Reading Lisa Elizabeths stories reminds me of when I
was small and had a bad belly-ache. Mom would get out the Pepto-Bismol and spoon a dollop
of that sickening sweet pink liquid down my throat. You know what? A short while later my
belly-ache would be all gone and Id feel great. If you can get past the sometimes
cloying sweetness of Lisas writing it can have the same result for you. For Lisa is
writing the TG fairy tale in which a young boy grows up surrounded by a positive support
system of loving family and friends where the realities of growing up TG never encroach
except for small asides from his Dad. This will make the stories unappealing to those that
feel pain, fear and even humiliation or degradation is necessary to a TG story. Nor is
there any sex or violence. Its strictly about the clothes and the joys of femininity
untainted with erotic or psychological trappings.
There is a trilogy of stories of young John Michael/Lisa Elizabeth ("A Special
Holiday," "A Lisa New Year," and "Winter Fun") and
one that revisits John as a married adult ("Happy Anniversary!"). The other two
stories on the site are co-authored with Donna Anne which I will reserve comment on for
The secret to the appeal of Lisas stories isnt the dressing up or the
myriad and wonderfully described details of doing so nor the many outfits worn, though
those things in and of themselves appeal to the little girl in most of us. Rather the
secret is the sharing of the experience, the ability to enjoy the moment without fear of
ridicule that captures the heart. The acceptance of Lisa by those around her in their
actions and words is what makes these stories tick. That Lisa is loved as much as John.
That Lisa is allowed to be a part of Johns life and treated with the same love and
affection by those around her. All this makes even the simplest of childhood activities
engrossing because Lisa experiences them from her new perspective.
One of the hardest things to do is write from a childs perspective without
writing childishly. Yet one cant write as an adult for then its the fading
light of memories past rather than that first glow of discovery. Lisa walks a fine line
here and carries it off well enough to keep the reader interested.
Lisas other solo effort finds us back with John Michael much later in life.
Married, to a wife who knows and supports Lisa, it attempts to recapture the innocence and
joy of young Lisa. However, as Lisa is now embodied in an aging balding hairy hubby,
things arent quite as simple. Thus the need to locate the story where Lisa can
emerge safely, Las Vegas. The same elements that made the trilogy work arent quite
as successful here but the love and support of the surrounding characters endeavor to make
it so. Its a valiant effort and enjoyable but lacks the charm of the trilogy or
perhaps just suffers by comparison. Its easier as a reader to transport ones
self back to Lisas youth than face the mirror and see Lisa now.
The other two stories are co-authored and thus introduce us to two young TG characters.
The stories really gain nothing by adding a second TG character, except perhaps to say,
"youre not alone." and allow a place for the co-author to express herself.
This smacks too much to me of the adult view of "us against them," that like
seeks like and that two boys dressing up is better than one. The only thing is Donnie is
like a girl, not like another boy, even one pretending to be a girl. Its a
discordant element in an otherwise nice pair of stories of dressing up and discovery.
If reality has gotten to be too much , clothe yourself in the fairy tale lives of John
and Donnie, you wont regret it, just envy them.