Telling Your Friends that you’re Transgender
In 2000, I shared Renee with one of my oldest and friends. For discretion purposes, I'll call him Blane - as I doubt he wants his real name published all over the world wide web.
I've known Blane since I was six years old and our friendship has endured a myriad of challenges and triumphs. He's a very bright and intuitive guy. I always knew he could handle knowing of Renee - but I waited a long time to share her with him. I'd already shared her with many others - including certain family members.
Why did I wait so long with Blane? Because his friendship means a great deal to me. Sharing your transgenderism with someone can change your relationship with that person. Sometimes, it will draw you closer. Other times, it can create a barrier to your communication and friendship. I wasn't in a hurry to risk one of my closest associations on a whim.
Blane did pretty well with it. I watched him struggle initially with her - actually more than I first thought he might. I suppose we all are guilty of underestimating the impact this can have on people. In a couple of weeks, he seemed perfectly at rest with all of me - and even joined Renee for a night on the town with his lovely lady. While the matter was still fresh on his mind, I asked him to write down the feelings he had, the challenges he felt, and how he arrived at being okay with it all. I felt it might help us to better appreciate what we put our loved ones through when we ask them to accept our transgenderism.
Blane agreed to share his feelings - on one condition: that I publish his letter exactly as he wrote it. To quote him: If I misspell a word - it stays misspelled - you can't change one word, one punctuation mark, nothing! I balked on this caveat for a couple of days. It's not that I don't trust him - he's my best friend. It's just that this little space on the Net is all mine. I wasn't in a hurry to relinquish my role as its Writer, Publisher, Queen Mother, and Editor Supreme. *grin*
I eventually relinquished - but only because of the higher good I felt his words might provide. I have written this introduction before I've even read his letter - he still hasn't finished it. If it's bad - don't blame me - I had no choice n the matter!!
I have started this article many times. I know that Renee has been frustrated at my tardiness. However, what started as an article on how to tell a friend or loved one (from the friends perspective) about being a T-Girl has become much more. This process has made me reevaluate my personal beliefs, reexamine how I treat others, and ultimately redefine how I love. Sounds like a lot? I think so too. But that is how much my relationship with Renee has meant to me and how much I value it in my future. First, I have to lay some groundwork. This site is dedicated to T-Girls and to introducing you to Renee. Many of you know much more about Renee than I do or ever will, so I would like to take some web space and tell you about "Mr. R", Renee’s alter ego.
We met in the first grade and became instant friends. Even at that age, "Mr. R"’s leadership skills were evident. He was and is athletic, driven, determined, creative, brilliant, sensitive, caring, loving, obsessive, dynamic, and a visionary. He never feared taking a stance or going his own way, even if it was not popular or glamorous. In high school, he was president, captain of the football team, Most Likely to Succeed and a friend to everyone. Many people looked up to him, I know I did. "Mr. R" committed himself to accepting everyone where they were and making them feel good about it. Students from “the other side of the tracks” or the “in crowd” knew they had a true friend in "Mr. R". I admired his accomplishments and his work ethic, but what I admired most was his women. Yes! "Mr. R" always dated beautiful women. You may wonder why I am going into so much detail. Because I want you to know that "Mr. R" was/is a man’s man and because I also know that his modesty would not let him say these things. He has continued to live up to the standard for success that he set for himself in high school. It also serves the purpose for helping you realize the absolute shock that I felt when he shared his secret life with me. I knew that he had to be setting me up for a practical joke! No way! Not "Mr. R"! A T-Girl?! No Way! I kept waiting for him to let me off the hook (A suppose a part of me still is!) but it did not happen. My entire image of him was changed. But not by him. His accomplishments were still the same. He was the same person that was my Best Man (he tried to talk me out of that marriage….turns out he was right!. Little did I know that it was woman’s intuition!) the same man that was in the hospital waiting room with me when my children were born, the same man that has loved me so well throughout my life. Then why was he now different? He wasn’t. What had made him different was my own set of filters. I made him different. That was hard for me to realize and harder for me to accept. I wanted to try to understand it all. I wanted to help him get “fixed”. Then I thought, “is he a man and woman trapped in the same body?” or “is it just an act, an outlet for stress” but I soon came to the realization that it does not matter to me. He is the same person and I want him in my life. I asked everything that I wanted to ask and Renee was totally honest with me and I needed that. I know that I can ask anything but I do not feel like I have to. In fact, there is a lot that I do not want to know.
This man has been a vital part of my life; it saddened me at the level of secrecy that he has endured throughout these many years. My initial reaction of shock and denial has been overcome to the point that I wish that he had told me earlier so that he would not have felt alone with it for so long. When you do come out, some men may feel threatened by wondering “is she attracted to me”? It is odd though, it has never occurred to me that Renee would be attracted to me. My girlfriend (a GG!) loves Renee and enjoys reading this website. One day she read the type of man that Renee is attracted toward. It alarmed her somewhat because I fit that description perfectly (except my penis is too large!). All of the sudden my best friend also had the potential in her eyes of becoming a threat. However, we have such a close relationship that his attraction to me would be much like him being attracted to his brother. I know in my heart that only friendship exists between us, no attraction. I think that this is an important consideration in determining in whom you confide. Now I want you to realize that I do not understand why he is attracted to this lifestyle and I do not necessarily agree with it but I do accept it for him. The reason that I accept it is because he is so comfortable with that part of him. If I had sensed doubt in his mind or confusion, I may have been aggressive in “reaching out” to him. However, it was very apparent that he did not require me to “save him”. "Mr. R" had completed a tremendous amount of soul searching before coming to his conclusions. Out of love for him, I had no choice but to respect his conclusions.
One important aspect of our relationship has always been humor. We are the Masters of the Insult to each other. We have been able to do that because of our self- confidence and our mutual respect. For example, in a nightclub if I were to say to "Mr. R", “you dance like my grandmother!” we would both laugh because we both knew that it had no merit. I know he is a good dancer, he knows he is a good dancer, and we both are confident in that fact so no feelings are hurt. However, if I said the same thing to Renee, it takes on a whole new dimension. Gone is the confidence that I am not hurting my best friend and examples can be made in the other directions as well. Humor is vital to my relationship with "Mr. R", and I am learning how to use it with Renee. Humor with Renee has been difficult at times because we are both learning our boundaries. Renee, understandably, is more sensitive and vulnerable than "Mr. R" and at the same time I am more sensitive because I am learning a new relationship. It is very important to me that humor be a part of Renee. In order to feel comfortable around Renee, I have to know that Renee is comfortable around me! Heed this warning though; humor problems are compounded when other people are involved. Just go slow, be careful what you say and whom you say it around. I believe that the same level of intimacy can be attained with a true friend, no matter what your persona if both of you desire that goal.
I agreed to this letter being posted as is for one simple reason. As usual, my dear friend failed to consider all the implications to our agreement - namely - rebuttal rights. Sorry Blane, you're f***ed. LOL
Seriously, I almost cried when I read his letter. Not really so much for what he said - but rather, what I knew I had put him through. Good friends are so very rare in this world. I ask all my sisters to consider the challenge your loved ones will feel as you change in front of their eyes and hearts - literally and figuratively. Helping them through it - is worth the frustration you'll feel.
Blane, I'd like to formally thank you for your thoughts ((hugs)). Naturally, with all things considered, I simply can't pass up the opportunity to make this next statement publicly:
"Honey, you dance like a faggot!" *Grin*
Sorry, but you walked right into that one smart ass!
Additional Chapters in This Section Include:
Do You Already Know a Crossdresser?
What's Up with all these different labels?
Important Terminology in the Transgender Community
Additional Slangs and Terminology
Problems Associated with Transgender Labels
Telling Your Friends You're Transgender
Crossdressing in Public
Making Transgender Friends
Your Evolution as a Transgender Lady
Finding Happiness in a Dress