Monday, December 7, 2020

The Civilian Service

By Gina V

I worked in an administrative division of the British public sector in the 80s and 90s, where I witnessed it turn from a dull but steady and reliable form of employment (where one retired on a decent pension) into a Thatcher-instigated all-singing all-dancing ballyhoo. This essentially meant engaging several extra layers of overpaid fifth-rate private sector management to replace the faithful but plodding civil service administrators in order to (fail to) improve the lot of the great British public. And waste a hell of a lot more of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the process. 

Just in case you haven’t already got the picture, I was not too impressed with the overhaul, nor with most of my new colleagues in particular the financial overlord hired to enforce the brave new world. Despite his superficially-friendly manner, anyone with half a brain could see what laid beneath was pure shark. So it was no surprise to me when he made it clear that no one had a job for life anymore and it was now basically each man for himself in what had become a deadly game of survival. 

As such, it came as rather a shock to turn up at the works Christmas party to find the guy prancing around in full drag. Not fancy dress drag (it wasn't that sort of event), but in mini-skirt, wig, etc. If he had been beloved and respected by his staff, I could have understood it. Instead, most, if not all feared and despised him, which made his motives questionable, if not alarming. Of course, afterwards he claimed he had only done it “for a laugh.” 

However, a short time later he invited his mostly brown-nosing managerial subordinates to join him for a birthday celebration in the West End. Not at any old venue though, but one that happened to be a drag cabaret club. So I went along, even though I couldn’t stand the guy purely as a convenient excuse as a then-closet crossdresser to see the show. 

By then, I had become the voice in the wilderness in a world of utter insanity, where public money was being thrown about like confetti while staff were too anxious about losing their jobs to do them effectively. So perhaps unsurprisingly, when the axe started falling, I found myself being one of the first in line. But to use Stana's terminology, I more than suspected my executioner was not the “civilian” he made himself out to be (as the old saying goes “it takes one to know one”). Had I come out to him as such, we probably would have found we had at least one thing in common that we didn’t before. And who knows, maybe I might even have been spared the axe.

Not that my morality would have let me continue on that basis as it would have been a case of “jobs for the boys” (or for “the girls” in this instance). But all the same, I was angry at having to clear my desk at the time, as I had put in over a decade of service beyond the call of duty (if I had a pound every time I stayed late or even went in at weekends on my own time...). And to add insult to injury, I was only offered a paltry three-months salary as a redundancy payoff. All that, simply because I was “the boy” in The Emperor’s New Clothes!

However, I realized in retrospect that in the long term the guy had done me a favor for I decided to drop out of the rat race as a result of it (and now being clear that despite my best efforts, I was patently not cut out for it). That in turn strengthened my resolve to emerge from the closet and as such, probably did so far earlier than I might have otherwise.

Wearing Mackage
Wearing Mackage

Dorian Wayne femulating in the 1971 film The Blue Sextet.
You can view the femulation on YouTube.


  1. Replies
    1. The more things change, the more they stay the same 😁

    2. Check out todays 'The Onion'..... Rudy in Parody

  2. Hi, Stana,

    What is the URL for Package? Thank you.

    1. Package is a typo. It should be Mackage. I typed "Mackage" and the computer "corrected" it to "Package." I usually pick up such "corrections," but dinner was ready, so I posted in haste and you know the rest of the story. is the URL

    2. No worries, and thanks! I am amazed at the number of companies though that pick a name that never comes to the top of searches because their name is a common word!

  3. great Femulation I wasn't sure who the femulator was at first

    These old movies justify violence against transgender women, his hitting her is meant to show a typical and justified reaction under the circumstances.