As some of you lovely readers may recall, I have become quite friendly via email with a guy called Ivan I met once with my walking group. We have struck up quite a rapport, and have quite a lot in common and, with hints now and again of possible romance at some point in the future (that I said I could not consider at this time), I felt that it was time to be open with him about my “issue”. In emails I tried to prepare him for the discussion about “this significant issue, for which I have been attending appointments” and so on Wednesday 10th September we met at Hillsborough Lake at 7.00pm.
I was a bit nervous as I got to the car park but when he observed me parking and gave a wee wave he wandered over and he said hello. He complimented my hair, which has been, uh, restyled, and then we began our walk around the lake. After about 5 minutes he said “So, this issue…” and I asked if he would mind waiting until we had done a circuit and could sit down, and so he agreed. We carried on chatting, like old friends, and I felt SO at ease, and SO right, completely free and easy as the real me, nothing being suppressed. Once the circuit was complete we had only walked for half an hour… so we walked around again, with lovely chat, and at 8.00 we sat on a seat close to the car park… in case escape was called for.
Firstly I took out some things I had brought, mostly for him – tissues, in case I cried, and for him some paracetamol (he gets headaches with stressful conversation), a bottle of water for the pills, a sick bag (which he laughed at) in case his reaction was bad, and some cookies. Then I gave him an amount of pre-amble, about the length of time of the issue, my confusion, my shame, etc. and then I said that I had Gender Dysphoria and asked him if he knew what it meant. He said he hadn’t heard of it but he guessed and was more or less right… and he said “So, what you’re trying to tell me Andrea is that although you’re a girl there is a male inside of you”? So, HE GOT IT THE WRONG WAY ROUND! So, I corrected him, and asked him how he felt about it. He said he was fine with it, and was in fact was relieved as he thought it was going to be something much worse, like I wasn’t going to live for more than 6 months or something. So I carried on, saying that few people know about it, that work and my daughter don’t even know, and so I am only living as me part of the time and alas as male the rest. He was totally okay with it, he said it is Andrea the person he is happy knowing, and that he was privileged to have been told. I asked if he had suspected that I was not a biological girl and he said not at all… and in fact on the walk round the lake he had referred to me as a girl. Eventually we had to go as it was getting dark and we were afraid of being locked in, so he signed off by saying he very much wanted to continue with emails, walks, and meeting up from time to time… and he gave me a hug goodbye! WOW! I thanked him so much for listening, being understanding, and that I was so glad we could be friends.
So, I went onto my support group (after a pit stop at Sainsburys for the loo) and met up with Kirsty and Michelle, as well as Linda, Jane, and Michael… and my BGF Kirsty had bought a chocolate cake for Michelle and I, whose birthdays are 8th and 9th September respectively. After a while Jane and Michael left, and I was on Cloud 9 as I chatted away, with Linda still there for some time, looking rather smart… though still in guy-mode. Eventually the 10 o’clock girls were left for some girly, and occasional musical, chat… but all good things must come to and end and we had to part, with lovely warm hugs.
This morning I woke up in a pretty good mood, but wondered how long it would be before I heard from Ivan again. At 8.17 he sent a good-morning email saying the following:
Just a quick note to say that it was a real pleasure to meet you last night again and have our walk twice around the lake! Thank you also for sharing with me on the issue! I just wanted to repeat what I said last night, that I am very happy to remain your friend, I think we have a chemistry and combination of interests which makes for intelligent conversation and I like being with you, I do feel comfortable…..
Isn’t he just, well, incredible! Of course, maybe at some point he may change his mind… but for the moment things are looking good, and I replied to him saying how overjoyed and tearful I was to read his reply.