I received a call yesterday afternoon from my best friend, Joe. He is a stay at home Dad for two rugrats and two older daughters, living far too far away in Memphis, TN. I know, I know, I am starting to give specifics. Coming out is often not a surge, but a slow reveal. Frankly, I have started caring less and less about anyone finding out what my masks identity is. It’s just a mask, inanimate and discard able. Anyway, Joe called and wanted to talk. He had some cool things to share about the world of geek that we live in (custom gaming tables for role-players, etc) and to ask some questions he had about me, about Beth.
A lot of the questions he asked were about things I have already posted on my blog, but I was happy to answer anything he was not sure about. Things like sexual preferences and surgeries; they are the typical kind of questions I expect. I want him to understand me, the real me, that the person he knew is still there, loves him, is still his friend. The mask was there to distort others perceptions of me, distorted my gender, my sexual preference (I presented as male & heterosexual), not completely obliterate my identity. So there are naturally questions about the parts of me that had until now remained hidden.
It’s not easy for me anymore than it is for the people I tell. They endure the shock, but I have to deal with the mask that lingers. It’s not easy to cast away something that has kept you hidden and safe, and yes given you a privilege that otherwise I would not have enjoyed. The moment I step out from behind the mask, it calls back to me like when you yell at a movie screen when the murderer is in the room. “Run! Hide! What are you doing?! So Stupid!” My insecurities brought about from being in a body that isn’t the right gender, or from those around me while I was in my mask, how they acted toward transgender. It’s not easy, but with Joe, he made it seem like the most natural thing in the world. That was the gift he gave to me, it was an accolade, a prize gained. He builds me up when I feel down, tells me I’m pretty and makes me feel so feminine when I start to feel all man-ish. He has a photo of me (a selfie of when I did a particularly good job with makeup) on his phone. He says his children see this and ask him who the pretty lady is. It makes me feel so great that all is not lost,being in this T ravaged, hairy, penis-y body.
I had a few dreams about Joe when we roomed together. They were I think based on a desire to be seen as the woman I was on the inside. I was a girl in these dreams, full on biologically complete. One of my favorites was me standing in the kitchen of our apartment with only an oversized button-down dress shirt and panties. I was cooking breakfast when he comes in. He comes up behind me and puts his arms around me and nuzzles my ear, his beard tickling my neck. That was as far as the dream went, but it was nice, being loved, held as a woman. Don’t get me wrong he is an attractive man, but I don’t believe it was about wanting, specifically Joe to do this, but he was in my life a lot and I think he held that place in the dream for that reason. Not sure I am saying this right, dreams are fickle things. My point was that because of these dreams, when he says I am pretty, it makes an impact with me. That was the point I was trying to get to.
All my friends are supportive and great. They didn’t flinch, just accepted. I’m never going to not acknowledge that single great thing that they did for me. [Geek Warning] It was like when Buffy received her tiny umbrella, as the Class Protector. It was a magnanimous moment and it touched her to tears. That is how my friends made me feel, make me feel still. Without Joe, I would not have had the nerve to tell the rest of my friends. Yes, I know how lucky I am. No, I don’t take it for granted, not one little bit.