Bob and i met when we were studying at flinders university, he’d had a run in with his local pentecostal church and had started to ask some questions about his faith that were worrying the people at his church.
his wife was also having similar problems, to the point that they decided to leave the church altogether because of theological reasons. there were lots of other issues also including the church’s attitude towards women in leadership and that since starting uni they no longer really fit into the community.
bob was studying law, i was doing threology. he came along to some ascm gatherings and became a solid part of the community taking on leadership positions, having people over his place for discussions, we got to know him and his wife fairly well. they enjoyed our company as we allowed them to question things in a safe space. they had lacked the safe space, questions werent allowed in their church.
they had daughters that we came to know a bit, they were young girls and laughed lots. i remember talking to one about school and faith and helping her with her studies at one point.
bob and i graduated in the same year, he and i wore our graduation gear and shook hands before the ceremony.
i lost contact with bob soon after that, he moved to the country for work and i, well i just continued doing things as i used to… bit by bit, piece by pice, second by second.
last night i met bob again. i was standing at the console when a 6 foot something blonde female walked into the store. bob was always quite bulky, he had the body of a football player without the muscles. the person walked up to the console and i noticed a badly painted pair of hands with a bright blue fingernail paint, freckles, huge shoulders, looked at her face and said with a curious look “bob?”
well, she used to be bob, now shes bobbie, her daughter in the car waiting for her to get back and drive her home. we spoke a little about work letting her down, depression, nervous breakdowns, where shes living now, going to church, oh and about her having changed her gender.
and then bobbie left.
i graduated in 1996, its now 2003.
so, i dedicate these lyrics from a waifs song to you bobie, may you find peace and happiness and if i bump into you again i’ll buy you a drink and we can catch up more.
by The Waifs
We grew up together in an urban town
Just me and Bill Jones always hanging around
A mumma’s little boy he was an only child
His clothes were always neat and his hair carefuly styled
Of all the games we’d play I could’nt understad why
I’d have to be the groom and let Billy be the bride
all those pretty dresses he would love to wear
I’d wear a floppy hat and he’d put flowers in his hair
He’d even wear my underwear
A few year later we drifted apart
My family moved south to make a new start
I missed Billy, mum said that was wrong
Dad said ‘that boy just don’t know where he belongs’
Where does he belong?
A few years later i was working in a bar
It was all smokey and dark, There was a bluesman playing guitar
When in walked a woman wearing emerald green
With a voluptuous figure, She was beautiful and lean
She was looking pretty mean
A full martini shaken not stirred
It was only until about after her third
I started looking closely, Man i should of knowen
It was my old friend, You guessed it, Billy Jones
Oh my god Billy Jones! Oh shit Billy Jones!
Tears filled our eyes as we began to speak
He’d been living a lie, a life so descreet
It made me feel sad to hear him say
In a voice so sweet ‘Honey you can call me Jane’
As the night wore on we spoke of yesterday
And how Billy had always knowen that he was gay
I never knew how much a person could change
From little Billy Jones to lean, lusious Jane
Billy Jane Jones This Comes From My Heart
I hope your nights are filled with a thousand stars
But don’t waste your sweetness in the empty air
‘Cause you don’t know how cold and dark it is out there
That’s the ballad Of Billy Jane Jones