He noticed that the line had diminished, and stood before the closed door. His door. The one person who might be able to help him. Inside was this Jewish holy man. The fellow had only been in Jerusalem a few days and already he was the talk of the city. Gaius had only learned of his existence two days earlier, at the dinner table from his father. As governor of the province of Judea, his father liked to say that he kept his finger on the pulse of things in the provincial capital. He had told Gaius about a holy man who was said to work miracles. His father, or course, dismissed him as a charlatan. But Gaius had sore need of a miracle. The boy went the next day and questioned anyone who knew of this mysterious cleric's whereabouts. It cost him a fair amount of gold to obtain the information with discretion.

The door opened and Gaius' heart skipped a beat. A man with a long blonde beard and a broad, friendly face addressed him.

"Good day, young sir."

Sir. Ugh. How he hated that title. It was as if a knife stuck him in the ribs every time someone called him that.

"What can we do for you today? Is this an official visit?"

Gaius stuttered slightly as he spoke. "Ah, oh . . . n-n-no. It's anything but an official visit. I was hoping to see, um, you know . . . I have been told that he was staying here."

"My, but word travels fast in this city," commented the man. "Please enter. My name is Peter, and you are welcome here."

The man, Peter, moved aside to allow Gaius entrance. The youth noticed Peter casually examining him, as if to detect some deformity or sign of illness. He did so with such openness and honesty that Gaius did not mind in the least. Still, his inspection was not to be rewarded as Gaius had no obvious external problems. At least none noticeable to any but himself.

The outer room was modestly furnished with only a small table with an oil lamp upon it and a chair adjacent. Four people still slept on mats spread over the floor, two others stood against the far wall, flanking an interior door. They nodded and smiled at Gaius warmly despite his Roman attire.

"It will be only a moment, young master," said Peter. "Would you care to sit down?" He indicated the chair with a wave of his hand.

"No, thank you kindly," replied Gaius. "I would prefer to stand, if that's all right."

"Of course," said Peter. "May I give your name?"

"My name is Gaius Marcus Pilate."

A look of considerable surprise—and some consternation—was reflected on Peter's face.

"Pilate," he repeated. "You are related to the governor?"

"Yes," said Gaius, almost embarrassed by the admission. "I am the governor's son." Son. Another spasm of internal pain. The word almost caught in his throat.

Peter took this information calmly enough, though his brow demonstrated some concern and perplexity. He gave Gaius another quick scan from head to toe before returning the hopeful, friendly smile to his face.
Gaius was considerably distracted as he saw the old Ethiopian man emerge from the interior room. His eyes glowed and a bright look of incredulous happiness marked his face. Gaius jumped back with a start as the little girl followed him—skipping and evidently in remarkably good health. He was frankly amazed. He stood there, his jaw hanging wide open, as Peter excused himself to announce Gaius to his master. He returned in scarcely a moment.

"Gaius, if you would," Peter said, gesturing for the youth to enter the other room.

The young Roman was shaking as he crossed the floor. He accidentally kicked one of the people sleeping there. He heard a groan and hastily stammered an unintelligible apology. He was so nervous at this point, that he was having difficulty breathing with any sort of regularity at all.

He paused before the open door, and looked back at Peter.

"Don't be afraid, son," he said encouragingly. "He won't bite you."

Gaius swallowed hard and went in.

It was a very small room. There were four men in the room, two sitting on a bed, two others standing. But as far as Gaius was concerned, there was only one person there. He was a man in His thirties. His brown hair was quite long and he wore a neatly trimmed beard. His robes were modest but quite presentable. These features were not as distinctive as His eyes, which seemed to glow with a deep light—like the light of all the stars and the sun and the moon all combined and reflected in the blue pools of His irises. There was a peace in those eyes, and the youth found himself immediately put at ease.

"Welcome, Gaius Marcus Pilate," He said. "This is John," with an inclination of His head, "this is Thomas, and this gentleman here is Judas. They are my friends. My name is Jesus."

His voice was the essence of power and tranquility combined.

Gaius stared at Him, in blatant awe, much longer than he should have, before acknowledging each of the men with a bow.

"Hello," the Roman said absently, then remembered his manners and held out the sack of dates to Jesus.
"These are for you, um, sir. A small gift."

He took the sack from Gaius and peeked inside. "Yum, dates. Thank you." He handed the sack to Thomas.

"Now, Gaius," He continued, "most who come to me are broken in body or in spirit; some are lost and need guidance. But you look whole and healthy and are too young to be much concerned with spiritual dilemmas. Yet, I feel in you such sorrow and pain, hidden from the world and almost without equal among those who have come before me. Gaius, what would you have me do for you?"

Gaius glanced nervously at the other three men and then back to Him. Those pure blue eyes. There was no need to hide from Him. He would understand. Finally. He would understand, even if He could not help. Even simple understanding would be more than Gaius had ever thought he could hope for. Gaius thought of his lifelong struggle pretending to be what everyone expected him to be, when inside he was someone else entirely. He had always hidden how he really felt, had kept it buried. Down deep. The secret self. The core of "his" being.

"I am in constant pain, my Lord," answered Gaius, honestly for the first time in his life. "I suffer from an affliction from which I can never know freedom. I burn with a desire that has eclipsed all aspirations, all hopes, all dreams. It is beyond all possibility, yet it screams louder the more I try to live as I am expected to. I pray you, Lord, you who have healed the sick, made the lame walk, even raised the dead. Can you heal my mind and end my suffering?"

He smiled at Gaius. Peace and love shown brightly in His eyes. He spoke softly. "Child, your agony is plain to me. It wounds my heart to see you so distraught. Yet, I cannot do what you are asking of me--for your mind is sound, your spirit wants only that which its natural inclination truly requires. But God loves all His children and wants us to be happy."

He stepped up to Gaius and laid His hands upon his shoulders.

Gaius instantly felt himself wrapped in love. A white light enveloped him. It was as though all of the love in the universe was concentrated on his being and poured then into his very soul. His body thrilled and tingled with the brilliance of Heaven itself. There was no time. only love and light.

He took His hands off Gaius' shoulders.

The white light gradually receded and the Roman's normal perceptions returned. Most of them did. Now everything felt different. Felt right. There was no pain. The conflict, the inner torment was gone. All that was left was a euphoric state of peaceful bliss and the new sensations of her femininity. He was smiling at her.

"Be at peace now, Child of God," He said.

Gaia's brain was awhirl with happiness. She looked down at herself. Her long hair spilled down to her shoulders and her ample breasts, which were quite glaringly out of place in her robe of manhood.

"You're going to need to get a new robe," offered John.

"And he—I mean she—is going to have a great deal of explaining to do to her father," said Thomas.

"So are we," observed Judas.

Jesus was unconcerned. Gaia was ecstatic beyond measure.

Now her life could finally begin.

Copyright 2003, 2015


  1. How absolutely lovely! I totally felt this Jesus was mine. Loved Judas' comment, too. I could see the dynamics of the group so clearly. Such nuance in a short that was so focused. Such good writing. :)