About two months ago, I met someone (let’s just call him Chris for now) at a friend’s house. I showed up in my daily apparel — makeup, jeans, shirt, heels, and a bag draped over my shoulder. My gurlfriend introduced us and we began talking. Chris asked if I dressed everyday like I was, and I said yes. I will not even go outside to check the mail without makeup. The question of how I deal with anyone who stares or whispers to the side about how I am obviously not a real girl or woman or how I am dressed. My response was simple. I do not even see them; I do not care how they look at or feel about it. I got over that a long time ago — sometimes I just stare back and they look away.
“See I am a cross dresser and gay,” Chris told me, “and wish I had your courage.” He went on to explain that he was married with a daughter, and was scared to death about how they would feel regarding this. Yes, he was miserable and full of fear, I could tell. He was afraid of losing them, his family and current friends, which is normal and alarming for anyone. I explained that all of us know from where he was coming. It is a scary thing, no doubt, for anyone who has feelings. Chris appeared to relax – just knowing that you are not alone has the unimaginable ability to calm.
The three of us kept talking and sharing for awhile. My gurlfriend suggested that we move the conversation elsewhere and said let’s go get a latte. Of course, I was all for it. To paint a clear picture, you need to know that my gurlfriend, too, dresses in what society deems women’s apparel daily. In fact, she and I are much alike; we each do not own one thread of men’s clothing, if we wanted to wear any. We stood to leave and Chris spoke up. He said he better not join us, and he had some things to do. We both said “Come on and get a latte with us. It won’t be that long.” Chris was clearly apprehensive and torn between feelings. At that point, my gurlfriend asked if he was scared or embarrassed of being seen with us. Chris said nothing personal, but yes, he did have concerns. I explained it is just a small coffee shop and no one will know you, nor you them. Nonetheless, Chris chose to not go with us.
Later that evening, my gurlfriend called to ask if it was okay to give Chris my phone number. He wanted to talk to me. I told her absolutely. Five minutes later, Chris called and began telling me how much he admired my courage and that he would like to talk with me some more. I explained that it was no problem and he asked when was a good time for me. “Tonight is good, or if you can’t do tonight, let’s plan it for tomorrow.” Chris agreed to come over tomorrow morning.
When we sat down to talk, I noticed Chris’ eyes filling up with tears. He was quick to apologize, but I said it was no problem, explaining that crying can do miracles for us. We began where we had left off the day before. As I sat and listened, I could feel my own eyes watering up. I could feel the fear, the hurt and even the anger in every word he said. After listening for some time, I asked Chris what exactly is it that he want in his life? He wanted to be free of all the lies, the deceit, and the pain in his heart. Chris was in pain every time he dressed in his wife’s clothes and makeup, and especially every time he was unfaithful to her. How could I help other than to share more of my own experiences, I asked? Chris wanted to come out, but needed my and others’ support, and to hear that everything would be okay. I assured him that he had my support and blessing and I was willing to help in anyway that I could. We talked for several hours. Unsurprisingly, Chris had many questions and concerns – some may have been trivial or unrealistic, but most were to be expected. I did my best to address each one. Though his journey was only beginning, Chris left my home with a greater understanding of his situation and generally feeling better.
That was two months ago and I have not heard from Chris in that time. Recently, he called me again. He just could not handle it anymore; he was ready.
Part 2 is forthcoming. Be sure to check back in the days to come.
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