Tis strange: i am so used to being “out” that its stopped being out and is fast becoming just being me.
Most of my past friends and acquaintance are now well aware of what is going on, which means that on the odd occasion that work or Facebook or whatever bring me into contact with someone who knows only the past, it is increasingly shock to the system having to explain.
One such was around xmas… a former acquaintance who was very lucky in her career, co-founded a company that did very well indeed and…not sure whose news was more interesting: mine, or hers, as she, in the intervening years, has donated an 8 or maybe even 9-figure sum to charity, and recently gone to the Palace to receive an honour from the Queen!
Like mutual wow!
I am totally blown over by what she has achieved…but i think she was a little bowled over by my news too. Reminds me of my days in politics: was helping organise a meet between mid-rank politico, David Steel and some pop icon. It might even have been Jagger – but my memory of that event is now hazy, and the exact names aren’t quite as important as the approach.
Steel was kitten-nervous at meeting such a famous pop star: but the pop star was equally nervy about meeting a famous politician. Go figure!
Anyway, really really pleased for aforementioned friend… and pleased i wasn’t aware of what she’d achieved until after i put the phone down and googled!
Which brings me back to people i haven’t seen for a while. One such is John, who i wrote to a few months back. I gather my news did bowl him over, because he went awfully silent for a bit and then eventually responded, around xmas, with a very touching blog.
Not a blog by him about me. But a blog that he felt i ought to write about our getting back in touch.
It is sweet. Maybe not quite right about the general sveldtness 🙂 .
But it is his honest attempt to make a point. I am really happy that he has done so.
And here it is. Bear in mind, it is him writing, as though he is me. Don’t think he ets the style quite right… but the sentiment is good. And (though i’ve told him this already) no resentment whatsoever harboured about the time it took him to process the news.
“It’s been nearly a year now, but still occasional disappointments arise. Late last summer I got in touch with a gay friend of mine, slightly older than me, who I have known both professionally and personally for many years. (He made his own stir when he came out as gay in the trade press in the 1980’s).
Mind you, I distanced myself from him slightly after he admitted having been at least a little bit interested in the demise of the sacred Diana. More conformist than I had hoped.
Anyway, I had forgotten to give him the news of my transition. It led to the usual confusion. The office switchboard announced a call from Jane Fae, which caused him huge and me amusing embarrassment as he realised who it was. After stumbled efforts to be positive he said it would take him a little time to ‘process’ my news.
A little time! Over four months it has taken him!
“It’s been difficult” he explained. He had always valued his heterosexual male friendships, and I hadn’t even had the decency to become a gay male, but a woman, now apparently in a lesbian relationship. And ‘Fae’? “Where on earth did that come from?” I had not, after all, been petite as a man. He thought he knew me but had been completely taken by surprise, but he wished me well. He hoped everything was well with my children.
That’s about it really. I would have hoped for so much for from him, but over the past year I have learnt who my real friends are.”