The Story Of Stephanie Anne Lloyd contd
It’s hard to think now how different things were for transvestites only a few years ago. Before Transformation, there were no TV shops, only those that catered for the likes of us under the guise of ‘television, theatre and drag’ suppliers.
There was the national society – the Beaumont Society – but this, at the time, was steeped in the need for complete privacy and confidentiality. Well meaning, but as insular as a medieval leper colony run by the lepers themselves, which even barred gay TVs from membership.
“We seemed to be fighting alone to change the image of transvestites in society, and it was an uphill struggle which the business just couldn’t withstand for long,” said Stephanie.
“I knew from my experience that transvestites were genuine people who deserved the best service we could give, and both Raiko and David trusted my judgement and commitment. But, for one reason or another, the customers just weren’t coming through the door, and I felt it was all my fault.
“It was around then that a lady customer, whom I had got to know quite well, suggested a way of avoiding bankruptcy. What we needed was a specialist service that would appeal to all men, not just TVs. She convinced me that if I offered massages in my flat above the shop – with all the sexual extras – it would all be perfectly legal. She even told me where to go for advice – a solicitor who became my first customer!”
Stephanie found, much to her surprise, that she had the aptitude to make a great hooker. She could be mentally detached yet considerate enough to make sure her customers got just what they wanted, however bizarre that might have been.
For example, there was the man who liked to be wrapped as a parcel in brown paper, and have Stephanie open it up and pretend to be surprised. Or there was the guy who liked to wear her knickers, have fresh eggs put inside them and then have her slap his bottom to break the shells.
Compared to all this, the cross dressing customers in the shop below would have seemed quite normal to anybody.
Sex pays – and the money that Stephanie could earn by tickling her ‘straight’ clients’ fancies in the upstairs flat kept the transvestite business afloat. More than that, it paradoxically gave transvestites an excuse to go there – it’s a strange reflection of society that a man would prefer being seen going into a sexy massage parlour than a transvestite shop. But, at least in those days, he would.
And so the customers started to come, not just from Manchester and surrounds, but from all over the country. transvestites would travel 100s of miles just to be able to sample the Transformation experience, and maybe to meet Stephanie herself. She had become famous (or infamous perhaps!) as the first UK champion of transvestites and transsexuals. She spoke up for them in television, radio and newspaper interviews and openly challenged society’s narrow minded attitudes.
Inevitably, her willingness to stand up and be counted made her unpopular with the authorities. She suffered continual harassment from the local council about the shop, and it didn’t take long for the police to bring an end to her days as a happy hooker.
Usually, the boys in blue would turn a blind eye to such goings-on in the privacy of a flat, but of course they made an exception for Stephanie. She was the one massage service they raided. She was set up by an undercover detective, then arrested and taken to the local police station where she was left in a dank cell. “They had arrested poor Raiko as well, and charged us under some archaic law of keeping a bawdy house. It was an ancient piece of legislation, but they were so determined to get me they would use anything.
“Sitting in that cell was the lowest point in my life. I was so desperately worried, not for myself, but for Raiko and especially for David – what on earth was I going to say to him?”
David had been the perfect business partner. Her had trusted Stephanie to use his investment wisely and had stayed out of the day-to-day running of affairs. He had always known the transvestite business might take some time to make a profit and had been willing to wait and see what happened. He had had no idea that the recent success was backed by the money making activities going on in Stephanie’s flat.
David took it calmly, as is his nature, when a tearful Stephanie rang to break the news to him before it was splashed across the evening papers. He understood why she had literally sold herself for her business, but couldn’t condone it. He went on to act like a rock during the nine long months her case took to come to trial.