Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Introducing, Me!

Last weekend, I had an experience I have day dreamed about most of my life. Finally, I got to meet one of my school era friends, as myself! I used to always day dream I could be instantly transformed to a girl, and I would interact with my friends and they would still be okay with me, and after just a little awkwardness, we would still all be friends.

In reality it has not been nearly as simple as my day dream. In life, transition is never accomplished through a painless, instantaneous process for starters. And I'll probably never become the beautiful, radiant creature I was in my old day dreams. Unlike the supportive friends in my daydreams, most of my old school friends have been totally unsupportive. When I first confessed my little secret, many of the friendships felt strained. When I actually started to loosen up and be myself a bit, many of them began to distance themselves from me. By the time I began transition, most of the strained friendships had been shattered.

But there is one exception. My best friend from my school days. The first time I came out, he was the one friend who reacted with curiosity. He was the one friend who looked at it objectively, and told me that looking back, it explained a lot and that to him it made sense.

We have not communicated a lot lately. He has a very full family life, demanding job, and a very long commute. Though we have not had very much time to chat, and have not seen each other in person for several years, his acceptance has always been such a positive factor in my transition.

Last weekend, an opportunity finally came to visit. He has recently moved to a closer town, and it happened to be the town my pharmacy is in. While I was out picking up my medication, I sent him a text message asking if he had time for a visit, and he invited me on over. To that I replied that I would need a little time to get back into guy mode. And in response he messaged back, "Come as you wish." So after a brief exchange to make completely sure I was interpreting that correctly, I drove over still dressed for my pharmacy visit.

I was so nervous. I just wanted so much to be accepted for who I truly am. I needed desperately to be taken seriously. I sat in the driveway checking my hair and makeup a few moments. Looking in the mirror just made everything scarier though. All the physical problems I stress over were so glaringly discernible. But no amount of wishing could make it easier.

I knocked on the door, held my breath and waited for the moment when one of my old friends would finally meet me in my true gender role. My heart was beating fast. I struggled to maintain an outer calm to mask the inner fear. When he opened the door, I did my best to smile and look calm.

But after we had talked a moment, we both became more comfortable, and it was like old times again. Eventually his wife and adorable little son woke from napping and joined us. The fear started to subside, and I was in my element, chatting and joking away.

After a wonderful evening, I said my goodbyes. It had been magnificent. His wife was very nice to me and made me feel right at home. And his son is such a cute little guy! Nearly two and just full of energy. It was a pleasure getting to finally meet them both.

On the drive home, I was feeling very warm and content. And then it occurred to me, I am starting to live my dreams. At least, the more realistic parts of them. For the first time, I really had been able to present the way I want, and act naturally around one of my oldest and dearest friends.

Like so many dreams, when it actually comes true it feels a lot different than the make-believe version. It is just so pleasant and natural. As healthy and normal as breathing. Much like the other aspects of transition I have experienced, the reality is scarier and less fanciful than the dream. Yet it feels so wonderful, in a very real and beautiful way, to intricate to ever accurately dream up.


Leslie Ann said...

I'm so happy for you, Shan! Life's little victories are all we ever really get for our efforts. It sounds like you are recognizing them when they come.

Anonymous said...

Coooooooooool!!! :)Suzi

chrissie said...

That's lovely.