Here’s a book for all you motor sports fans looking for a good read
about a trans-gendered driver. It’s the story of Terri O’Connell once
known as J.T. Hayes.
Okay, I apologize for using the words “motor sports
fans” and “read” in the same sentence. What can I say, sometimes I get
carried away. This book, on the other hand, will carry you away. It’s
the story of a gal who was once a guy who was told by other racers he’d
be the next A.J. Foyt. All the while he wanted to be the next Marilyn
Monroe. J.T. Hayes was a national racing champion having designed and
built twenty race cars while winning over 300 events including events
on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. “Haaaappy birthday, Mr. Frannnnce.”
Okay, for those who don’t get the joke, Mr.France is the C.E.O. of NASCAR.
Here are a few questions for Ms. O’Connell:
Removing your penis, was that tough?
O’Connell: Nah, it wasn’t important to me. However when I want to make men wince I just tell them “I chopped it off, no big deal.”
So when do you spring this on an unsuspecting guy? When you’re both working under a car, getting ready to drop a tranny?
O’Connell: Good one. If I ever open up a transmission shop, I’ll call it “Trannies by Transies.”
When you were racing, how famous were you?
O’Connell: In West Coast sprint cars I was pretty famous. I won races against guys who won races – Kading, Hanstadt, Green.
As feminine as you are now, you must have been an effeminate man.
Just because I had panties under my jumpsuit? Not at all was I
effeminate. I was racing since I was 10 and that world helped me be
masculine. I was a pretty good actor. Only my psychiatrist knew and
sometimes I sent her running from the room.
What skills made you a racing champion?
was a smooth driver and an excellent qualifier with more front row
starting positions than anyone else. I was aggressive without being
dangerous and I didn’t tear up my cars
Why do you want to get back into racing now?
Times have changed. When I first had my operation in the early nineties
there weren’t that many women in racing. It’s a Southern testosterone
driven sport and very homophobic.
Besides the penis-dropping and the racing and the understanding of two worlds, why else should we read your book?
You’ll learn something. This is where racing, religious and sexual
politics meet. I was a straight arrow product of the Deep South and my
stories come from both sides of the gender fence. Read it. I promise
you won’t have your legs crossed the whole time.