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Rainy Day Friends #13 and 44

| Apr 25, 2011
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Sophie with her Laptop Lounge friends.

The music thumped and swirled as the T-girls twirled and danced.  It’s the third Saturday of the month and time for Angela’s Laptop Lounge.  The girls drank and laughed, and took lots of pictures.  For many, including myself, it’s the only time they can go out dressed and be their true selves.  For the past twenty seven months straight I have, too.  This has been my Sophie time — and I wait all month for it.

The hard rain fell all day, soaking everything outside.  In the bar, they partied like I have all those months, but I was not there.

No, I had something else to do — something important enough that I had to skip my Sophie time.

I have very few close friends in my male life.  This is sort of by choice, really.  Don’t let anyone close and all — never know what they’ll learn.  “I am a Rock. I am an Island.” But one of my oldest friends is moving to China for work for five or more years. (We’ll call him “C.”)  I’ve known him for 31 years.  All his friends in this area decided to throw him a going away thing.  People came from as far away as Maine and Arizona.  And of course the date set for this great gathering, this “Feast of Friends:” Saturday April 16.  Sigh.

The traveler from Arizona was my oldest friend: I’ll call him “D.”  I’ve known him since elementary school, some 39 years now (Ow! I’m getting old!)

As I don’t see these people often (C lives in Connecticut) of course I was attending.  And it’s not like I could leave early.  What excuse aside from a horrific family crisis could I give?  “Sorry C, I’m off to wear a dress and heels.  See you in five years or so?”

So there they all were, most of my oldest friends in one room with many others.  We drank, ate pizza, played cards and laughed.  And outside it rained very hard.

I’ve known them all so long, but they don’t know me.  None of them know about Sophie, or would even dream that she exists.  So how would they react if they knew?  I’ve heard many times that one can never predict the reactions of close friends and family.  Let’s face it — it’s a major shock.

Well, if they played true to character I’d lose three of the four outright.  To them, giving up my male birthright would be unforgivable.  I must be gay or sick or something, and in any case I wasn’t who I said I was.  I’d lied to them all these long years (yeah, get in line, guys.)  Maybe I even secretly wanted them.  Ummm, no.

The fourth?  I think he’d handle it better than the others.  He may even accept me for a while before backing away slowly and retreating to his own life, where we’d seldom speak, much less see each other.

Does it matter?  “A Rock feels no pain, and an Island never cries,” right?

And what about the wives and families?  Oh, this gossip would zip through them all faster than the speed of texting.  Peripheral people would swiftly learn.  Pointed fingers and stifled snickers.

How could I tell C that there was a good chance that this was possibly the last time he’d see me as a guy?  That maybe next time I’d have shed that shell and become who I really am? I couldn’t, so I didn’t, and I won’t.  I could quietly disappear from them.  Lose contact.  Become me.  Why does thinking about that course of action hurt so much?

These are old friends and I would die for them, but they are no longer day-to-day-friends.  They’ve moved so far away.  Families.  Jobs.  Sobriety.

I have many new friends as Sophie.  I am making lots of connections with like-minded people.  I don’t have that same issue making them as a woman: more the merrier!  I am weaving a safety net of glistening stars — people ready and willing to help me as I am willing to help them.  Sophie has more friends than my male side ever did.  Less enemies too.  I guess that’s because I’m a better person as a woman than I ever was as a boy or man.  My oldest friends may never know that.

One of my friends brought his 13 year old son to the party.  When I was his age, I was stealing time to wear my mom’s clothes and wishing and dreaming.  All these years later, I’m still wishing, but at least I have found others to share the dream.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

Sophie Lynne

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Comments (2)

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  1. says:

    Hi Hebe!

    I wish I could attend the Empire conference, but i can’t. Lack of funds. As for Fantasia, who knows? Thanks for your kind comment- it’s nice to get positive feedback. Keeps me going for another month! 😀

  2. Hebe Hebe says:

    Hi Sophie —

    I really enjoy your column, and I hope we’ll meet some day — we’d have lots to talk about. I’ll be at the Albany conference May 4-8 and Fantasia Fair October 16-23. See you there????


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