“Feminine Desire: a monk who failed to be a nun” is a transgender suspense story written by Yu Sakurazawa.
Fabian is an 18-year-old monk living in a secluded monastery at Montserrat. He lives according to the dictates of poverty, obedience and chastity. Ever since he was 10 years old, Fabian has experienced an overwhelming desire to dress and behave like a girl. Since his mind perceives such desires to be a sin, he has suppressed them.
When Reverend Jovel, the head of the monastery, requests Fabian to accompany him to Barcelona where he is to give a discourse, Fabian obliges. During the discourse, Rev. Jovel develops a sore throat and asks Fabian to fetch him ginger from Santa Caterina Market. He stops at a café for coffee. The guy at the counter decides to play a practical joke on the young monk and mixes a drug in his coffee.
Fabian starts wandering the streets of Barcelona. He gets lost and finds himself in the notorious area of El Raval in the night. He spots an over-made up woman called Reneta (evidently a prostitute) and asks her for directions to his hotel. The kindly Reneta obliges. Subsequently, she happens to be murdered. And the murderer has seen Fabian…
Fabian’s life is now in danger. He is forced to be disguised as a woman and call himself “Flavia” to protect himself.
Will Flavia be able to escape the clutches of Reneta’s killer, who turns out to be a political big wig?
Fabian/Flavia: He is the 18-year-old protagonist of the story. He is extraordinarily beautiful, with intense dark eyes and hair that shimmers like black gold. Fabian has a sculpted body and chiseled features, with gorgeous bow-shaped lips. He is an orphan who has grown up in the secluded monastery of Montserrat. He lives a simple pious life. Fabian experiences the desire to be a girl from childhood but suppresses these desires as he perceives them to be sinful.
Fabian accompanies the head monk of the monastery to Barcelona. When on an errand, he witnesses a woman being murdered. The murder sees Fabian clearly. Fabian has to disguise himself as a woman and call himself “Flavia” to protect his life from the murderer who happens to be a political big wig.
Antonio: A short, squat friend of Fabian’s. Antonio is also a monk. He acts as an emissary between Rev. Jovel and Fabian.
Revered Jovel: is the 68-year-old head of the monastery. He is tall, has thick pepper and salt hair and wears spectacles. Rev. Jovel is a kind man who gives shelter to the orphaned and the destitute. He adopts the orphaned Fabian when he is a baby and raises him to be a monk. Rev. Jovel is supposed to deliver a discourse at the Institute of Spiritual Sciences at Barcelona. He needs a disciple to help him carry the baggage et al. and decides to take Fabian because of the latter’s good stamina. The trip to Barcelona changes the topography of Fabian’s life.
Reneta: is an aging/middle-aged prostitute who works and resides in the notorious area of El Raval. She is top-heavy. Her bobbed hair is dyed a cheap peroxide blonde. Reneta is flirtatious, but kindly. She helps Fabian by giving him directions to the hotel in which he is staying. Reneta subsequently gets into a quarrel with a powerful client called Desi Cordor. In the heat of the moment, Cordor stabs Reneta to death.
Desi Cordor: is the villain of the story. He is about 40, tall, sleek and good-looking in a predatory kind of way. Desi sports a dashing mustache. He is a wealthy, powerful politician who controls the police, judiciary and the press. Desi is also a womanizer and has an affair with Reneta, whom he murders later. He realizes that Fabian has witnessed the murder and chases the latter only to lose him in the crowd of La Rambla Del Raval. Desi’s ever roving eye later seeks out and settles on Flavia, who is Fabian in disguise. He commissions an artist to paint a nude portrait of hers and later, also asks for a private meeting with Flavia. Desi doesn’t recognize Flavia as Fabian. He makes an indecent proposal towards her and pays heavily for it.
Celino Bertoli: is a 28-year-old street artist. He has a clean-shaven face, wise brown eyes and short brown hair tinged with premature grey. He sees Fabian in La Rambla Del Raval and wishes to paint the beautiful monk. Sensing Fabian’s concern, Celino asks him what the matter is. Fabian views Celino as trustworthy and confides in him. Celino discovers that the murderer, who has seen Fabian, is a political big wig. He advises Fabian to disguise himself as a woman and call himself “Flavia” so that the murderer doesn’t recognize him.
Sophia Abello: is the energetic, red-haired reporter who interviewed Celino post his success as an artist and wrote an enthusiastic, flattering feature titled “Bertoli and his Muse” for the newspaper she worked for.
Juan Esteban: is a press photographer who buys a photocopy of Celino’s painting “Bertoli’s Venus” and tells his boss about the talented artist. Subsequently, a Celino is interviewed and his interview is published in the newspaper Juan Esteban works for.
Bruno Regas: A Catalan art promoter who organizes an exhibition of Celino’s works.