A Leighton Buzzard man is suing a local medium for fraud, following a séance where his dead mother’s spirit manifested itself – but in male form. “For God’s sake – my mother was not a bloody man! I should know, she gave birth to me,” a furious Gene Brattocks told local radio station Buzzard FM. “Yet when this so called medium asked if my mother was there, she suddenly started speaking in a deep, distinctly masculine voice, saying ‘It’s good to see you son’. I didn’t know what was going on!, then this spectral figure began to materialise in the corner of the room – I was shocked to see that it was a bloke! Yet the voice coming from the medium continued to insist that it was my mother!” Things went from bad to worse as the alleged spirit explained to Brattocks that she had undergone a post mortem gender reassignment. “He, she, it, whatever the bloody thing was, claimed that my mother had spent her life feeling trapped in the wrong body and had always yearned for a sex change,” spluttered the forty seven year old dog groomer’s assistant. “She didn’t do it when she was alive for fear of being disowned by her family! But once she was dead, she found that in the spirit world gender is completely fluid as their ectoplasmic bodies could be configured any way they liked!” The séance concluded with the spirit telling Brattocks that he now wished to be known as ‘Bernard’ and would be haunting him as a man.

A furious Brattocks is now accusing the medium – seventy two year old Gertie Happs – of fakery. “It’s quite obvious that she’s a fake who uses accomplices to pretend to be the spirits of the dead,” he blustered. “Clearly, that night she only had a male accomplice on hand so decided to try and wing it with this ridiculous nonsense about transgender ghosts! I ask you, have you ever heard such nonsense? Not only was the whole experience insulting to the memory of my most definitely non-transsexual mother, but also insulting to my intelligence! This woman needs to be stopped!” Happs, however, maintains that the séance was entirely genuine and has accused Brattocks of transgender-phobia. “His repulsion at the very idea of transgenderism is quite obvious – he’s just another reactionary hater,” she told the Daily Norks. “Surely he should just have been happy to have contact with his mother again, regardless of her post mortem gender status? In fact he should have been happy for her, having finally found peace through being able to express her inner self after all those years of having to repress her true self!”

She went on to claim that gender fluidity of this sort wasn’t uncommon on the ‘other side’, citing the case of a woman who, after she remarried, found herself haunted by her husband – in female form. “He frequently wore his widow’s clothes during his hauntings,” explained Happs. “The woman would sometimes awake in the night to find her underwear dancing around the room, as if being worn by some invisible female body.” The haunting culminated with the widow’s new husband being sexually assaulted by the transsexual spirit. “He awoke in dead of night feeling some phantom female body straddling him,” says Happs. “At first he thought that it was his wife and reached up to fondle her breasts – he later described them as being uncharacteristically firm and perky, yet with a surprising softness to them – then he heard a distinctly male voice moan in ecstasy. Alarmed, he turned on the bedside lamp to see one of his wife’s nightdresses collapsing in a heap on top of his groin, as if it had just been vacated by some invisible female body!”

According to Happs, it isn’t just gender which can change in the afterlife: some departed souls completely change their sexual orientation. “Such cases are not dissimilar to those of post mortem gender changes,” she says. “Often, once released from the prison of their corporeal existence, some spirits feel free to finally express sides to their sexuality they were forced to keep hidden during their lifetimes.” Indeed, such a case of someone ‘crossing over’ after crossing over saw Happs embroiled in controversy last year after she revealed Winston Churchill’s affair with Joseph Stalin in the afterlife. “It was absolutely outrageous,” recalls local Tory MP Kenneth Smallbit, who went so far as to raise the matter in the House of Commons. “I couldn’t believe it when I read the report of her so called séance, where Winnie and Stalin supposedly manifested themselves hand in hand, in the local paper – as if it wasn’t bad enough slurring the good name of one of this country’s greatest leaders by claiming that he had turned homosexual on the other side, she compounded the insult by claiming that he was having some kind of sexual relationship with a bloody communist!” Once again, Happs believes that Smallbit’s reaction was primarily motivated by prejudice. “He is clearly homophobic – why else would he think that being homosexual was a ‘slur’?” she observes. “And why does he find the idea that two historical figures defined by their displays of exaggerated masculinity might actually have been masking their true sexuality during their lifetimes? Their mutual sexual attraction is clear for all to see in the newsreel footage of the Yalta conference, for instance, but the historical, social and political constraints within which they operated in their lifetimes precluded them from taking it further. But in death they have been free to explore their true feelings – they were all over each other when we summoned them at that séance at the local Conservative Club.”

The Reverend Simon Firksome, the Church of England’s leading expert on ‘Spirituality and Sexuality’ has told The Sleaze that gender and sexual orientation in the spirit world is a complex matter. “The fact is that when we pass over to the other side we leave behind all worldly concerns, including matters sexual,” he opined. “The fact is that the desires of the flesh will no longer exist, neither will such things as gender and sexual orientation. Strictly speaking, all spirits are gender and sexually neutral. Therefore the spirits of the deceased are neither male nor female, gay or straight.” The theologian did concede, however, that it might well be possible for spirits to express themselves in a sexual orientation or gender different to that which they had held in life. For his part, Gene Brattocks remains determined to sue Happs, not just for fraud, but also for the distress her séance has supposedly caused him. “I don’t care about any ecclesiastical mumbo jumbo about gender neutral spirits, all I know is that my mother’s good name has been dragged through the mud, I’ve got nothing against transgender people – I just don’t want one as my mother,” he raged. “Damn it, I only went to that bloody séance in the hope of finding out where my mother had left the key to the shed and I end up being traumatised by being told that all her life she’d really wanted to be giving it rather than receiving it!”