I have known this over the course of my life, but have not felt it this strongly until recently.
With each person I tell, I feel the weight of the life lie, lifted. Eased. Relieved.
I have been going out and about a lot. Jenn can be seen all over town, at any number of functions, stores and restaurants. With the past couple outings (a couple awesome art exhibits), I have interacted with friends and associates from my past. For each person I have come out to, I have been met with complete and total acceptance. To walk among my peers, as an equal, without judgement. Without stares. Without glares or ill words. It is a freedom unmatched by anything I have experienced.
I have been offered new allies. People who know that this is a rough journey and wish to be a part of it. To be there as an army of support to replace those who will fall by the wayside. These people are called friends.
I have been introduced to complete strangers as Jenn and have experienced nothing out of the ordinary. I have been welcomed into their world without any questions or without any judgements. I have been compared to their wives and workout partners, which, I must say, sends my heart pattering all over the scale. That is acceptance, complete and total. It is the equivalent of the whistle or howl by a passing person, though much deeper and more satisfying. I belong.
I have come out to old friends from school. I have not been shunned. It seems as though I have chosen my friends wisely, throughout my life. I do know of one friend that will, most likely, fall away upon my revelation, but I may be surprised. We have been friends for almost 25 years. I have one other friend that I simply must tell. I have blogged about this hurdle before and know that it is time to jump that hurdle. My best male friend. My closest and dearest male friend. The time is present and the situation will present itself, soon.
I wonder how to tell him. It hasn’t been something I have thought about with anyone else, as I am usually presenting as Jenn when I meet and tell them. But it is different with him. He has only known my male side and this could come as quite a shock. Do I tell him and then introduce him to Jenn, or do I tell and introduce at the same time. There have been many times when I have been out with friends and I expect to see him out as well. I think about what I would do if I were to be out and get an invitation from him to go do something else. Say “yes, but I look a little different than you are used to”? Many choices. None of them wrong. None of them necessarily right.
I have been told that he most likely cherishes out friendship because of my quirkiness. A friendship akin to love.
Once this revelation is complete, the burden will be so far lifted that it’s weight might never be felt again. I love my friends. I am fiercely loyal to them, and for good reason. With the acceptance I have been shown, who wouldn’t want to defend them to the end?
***I would also like to add that my female voice is coming along splendidly. There is a definite tonality that is present. Not perfect, yet, but getting there. I can also feel the disappearance of my old self. The male part of me simply does not exist any more. Jenn is who I am and if I “have” to, I pull out the guise of my former self to satisfy those who are not yet ready for me. Soon they will have to be ready.***