I came-out to my best friend from High School a year before I came-out to the world in general. That was now two years less three months ago, and during all of that time, he has refrained from addressing this issue in any of our conversations; I suspect he doesn’t know how to approach it–and frankly, that he is feeling rather embarrassed by certain transphobic things he once said to me before he knew what I was*. It has become, what you might call, the elephant in the room with us.
Until tonight, that is.
I decided that it had been too long since I had last spoken with him. He’d offered consolation on the day that I broke-up with Nominatissima, but sadly I hadn’t been around in time to engage him in conversation. So, seeing that he was online, I started up a pointless, rather stillborn conversation with him. After several minutes spent on pleasantries and discussion of academics, he finally up and asked me how I was “adapting to my new state of being?”
Ah that. That’s a rather delicate turn of phrase; I must admit, I’m rather fond of it. It sounds so formal: like I’ve gone through a phase-change, a solid melting into a liquid, or transitioned in between two allowed eigenstates of the Gender Operator.
“It’s been far easier than I expected,” I replied, “with perhaps a few rough edges. I’m honestly surprised by how little anyone has cared.”
“Ah, glad to hear it. Nice to see that we have progressed some ways as a society in thee 2010s.”
“At least among well-educated youths,” I amended. “But one takes one’s victories where one can.”
And indeed, one does. For example, getting him to acknowledge my new state of being at all. Some day though, I swear, I am going to get both my best friend and my parents to call me by name.
*He recanted these beliefs at some point before I came out, but still I imagine it’s pretty awkward to know that you once told someone–to their face–that they were “mentally ill” without realizing it.