I was feeling a little low and depressed that night, and I posted something sad on social media, and a good friend of mine for many years, a dear cis girlfriend, messaged me to ask if I was alright. I said yes, andthat I was feeling a little low and then she asked: "What's going on?"
At that point, I think I knew what was about to happen - and it did. I said I felt alone and "different" and that nobody would understand me. That I could never share what I was feeling with anybody because they would all laugh, or humiliate me or just plain leave. She persisted though, and at first, she asked me if I was gay, and it was OK if I was - she was totally non-judgemental. I said: “hell no I am not gay - I love women and I would never have a relationship with a man.”
But right then in the very next question, she asked me if I cross-dressed.
OMG, my heart just stopped for a second. I was running things through my mind to avoid telling her a lie, and then something came over me and although I wasn’t simply a cross-dresser, I just replied "Bingo!". I expected her to laugh or make some silly comments, and she didn't.
She said that she always knew there was something different about me - that I had a huge sensitive side that was uncommon. (We are both born on the same day of the same month). I told her of hiding my shame of what I was thinking and acting on since I was young. She pretty much told me it was OK and there are lots of men who do it and they are normal everyday guys. She even sent me a bunch of links with information and told me I should research how to meet like-minded girls. I didn't tell her that I had already started that but I said that I would.
She was just incredibly kind and from the moment when I said "bingo" and she supported me. Fifty years of shame and misery were lifted from my shoulders. I was free to be OK with myself and Claire, and I had a lifetime friend who told me she would always be there for me. I burst into tears - with happiness and gratitude at that point. She even started giving me tips about make-up remover and regular girly chat. It was amazing! I felt so comfortable talking with her and coming to my city, that I sent her one of my favorite Claire selfies with make-up and wig and my cat-eye glasses and she said I looked beautiful and that she was jealous that I learned how to do eyeliner wings better than she could. LOL
OMG. She then said when she is in my city the next time (she lives in a city which is quite a few hours drive from my place) and is with a new husband/partner. She wanted to catch up with me at my apartment and drink heaps of wine, chat and gossip together. Wow! I was just blown away - totally blown away! So that was how the evening went, and she messaged me the following morning to make sure I was OK, and showed me a picture of a new dress and heels she bought. How quickly a lifetime of shame and guilt and the resulting years of depression and anxiety can be washed away when you have a friend like this.
The main thing apart from how wonderful the experience was for me, is to share with my fellow trans women and men here who may be going through the same guilt and shame experience as me, that if you have the right friend, and in the right circumstances, you can be honest with them and they will hold you close and never let you go as a friend. Of course, not every situation will end the same way, but I offer hope, based on my experience that night.
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