Tag Archive | Friendship

I made a friend

IMG_20180520_160255_877.jpgWent to the bar a couple of weeks ago with a friend. That in itself is not remarkable. Though we haven’t gone lately, we will occasionally go to get out, have a couple of drinks, and maybe play some pool. By the way, I totally kicked my friends butt that night. The last time we went, however, I was not as fortunate.

But this is not about our last outing, but the one before that, the night I came out the winner. Starting out, we were asked to show our ID’s even before we stepped into the bar. That usually doesn’t happen, so I was taken aback, more so because my ID does not match my gender. Reluctantly, I pulled my license out, waiting to be called out. All that the bouncer said was that I looked good for 42.

With that, we began the evening, getting a bucket of beers, and playing a few games. Across from out pool table sat a couple, a man and woman, who seemed to be enjoying the night out as well. They were talkative, and my friend Jessica was happily interacting with them, but I less so. I hate talking because more than anything, my voice outs me. I hate my voice!

We continued to play, and the couple across from us continued to visit with those around them, including us from time to time. The man was making me a little nervous, but I ignored him as much as I could, and concentrated on the game. Soon, we were out of quarters, and I was ready to finish that last of my beer, and head home. The couple across from us had other plans.

They invited us to join them, which Jessica was keen on accepting. I followed, afraid of being rejected, or worse attacked, as sat down at their table. With introductions out of the way, the man turned to me and asked if I was trans. Feeling as though the jig was up, I admitted I was. What came next nearly left me speechless. He confessed he was a trans man. I never could have guessed that in a million years!

After that revelation, I was a little more receptive to a conversation, he talking about his journey, and me sharing mine. For him, he feels as though he is obviously a woman living as a man, while I feel the opposite, a man trying to live as a woman. In his case, he feels obvious, though of course that’s his own insecurities manifesting. He is not obviously trans. He looks and acts like a cis male.

How much of the struggle to fit in, therefore, is an internal struggle? How much of it is our own insecurities? For me, I know getting on hormones would help, as much as being on hormones helps him, but a lot of passing is partly being confident in living our true gender.

For him, he’s living life as the man he is, with a woman he loves. I’m still living part time, whenever I can spare the time to be me. The thing is, the trans experience is valid for both of us. He transitioned, I have not. Some people go all the way, hormones, top and bottom surgery, or maybe just top surgery. Some never get on hormones, some never accept being trans.

Acceptance begins with yourself. For me it began when I accepted who I was. It was helped by the scores of friends who have accepted me, who have cared for me, who have loved me. It’s an ongoing journey, a journey of discovery and learning to live being true to myself.

I have had few negative experiences going out as Stefani, and so many positive experiences. That night at the 6th Street  Saloon was one of positive experiences, one where I met some new friends. I just have to remember to give others a chance.

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Finding an ally

DFrMul3XkAAy03dLast week I saw this image on a friend’s Facebook timeline. I didn’t think much of it as she’s a liberal person and I thought she was simply being supportive. She didn’t know about me or my journey, having never confided this secret to her. I loved the image and  continued on my way, scrolling down my feed, wasting time.

It wasn’t until later that I started reading her comments, and she stated that she had a transgender son. I was in shock. I had not known that. I suppose most people don’t advertise that fact. It’s dangerous to say so and can put them in an awkward and even a hazardous position. Being out comes with a price, a price I’m only now coming to terms with, and deciding if I’m willing to pay that price.

But my friend’s son decided to come out, to transition. She went from a young woman and accepted herself as a young man. That takes a lot of courage, especially with the amount of bigotry that seems socially acceptable to push onto the transgender community. I’m in awe.

But I will confess that I had a mixture of emotions when I read about her son. On the one hand, seeing her accept her child filled me with a sense of hope. Maybe I could confide in her my own struggles and my own journey to accept myself. On the other, I felt saddened by it. Saddened because it’s such a difficult burden to carry. Many fail. I pray he succeeds.

But it also takes a toll on the family. Who was once a daughter is now their son. How does one process that? I’ve never been in a position to deal with that, and it’s a position that I may be placing my family under should I conclude that I must transition.

At that moment, however, I decided to reach out to my friend, and to tell her about my own journey, my own struggles. To my relief, she accepted me for who I am, referring to me as her, girl, Stefani. It was an amazing experience.

I’m hoping to meet up with her in person at the end of the month. I’m heading back to the DFW area for a mini vacation, just a few days away from work and home, a chance to relax and to recharge. She sounds every bit as excited as I do. Of course I will be going in Stefani mode. There’s no question about that. I now I can’t wait. It’s nice when you discover another member for your support team. Every one helps.

Boomerang roadtrip

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In front of Walmart 5311 in McKinney, TX. I worked here as an ASM back in 2006-2008! ~Stef~

What a week! Last week was inventory week at my employer, and anyone who has ever worked retail knows just how horrible the inventory process is, particularly if you are a manager or a supervisor. Lots of work, long hours, little sleep. Worked Thursday until midnight, having to return to work at five in the morning on Friday. I ended up not being able to sleep, so I stayed up about thirty hours before I was able to get to bed for a little shut eye.

With inventory over, we had reports to work on Saturday, which we spent a few hours doing, until it got too busy. I worked until six, at which time I went home and tried to relax, knowing that the next day, Sunday, I would be have off. Finally having some free time, I changed into my Stefani clothes, knowing I would have the rest of the evening, and the next day, to be myself.

 

At around nine Saturday, my friend Amy convinced me to drive up to see her. The drive from Amarillo to her house, about an hour and a half north east from Dallas, usually takes about six to seven hours. Not wanting to squander the time I had set aside, I said I would go, but I would only do so as Stefani, which she heartily agreed to. She missed her best friend after all, as did I!

Nothing of note happened on the drive. I listened to music, and then switched over to a book got off of Audible, The Night Circus (my favorite book of all time!), and got to her house at 4 in the morning. Slept in until almost ten before I woke up, exhausted but happy to see my friend.

Now, Amy has known about me since we met back in ’98. Her husband, however, did not. He only found out maybe a year ago, after I told Amy to go ahead and tell him. I think it freaked him out, the arch-conservative that he is. I never presented myself as Stef in front of him, but this time I took only one change of clothes, since I would have to drive immediately home on Sunday evening.

This is where it gets amusing. I was in the living room, on the chaise, covered with a throw, wearing the clothes I wore on the drive the night before. He saw me but didn’t pay me no mind. I thought he was avoiding me, not wanting to deal with a freak like me. Soon after, I look a shower, changed into the jeans and blouse I brought for the visit, put on my makeup, and stepped out, nervous at having her husband see me.

A few minutes later, he called me, wanting to show me his latest acquisition, and I went into his music room, where he showed off the controller for his drum machine. I sat down and began playing on the drums, as I usually do while I’m there. As I played, he went back into the kitchen until I was called back for breakfast.

Amy whispered to me that Bryan hadn’t even noticed that I had on a blouse, or that I was wearing makeup, or had my hair tied back. Never registered that I was in Stef mode. What he noticed as I walked into the music room, and what he asked Amy, was if I was wearing girl jeans!

Amy and I set off for one of her client’s house – she has a pet-sitting business – to drop off their dog. We stopped by a Walmart I had worked at in McKinney, the one I opened back in 2007 as an assistant manager, and walked around. Brought back some memories! Then we got a bite to eat, stopped by another client’s house to feed their dogs, and back to her house.

I stayed another couple of hours. Bryan came in and we talked a bit, mostly about the trailer for a movie that’s coming out next year, Ready Player One, and the differences we noticed between what they showed in the trailer and what was written on the book.

Then at six that evening, I left to make the six hour drive home. Once Bryan had decided that I was the same person in Stefani mode, he grew more comfortable. I hope that leads to him coming to terms with transgender people in general, but we will have to wait and see.

I think most people would grow more comfortable if they interacted with transgender people. We’re not some group of bogeymen. We’re not crazy, and we are not mentally ill, which I’ve read as fact from some ignorant jack asses on Facebook. I know some people are bigoted and are eager to find a group that is socially acceptable to bully and disparage, but if more people were willing just to talk to us, maybe some of that stigma would disappear. Maybe they would come to see that we’re people deserving of respect.

At least, that’s my dream.