Torrey Peters has written a story about the intersection of fantasy and reality. It is a story that takes an honest (and often painful) look at the many sides of transgender culture, including crossdressers, sissies, forced feminization, female masking, and transsexualism. It is a story of egos, attitudes, opinions, and stereotypes that manages to expose a little darkness in all of its characters.
Ironically, it is an angry conversation between a female masker and a sissy, brought on by the scorn of a transsexual, that exposes the heart of the story. Felix (the masker) talks about the fetish side of transgender expression as a gift, a sort of super-power, that provides the same escape or stress relief as alcohol, cocaine, and physical violence do for others. More importantly, he insists his sissy be grateful for it.
"You think it means something is wrong with you, that you should be a woman. Actually, you are as you were intended to be. Every transsexual I have met has wasted their gift and picked up so many worse habits to replace it. But our gift can bring us joy.”
The story is darker than I expected, with some moments of cruelty and betrayal that saddened me, but it is also far more authentic that I expected. The Masker feels almost autobiographical, and contains a great deal of thought and philosophy in so few pages.