Devil Town is a run-down, crime-filled city. Deaths are always frequent. Devil Town is a curse. Most people don’t know this place exists until they’re in it. Many of the citizens are teenagers from broken marriages. Some argue Devil Town is an imaginary town. Some believe it might even be a state of mind. Everyone comes to an agreement; the meaning of Devil Town depends on the person. Some are able to escape the grip of the city, others are not. They stay in Devil Town forever until their death. Usually, they don’t have a funeral. Everyone here hates it here, except for a man named Jason.
Jason had been in Devil Town for many years. He had grown used to it all. He was 17 years old and he lived with his father. He didn’t know where his mother was, but he could care less. He thought it was alright in Devil Town. He remembered when he first arrived at Devil Town. He remembers his mother saying, “Mommy and daddy aren’t in love.” From that moment on, he settled for two birthdays. He settled for double the holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Fourth of July, and plenty of birthdays.
Many teenagers in Devil Town rarely exited their homes. Jason loved the outdoors; he was one of the few of them. Though he went out a lot, he had no friends. Occasionally, he talked to someone for maybe a couple minutes before he went on his way. Jason brought out a guitar and walked around Devil Town. He would climb trees and practice riffs and songs. He didn’t write songs, he thought it was too complicated. Plus, he absolutely despised his own voice.
Singing and talking made Jason want to isolate himself forever like the other teenagers. His voice was high and squeaky. He couldn’t get a deeper voice on his own anymore. He had tried everything to make it lower. No other methods could work anymore. He was born a woman; he had gone through puberty. Jason was a man trapped in a woman’s body. He desperately tried to explain it to his father. He couldn’t get it through his head.
Jason remembered when he figured it out. It scared him, he read about how some were shunned from their families. He wanted to desperately come out. He wanted to be himself. Slowly, he was going to be himself. Jason had one year left. In fact, he had seven months left until he turned 18. He couldn’t wait, he had never been more excited. When he turned 18, he could finally leave Devil Town. He had been making his plans since he was 12 years old. There was going to be no mistakes. The plan was flawless by now.
The plan was when Jason turned 18, he would immediately call the nearest endocrinologist. He would get the hormone letter from his psychiatrist. The doctor would start to go through the process and give him his shots. Jason wouldn’t cry when he gets his first shot of testosterone. Well, he would, but his tears would be tears of joy. He wouldn’t fear the needles. He would happily inject himself everyday if he could. After months of hormone replacement therapy, he would start to talk to a surgeon. Then they would make a plan to remove his chest and wait for the surgery date.
The idea of surgery didn’t scare Jason. Especially if the surgery was to change his chest. He would lay down happily and be taken under. It would be peaceful. In fact, he would ask to be awake when the surgery was happening—if he could anyway. After the surgery, Jason would feel sore but joyful. After he was released from the hospital, he would be released from Devil Town. He needed to give up a couple things before escaping Devil Town.
Jason didn’t hate Devil Town, but he needed to get out of there. His dreams were trapped in the walls of Devil Town. He couldn’t be himself there. He was determined to get out of there alive and happy. There were many questions about the person he was. Nobody seemed to understand what he was going through. They didn’t understand what he was. He had no pride in who he was, he didn’t feel like he was the name for the person he was. The transgender label didn’t suit him. He felt like a male, his body was the transgender one. He wished that nobody saw bodies. Especially himself.
Devil Town didn’t care about your dreams or hopes. The city hated the idea of dreams. They would crush them immediately. Jason kept quiet about his dreams. He didn’t tell anybody—besides his father about himself. His father refused to believe it, excusing his son’s mindset of being a “phase”. He told him the news over five years ago. It seemed like this phase wasn’t leaving any time soon. The people of Devil Town had grown used to the crossing-dressing girl named Justine Mallette. Justine had short hair and was most likely a lesbian. She dressed in men’s clothing every day.
The people of Devil Town had it all wrong. Justine Mallette was really Jason Mallette. Jason was a straight, transgender man. Since the city was filled with teenagers, rumors spread fast. Soon enough, Jason was considered the butch lesbian of Devil Town. He didn’t care, as long as he didn’t get to ruin his own dreams. Devil Town would ruin the dreams that weren’t his. It made him feel bad, but he wasn’t going to give up his own dreams. He would be himself—even if it killed him.