I don’t fire up Instant Messenger very often. There’s some weird setting in Outlook Express that launches IM every now and then when I launch Outlook. Today, instead of closing it like I usually do, I opted to keep it on.
I’d almost forgotten I had IM running when I got a message from an old college friend. Well, not that old—I only graduated four years ago. (Has it been that long?) Anyway, we traded small talk: where are you working, how are you doing, et cetera. I messaged him an old picture of the two of us, and he was highly amused, though I wasn’t sure why.
One hour and a long, in-depth conversation later, I know why that picture was so amusing.
He doesn’t look like that anymore.
He looks like a she.
He—she—has a supportive boyfriend, has successfully transitioned into life as a woman (pretty much), and is much happier not living a lie.
Apparently, my friend ran into some major obstacles when he tried to “come out” in college: unsupportive friends and co-workers, and general rejection all around. (I was completely oblivious at the time.) S/he wasn’t sure how I’d react even now, five or six years later. It had been a while since we’d really talked, so s/he couldn’t have known my passion for tolerance and gay rights and my general political affiliations. Like I told him/her, “If guy-on-guy action is your thing, and you have the balls to admit it in a society that’s overall not too keen on it, then more power to you. That’s awesome.”
I’m so happy for her. Seeing her picture really drove it home for me. Finding yourself in such a big way… that’s just fucking awesome. I’m happier for her and her found-femininity and her boyfriend than I ever was for some of my hetero friends and their engagements and weddings.
I can’t get over it. It’s a giant mindfuck, but it’s so wonderful.