One thing I've wondered about, going through transition, is how cisgender females will relate to me.  How will making new friends go?  I had a new experience a little over a week ago, at a gathering my friend had, where there were a few women there that I hadn't met before.  I felt uncomfortable standing in a group of women, feeling like I was pretending to be one of them.  I mentioned my kids, and feared being asked about a pregnancy.  I feared being asked about my spouse.  I feared my voice.  Fear fear fear.  It got to me and I couldn't deal with it, so I found an excuse to tell them that I was trans.  Most looked very surprised, one didn't.  I felt like I totally copped out.  I have to give myself a break on this... it's all so new.  I have no experience at this.  On the other hand, I don't like feeling like I am lying to people, or living a lie.  At this point, I'd rather people know that I was a transsexual.  At least I can be honest then.  I mean, what's the point of making a friendship that is based on a lie?  And what will happen to the friendship when the lie unravels... which it most certainly will.

Speaking of friends, I might have this new friend.  She's a woman that I've known for a little over a year.  We have a great rapport, and have shared quite a bit with each other.  I always thought we had the potential to be friends.  However, it wouldn't have been appropriate for us to socialize outside of the normal context in which we see each other.  Sorry to be so vague. And no, she's NOT my therapist.  Anyway, as things turned out, to hell with appropriateness, we ended up going out for a drink a couple weeks ago... which turned into a few drinks, dinner, and dessert.  We had a blast, crossed a bridge of sorts.  I was very excited that I had made a new friend... a new, real friend!  Wow, perhaps I *can* make new friends.  I will be OK!!  It's weird... I was almost giddy about it, like the way one might be giddy at the beginning of a romantic relationship.  Although there is absolutely nothing romantic on either one of our parts, nothing.  I was simply thrilled to have made a new friend.  Relationships with cisgender women are precious to women like me.

I saw her this evening in our typical context, and it was kind of back to feeling normal.  The way that she interacted with me felt like we really weren't friends after all.  I said something about going out again, and the response wasn't quite as enthusiastic as I might have hoped.  I felt like a child who was asking his or her parent, "Mommy, Mommy, can we go to (fill in the blank)?"  "Well, OK, we can."  That's exactly what it felt like.  I felt embarrassed for suggesting that we go out again.  Not so fast, missy. You're not really friends.  You're not anything special.  You have *NOT* made a new friend, I told myself.  When it was time to leave, I was absolutely devastated.  I cried harder and longer on the 45-minute drive home, than I can recall crying in a long time.  I started questioning everything again... why am I doing this, what is the point of all this, no one will ever be friends with me out of anything other than pity or curiosity, I am enduring all this physical pain for what?, people at work are polite to me only because they have to be, I won't be OK, the rest of my life is going to suck, and fleeting *very bad* thoughts, on and on and on.

I calmed down a little bit when I got home.  I am pretty certain that I overreacted tonight. Just the same, I think I am going to follow this person's lead with our friendship and see where it goes.  Just because someone doesn't jump up and down with clapping hands when you suggest going out, doesn't necessarily mean anything.  But, I was hoping for a little more.  I was hoping that this person might end up being a friend that I so want... a friend with whom I don't need to schedule things weeks in advance... a friend with whom conversations consist of things other than "catching up," a friend that I'm truly close with for no other reason then our intangible connection.

Whatever happens, I need to remember that this year is not necessarily going to be a microcosm of the rest of my life.  I need to keep some semblance of perspective on things.  I have to remember that I am just taking my first few tenuous steps on this journey.  I also need to find some ways to meet new people.  People who know nothing about my history.  Even if only for practice.


This is one of the reasons I hate the idea of stealth and at the same time understand it. In order to have a close friendship with another person, there needs to be honesty. And, yes, my friends all don't know everything about me, but they know most of it. I'm an open book as much as I can be. So once I am full time and as I meet new people, I want them to know me as a woman, but at the same time I would not feel comfortable taking a friendship to a real level without being able to talk about my life.

So if we are to make new friends outside of those we make in the trans community (or ghetto as some seem to designate that really a fair descriptor?) what is the proper protocol? I cannot help but to out myself when I introduce my wife and kids (as I imagine would be an issue for you in talking about your children). And really, I'm not terribly interested in being friends with anyone who would be put off by who I am.

But thinking about the process of making friends, the close ones in my life have come through a meeting at a job or through my wife and have grown from the bonding of that close contact. I have had some people I thought might be close friends turn out not to be. Actually finding really good friends in any situation is a rare thing. To be honest, unless you have an interest that you share with others and can go to meet-ups for, I don't really have any idea how to just go out and meet other people.

I wish you the best of luck in this.


I remember being of exactly the same mindset Faline. I mean EXACTLY. Kinda spooky how close your words hit my past experience.

Anyway, if it helps, I believe it's a phase. It still sucks, but you outgrow it. You're still not truly comfortable with yourself, and that shows. During that phase some people will go out of their way to be nice to you. But no... it's not the same thing as serious friendships.

What I've found is that as you work on your own self-confidence and image, and once you silence that little voice telling you that you're not "real" so you should be grateful for any scraps of attention thrown your way, the rest starts to take care of itself. But it takes time. And that's the last thing you want to hear when you're feeling lonely.

What Diana said. When it was still new, I tended to come out with my history. I soon found that people didn't really care. It wasn't important. When I got more comfortable--especially after SRS--I didn't think about coming out any more. Not that I will never tell anyone, but it's not something I feel I have to bring up. I'm not hiding it. But I'm not advertising either.

Definitely cut yourself some slack. You're doing fine! It takes a while to get comfortable. And it's always hard to form a new friendship. I've hoped for some that haven't worked out. Some might still, but it's not easy. And that's for everyone, especially as we get older. Still, there's lots of hope that you will succeed. Just give it time.

@Natasha: I was thinking of maybe volunteering somewhere, that might be a good way to meet people. But yeah, especially as a 40-year old woman, where do you go to meet people? The fact that I have children will definitely be something that precludes me from ever going stealth, I think. Not just for me, but because I feel like I'd need to include them in the lie, which I am not comfortable with. Not a great thing to teach them. I can't teach them to be proud of who they are, if I don't do the same in my life.

@Diana: Well, I'd rather hear something resembling the truth, even if it's not what I *want* to hear. Blowing sunshine up one's ass is never helpful. :) It's interesting how our (not necessarily you and I, I mean transgender women in general) go through so many of the same thought processes. And so helpful to know there are so many others out there. How did people do this 20 years ago... so much more isolated then?

@Ariel... yes, give it time. I guess this blog title can be interpreted in a couple ways! I try my best to have the attitude "Eh, I'll figure it out." That seems to work for me. I'll figure out the friendships and stealth thing as well.

One thing that strikes a chord is that disappointment in not making the hoped for connection.
I had to go through that a couple of times before working out that what I was looking for was the kind of friendships I used to have with men. My view now is that male-male friendships tend to be more individually supportive and dependable, as well as more immediate, because they take place in a social world where there aren't the general social presuppositions of cohesiveness that form the background to female-female ones.
Good friendships with women tend to build more slowly, but are probably more long lasting.
Certainly that's my experience to date.
Settings like evening classes with regular contact with the same women are probably a better route than looking for more casual meetings where male-male or male-female friendships tend to flourish.

I just recently found your blog, but I think it is fantastic. A lot of what you've had to say resonates strongly with me.

Before transition I was pretty much a loner, but now I find that I need people in my life. Maybe it's just that now I feel more free to admit that I need and want people. I've made a couple really wonderful friends, and want more, but I've never really known how to make friends before. I feel more need to belong than I ever did in my old life.

I enjoy your writing and will comment from time to time.


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