Yesterday my friend came out to me.....Not as a gay man, or even a closet ABBA fan...but as transgendered.
Being a gay man myself this shouldn't be a big deal for me right?...I wish it were so simple... I love my friend a great deal. We have been through alot together. This is a very hard post to write today because it brings back so many memories of times past...midnight drives to the beach driving at mach twelve down curvy coastal roads, listening to the b-52's and Adrien Belew. Laughing at Him when he would constantly hurt himself working on cars and listening to Iron Maiden(hey we were teens)even though I couldn't stand them. Todays post title borrows the title of her Blog here on this site. The reason I use it is because her confession to me has caused me to do alot of musing since then about the emotions others feel when we come out to them, and how Transgendered people really push our understanding of ourselves.I use the pronoun "her" going forward because that is who she is now, Carina, a male undergoing the difficult process of becoming female...what she feels is her true self regardless of the body she was born into.
I knew every feeling she was going through in revealing something so intimate about herself. Needing acceptance so badly, the urge to finally reveal all and unburden the soul of its secrets. The apprehension and certainty that sit together side by side in your heart. How can I as a gay man ever deny her my complete acceptance and love?...I can't, I won't. I fully support her knowing what it means to have that inner sense that, there is a true self inside of you that you need to express. To do anything else is like living in the land of the shadow of death...a world of greys with little joy. Coming out and loving a man for the first time for me was like that moment in the Wizard of OZ when everything is in color for the first time. It was like my first breath.
So wheres the problem?... The more I thought about "his" life becoming "her" the more I thought about the dangers she would face living in a homophobic small town community and slowly starting to look more female. I thought of her now exwife and two children and how they would answer the question, "what happened to Daddy?". And the big kicker...It felt like a death.
I had to realize that the friend I knew would no longer exist as I knew them. Even though I love and accept her no matter what, there is a part of me that is sad. I know everything that makes her what she is will always be in there...lopsided smiles, greasy knuckles, and a taste for wierd music...and eventually I will come around. I think I just got a dose of what my parents went through when I came out to them...I wonder how long they were sad?. I am sorry for that even though I know it as neccesary...as I believe Carina's revelation was to me.
Another dimension to this is that I know just enough about being transgendered to hang myself. In the gay community they are so little recognized for their struggles to gain acceptance. I have heard lots of stories about transgendered people being made to feel wierd by some of us gays. Thats just appalling but, I'm not one to cast stones here. Take for example Jays and my reaction to Bananabread119's coming out as transgendered on Youtube. We had to get over our preconceptions, prejudices,...and attraction to what we saw as a good looking guy. mayby we get so comfortable in our own bodies sometimes that we can't imagine how someone feels who is not. I have heard some people refer to it as a form of self mutilation..."I could never do that to myself"..."I could never have my (fill in body part here) cut off!" What many people fail to recognize is that it isn't who they want to love that is at stake...it is something just as intrinsic to their being...their bodies and sense of self. I think the real mutilation is done to the soul in not being able to be who you really are inside, to be free to live in truth. It shocks me that gays and lesbians can look at a trangendered person and not see themselves in them, that they cannot see the same heart and same struggle to be true...to love true.
To my best and oldest friend Carina. I will always be here for you no matter what foolish things may be in my head. May you and all transgendered people find the courage to live your lives out loud, to teach us through your love and courage what it means to be a man or a woman, and to take your place with all of us as our friends/family/fellow human beings....and more.
Much Love, Bryan
P.S. here is the link to Carina's Blog. Check her out: