Washington Journey

| Nov 27, 2017

Transition is easily the toughest thing I’ve ever done. In transitioning, there are certain milestones; such as starting HRT, changing your name, and actually going Full Time. Of course not everyone wants/does all the same milestones, as everyone’s transition is their own.

Your mileage may vary.

Last Tuesday night, November 21, I drove down to Washington, D.C. directly from work. I was meeting my dear friend Kimberly and her housemate Brenda and staying the night. I had a delightful night, sampling a couple of new (to me) restaurants, but that is not why I made the journey.

The next day, Kimberly had a court date. She was getting her name changed from her male name to her True name. A Major Milestone.

Kimberly and me

Kimberly and Me – After

I won’t go into her whole history here, as to do so would be long and really counter to the point. I’ll just say that Kimberly is a retired Major from the United States Marine Corps. She is a combat veteran of two tours in harm’s way in the Middle East. She has appeared on CNN and in Out magazine, and is one of the bravest people I know. So why the hell was I there, aside from the fact that I enjoy her company?

Transition is a lonely, personal journey. In the end, the person that faces and completes all of the obstacles is the person transitioning. Not everyone completes the journey (see: 41% suicide rate.) But just because the person is on a personal journey, doesn’t mean they have to be alone. I went to provide her support and to lend what strength I have to hers. Just because she had to stand by herself in front of the judge and courtroom didn’t mean she was alone. I (and another friend) were there silently cheering her on.

And so it was that around 9 a.m. on November 22, 2017, Kimberly became Kimberly — legally.

She was overcome with joy. She cried. She glowed. Her happiness was infectious.

Afterward, we walked to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, then to lunch. From there, I started my long journey north back home. When I left, she was standing alone on a subway platform, waiting for a train to take her to work. She was still beaming.

Five hours later, I arrived home — exhausted but pleased. I’d done the right thing. I was there for one of my dearest friends when it counted. Did she NEED me to be there? No. But. . .

As I wrote above, Transition can be a lonely journey. I changed my name on October 10, 2016. With me was my lawyer. I celebrated with a Coke he bought me. And, after a stop at the social security office, I went home.

Yay me.

Call me old fashioned, call me sentimental — I think some moments should be Celebrated. I just shed another anchor — my dead name — and it was just another day. Just Another Day.

Happy Kim

Tears of Joy

I was determined that for my dear friend Kimberly, it would NOT be just another day. Someone would be there to give her a hug and congratulate her — someone who Understood. Someone who Knew what That Moment meant. I needed to be there for my Sister. And I was.

I see Kimberly maybe two or three times a year. I enjoy her company very much. And I am glad that I could be there for her on that day.

Transition may be a personal journey, but no one should have to do it Alone.

Be Well.

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Category: Body & Soul

About the Author ()

Read Sophie's blog here. View her contribution to The New York Times transgender stories article. She has also been featured in an article on Philly.com.

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