A Transgender Friend

 Do you have any transgender friends? I myself have many transgender acquaintances but not many I would consider to be friends. Perhaps the entire process is a holdover from my previous male life when I could count the friends I had on one hand. Along the way, right or wrong, I learned to shield myself from other persons. I was good at flirting with women and acting as if I was macho with other men. As I wrote, most of this carried over when I began my gender transition. 

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Along the way, I did have a transgender woman (left) acquaintance whom I called a friend. Since that time years ago we went on our very separate ways. She is much younger than I and underwent several body changing operations while I forged forward making the best of what I had. She is the one who told me I passed in the public eye out of sheer willpower. 

Maybe I am too demanding when it comes to expecting friendship to develop from just being an acquaintance. After all, just being transgender is a wonderful starting point to knowing another person. But then again, the transgender community is so segmented it's no wonder many of us struggle to gain what we call a true transgender friend. One problem is when certain social media platforms encourage you to gather an immense number of "friends" . Most of them you have no chance of ever meeting. 

Closer to home, I am fortunate to be able to live close to a fairly large metropolitan area with several well developed LGBTQ organizations. At the least the organizations give transgender women, trans men and even allies/spouses a chance to get together to discuss issues. For others in mostly rural areas, social interaction is limited to on line meetings. Sadly, I notice many of these on line relationships to be extremely limited in duration.

In transition, so many of us lose access to our previous access to friends and family, we become desperately lonely. Too many often fall prey to on line scammers, promising much and delivering heartache. Desperation runs rampant with many transgender people who are seriously lonely.

Finding a true transgender friend has been difficult for me. Mainly because I don't socialize much anymore and I was able to find and hang out with cis women friends as I transitioned. Before that time I could safely say I was a part of the seriously lonely portion of the community. Plus, how I made my way to freedom was one I would not necessarily recommend to others. My salvation involved plenty of alcohol and taking too many ill advised chances on social media. Before I happened upon the friends (yes I said friends) who helped me out of my social funk, I went through many times I was out and out gas lit when it came to a potential date. It's one of many reasons, I cherish the friends I made then to this day.

On the other hand, I know more than several transgender women and men I deeply respect. Even still, I hold out a precious few people I count as friends.