She calls me and I can hear the purr of her soft Carribean voice blunted by the consonants of Dutch in my ear. “Darling!” she greets me. “I am going shopping tomorrow. Would you like to join me?”


She is technically still a he. She still has the equipment to be a he, but prefers the adornment and way of being a woman. She is not swishy or femme—she is womanly, revealing a regal demeanor cut with a tough edge. Years of being underground in her desires and then the painful process of coming out in a macho culture have created strong backbone. She is not flamboyant as so many in her situation but rather dignified and self-contained.

Europe afforded her a safer place to be who she was, but it also gave her cold feet—cold cold feet. “Darling,” she laughs, “there are days when I can’t feel my poor toes it’s so cold here.” She likes recounting the first time she got off the plane in Northern Europe in January. She had no idea what she was encountering. It was surreal to her. All the sunny days of her childhood in the Carribean, the dry salty air, the big turquoise skies and bright colors in the white sun—all washed to a gray, damp efficient urban solidity.

Some days she wears colors—bright colors. They remind her of the joy of spring in her new home, the rich loam in the air,  the colors of nature exploding and awakening and warmth finally returning to her feet. The first spring she hopped on her bike, rode for kilometers and happened on a tulip field. She gazed at it for hours.


Shopping with Lupe is a trip as in a “trip.” She dabbles in the black arts of fashion, finding all the backstore jewelers, the street vendors with gypsy fabrics, the bizarre and unusual and exotic. She mixes leather with snakeskin, lace with motorcycle boots, black lipstick with lush lashes. She is an other being, transinternational and transsexual.


She works as a hostess/bouncer in a sex club—there is simply no other work suitable for a woman who is a man. “Eh, it’s three nights a week and good pay. Who am I to complain?” She has a degree in psychology—it serves her well in comforting the t-girls, moody on hormones, fretting about their finances and their nails, crying about the disappointments of their transformation. She always counsels, “It’s a long road and doesn’t always seem to get you as far as you hoped. But it’s the road that chose us so it’s the right way.”

This is one of her club outfits—a combination of fetish and lace and leather. It serves her well—it alternately turns on the patrons and scares them into good behavior. This ensemble is a favorite—dark, brash, sexy. It shows off the surgery she has paid dearly for—an augmentation both expensive and painful.

Is she happy? Happy enough. She has found her place, though her feet get cold sometimes. This is her life.


“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

Hair: Reptilia by MissAllSunday Lemon for Wasabi Pills

Skin and Eyes:  Anaya by Psycho Kondor for PK Skins

Makeup: Heavy black combo by Yoko Leeeroy for .:Glamorize:.

Bodysuit: JD EXOTIC by Wiraya Johin for Jaydee Designs

Bracelets: Kabuki by Kikunosuke Eel for Mandala

Earrings: Senjyu by Mandala by Kikunosuke Eel for Mandala

Nails: Kabuki by Mandala by Kikunosuke Eel for Mandala

Choker: Milky Way by Kikunosuke Eel for Mandala

Piercings (nose): Gemma by ROZOREGALIA Braveheart for Rozoregalia

Hip Chain: Babette by Maxi Gossamer for Maxi Gossamer

Belt: Dominator by Tatyana Ultsch for Insanya

Boots: Elise by Paul Lapointe for Lapointe and Bastchild

Scene ~*GOD*~ Dream Scene – Showcase Set 2 – Box (Snake) by Kayle Matzerath for Garden of Dreams *

Poses by Rogan Diesel for Diesel Works Animations *

Model: Lupe. Photos and text by Harper Beresford

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