I have to take a moment to gush about how great my friends are–and how great I am at choosing friends. They say you can choose your friends and not your family, and that’s obviously true, and the past six months have shown me that and why it’s so important to have good friends.
Considering that my family is awful and exactly what you’d expect southern fundamentalist Christians to be, I knew I was going to be leaning heavily on friends to keep me going. For all intents and purposes, I no longer really have family. Though most of my family still doesn’t know, they will soon, and they’ll turn their backs on me much faster and easier than my sister did. Strangers say, “You don’t know that. Your family may surprise you.”
None of my friends say that, though, because my friends know how my family is; they know how their families are, and this isn’t a movie where the side of tolerance and openness triumphs over bigotry and closed minds; this is Earth, the United States, the South, Mississippi. The only state in the union to keep the confederate flag as part of its state flag. And I’ve often spoken against the way the media and television portray the South, because my friends and I are such enormous exceptions to how the area is portrayed, but that doesn’t change that the average person IS pretty close to how Family Guy portrays them.
When I began coming out as transgender, I added my friends on Facebook slowly. It was because I didn’t want to overload myself, and I knew everyone would have questions. And they did have questions, but I also knew that none of them would take issue with it.
Among the most amusing replies was when I was talking to DB, and we were talking about an old friend of ours, DC.
“Oh shit heads up DC and CP are married and get this they are Bible thumpers now and they live close to there. I’ve tried to stay in contact with DC but he’s just weird now and he always blows me off he’s not rude just not pursuing the friendship so fuck it.”
To which I replied:
“‘Daniel is just weird now,’ said Dustin to the shemale lesbian.”
Other friends were more direct in the conversation.
“So that’s where the hell you went off to. Well, don’t let anyone get in the way of what your heart is obviously telling you to do.” And that was it in regard to that. All I did was add him as a friend, and that’s what he said.
“I think everyone should be free to express themselves without fear of persecution, no matter how they do it, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Staying true to my own personal views, I must even include religion. Of course you know I’m not religious myself, but if a person is for whatever reason, I think they are entitled to that. As long as it doesn’t become an organization that tries to push those beliefs on others or does anything else that “inconveniences” others, for lack of a better way of putting it, I think that’s ok. Same goes for anything else an individual feels they have to do to express themselves or feel whole. There isn’t a single, solitary thing wrong with what you’re doing and if ever necessary for whatever reason, I’d be prepared to publicly support you.”
My friends have all been really great. I even preemptively attempted to explain to one of my oldest friends, and he cut me off with:
“It’s all good. You don’t owe me any kind of explanation. Just as long as you’re doing what YOU want to do.”
My friends stand as a stark contrast to my family, but I couldn’t choose my family. I did choose my friends, and I fucking chose well. Longtime friend and colleague JM was going to be the last to know about it, and asked pointedly in response to something I’d sent him if I have an interest in cross dressers or in cross dressing. To clarify, he is a friend, and our relationship is far beyond “just business.” And he said:
“For what it’s worth, I’m glad you told me that, and I don’t care. Really. I’d rather you express it than suppress it and get sick. Who knows why we like and don’t like what we do and don’t. Billions have been made speculating, but in the end, fuck knows. That’s who.”
So I just wanted to give a shout out to the important people in my life and say “thank you.” It could definitely be a lot lonelier, but it isn’t–because of wonderful friends.
Though they are great friends, none of them can employ a transgender person. Though it will be possible for me to secure clients who are unaware that I’m transgender, losing my current clients is going to be devastating financially. Any help that can be provided would be appreciated, especially sharing the url: