If we respect each other, does our friendship need any other foundation?
In May 2000, I decided that I had to transition to female, I could not bear not. That was the Saturday. On the Wednesday, I went to the local TV/TS group, and sat with the trans women. None had jobs, one was studying, I thought their lives unbearable. So I decided I could not transition, I would make a go of presenting male. It was the Sibyls who showed me it was possible to live reasonably, transitioned, and especially F.
I saw her transition. She got a posting within her multinational company to another European capital, so when just starting to express herself female full time she was perfecting that other language and learning to drive on the right. We went on holiday together, once before I transitioned, and once after. She took me to Wimbledon, and on the centre court we watched Tim Henman and Pete Sampras. Tennis was her game, and she saw the skill in particular shots which seemed less spectacular to most of the crowd. It is not my game, I have never played and rarely watched it, and she paid me one of three compliments which I treasure: she enjoyed going there with me “because you’re interested in Life”.
I was transitioned, and we kept in touch by phone- but then, it was me phoning, and almost all me talking about my concerns. “How are you?” elicited factual information rather than any real sharing, though she told me she would be seeing her daughter for the first time in years- how we suffer, for this thing which no-one would ever choose! Living with stuff which would be unbearable if you thought about it, we deaden ourselves to these pains.
So I stopped phoning.
I invited her to my ten year anniversary party, and she was having trouble with her emails so did not get the invitation on time. I phoned her, sent her a link to the photos, and just now got a Christmas e-card from her, a hideous saccharine thing of “Santa” coming down the chimney and leaving presents. Oops, I am depressed, I am not seeing clearly. A pretty, joyous animation with some touches of humour of Santa leaving presents, and flying off in his sleigh.
She kept one friend who had known her before transition, and apart from the Personnel department in England, no-one in the new office knew of her past. People do not see her transsexual history as they do mine- she told her best friend, who had not known. So, perhaps, she could not have me as a friend in case her secret came out, and did not want to talk to me to be reminded of her own transsexualism, which was now in her past.
We had respect! It is enough to found a friendship, unless there is something like this to break it. I felt such rage, I wanted to publish her name, photograph and a link to her business website here- a revenge at once mean, puny and misdirected. I wish we could be friends. And- I could resent all sorts of reasons for her to withdraw from friendship, but not that she was frightened and ashamed, for that is not her fault.