I have spent the week, coming out to my close friends. I have to be careful, because a lot of my friends are also ex-coworkers. They know the same people (my work) I am trying to keep this secret from, for now. So it’s complicated and depends upon trust. I am trying to be brave. It’s a funny thing, I was less nervous being shot at, having IED’s to look out for, being at war, than I am telling my closest friends who I really am.
I have told two of them, my best friend, who is in all ways my brother. And a friend of mine that I worked with, who is the best role model for being a strong woman and still being feminine. I tell a third today, and I am nervous, but all indications say that it’s nothing to be nervous about.
J – My friend/brother, he was so great. I told him and he was not only excited for me but told me how I inspire him and make him proud. I cried that night, I cried because I was so lucky to have a brother like him and because I didn’t tell him earlier and because I felt really happy which isn’t my default setting. He has medical problems and I worry about him, so I was worried that I might cause an issue by telling him. (the medical issue can be exacerbated by stress). But he was so great and I miss him so much, he is in another state about 9 hours from me.
A – My strong sister. She didn’t blink, didn’t hesitate either. She fully supported me and when I sent her a pic of me (Beth) she told me I was beautiful and really encouraged me. I don’t really believe the beautiful part, but it was really nice to hear. She is so wonderful and I love her in this deep sisterly way that I can’t really define, since I met her really. She is younger, but she is wise and strong and I look to her as a role model, which I know is odd, but you don’t know A. She is a force like my Mom was. She is a force of nature that you can’t help but be in awe of.
D – I will be telling him today. He is a great man, very easy going and easy to love. I hope that things go well. My fears manifest whether they are based in reality or not. He has a lot of things going on today, so I may have to wait until tomorrow, but I will try for today. [Edit: I did talk to D that day, he was very sweet and reassuring. I asked him to please act a bit surprised and outraged, he did so in a playful way. It was very cool the way we transitioned from my transitioning to politics. We were just talking like friends do and that did more to make me miss him than anything else.]
J&L – Not all of my friends live in other states or cities. J&L are friends who live in the local area, I am telling them today. I’m nervous as usual, but they are really good people so I think it will be ok. I hope it will. J is someone I worked with recently, so I am taking a very big chance, though he has always been discrete about information before. J&L are a couple of those rare people who despite having a rugged kind of lifestyle with old fashioned tastes like old cars and retro designs is also pretty damn progressive and liberal. [Update: Spoke to J and he was very supportive! I again, can’t stress how lucky I feel to have friends to understand and support who I am. J also got that I am introverted mostly because of my situation, of who I am. He understands also my issues with coming out in my company, as he knows the people I will have to deal with firsthand. ]
B&Am – I have to tell them. They are dear friends, but we have kind of lost touch in the last couple of years. They are, I am assuming, still fairly conservative and I know that Am, B’s wife, is very religious. It doesn’t mean they won’t be happy for me, it actually means very little in the way of tolerance and being friends. I just have a bit more worry because of those factors. I love them both, so I hope that they will be accepting and happy for me. I think they will.
So far, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have gotten very lucky in my confession of who I am to my family and friends. I won’t stop if the shoe does drop, I will have to live with the loss and move on. I cannot keep wearing the mask. I still have to tell my wife’s parents and siblings. I think that my wife is opposed to this because of how she believes it will reflect on her. She has a sister that she disagrees with and I think that she believes that this would somehow validate her sister’s attitude. I don’t judge my wife on this, I don’t like it, but I have asked a lot of her and she still wants to be with me and I know it’s not easy on her. But they need to know eventually, so I am kind of leaving this as her decision when I tell them. There will be a point where it will be impossible to hide it. Boobs and hair, makeup and womens clothes, dead giveaway for a woman being there.