Friday, April 11, 2008


FRIENDS. If ever there was a word that should be all caps, this is the word. These folks are special. All friends are special, I suppose, but some are more special than others. Everyone has neighborhood friends, work friends, family friends, and associate friends. The ones I'm talking about are the ones you may first make in one of those places, but they become something more - they become Best Friends. They become the folks you share stories, joys and tears with. Mine are friends that when I told them about Angela's transition, I got none of the "What are you going to do? Do you need a place to stay? When are you filing for divorce?" type questions. Instead I got, "Are you okay? We're here for you. We're your buds, and if anyone gives you any guff, we'll stand beside you. We'll help you in anyway we can." type friends. (Yes, there are some other best friends that have also come along after Angela's transition, but right now, I'm talking about the ones I'm going to the coast with this weekend.) You see, when I went to work at the newspaper, they had all already been friends for years (and years - - ). I was the first person from out-of-town to come to work on the sales force. I was the first one that hadn't come up through the ranks of that particular newspaper. Yet, they welcomed me, took me for coffee breaks, showed me the ropes and made me feel welcome. Before long, we were doing lunch and shopping together. Then they invited me along on a trip. I was pretty unsure about that, but I went along - and bless Angela's heart, she said, "Go! They're your friends." (Yep, that's another Best thing about being married to a Transsexual) So, we took off for a weekend. We had a great time, and I got to know them even better. Years went by and we became closer, and closer. Then it was time to tell them my husband was going to become a woman. They'd all been with us both; they'd sat with us at parties, they'd opened their homes to us, and they'd come to dinners and gatherings at our home. I was still afraid I'd lose them when I told them, but I knew I had to. I arranged a lunch and told them, "I have something I have to talk to you guys about," but I didn't tell them what it was. Of course they tried to guess what it might be: I was quitting my job, we were moving, I was ill, and who knows what else. I wouldn't tell. So, the day arrived and we had a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant. It had booths were you could draw a curtain for a little privacy. We got to the restaurant and I began by telling them, "I will understand if you need to leave when I tell you this. I will understand if you tell me we can no longer be friends. Then I told them. Yes, there was stunned silence for about 30 seconds, and then one after the other I heard words of caring, support, and willingness to face the world with me, regardless of what others thought. They are what being a friend is all about. When I say that I/we have been lucky through Angela's transition, I should say that we have been extraordinarily lucky! I have been blessed with many great friends, but these six stand out! I can wish you nothing greater than that you have such friends in your life.

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