It baffled me, I was a little confused, my Mother made an off-hand comment that my friend (who I thought of as a sister) now refered to herself as Mitch. I specifically asked why, and my Mother replied “I don’t know.” I took it as, she was now a he, but I kept that to myself.
I wrote a quick e-mail to apologize for my wedding card blunder, I used his birth name. When he replied, he still didn’t explain anything, so I took it as he wasn’t ready. I quickly forgot, I was busy planning my wedding.
2 years apart, I thought the world of her, she was smart, incredible at sports, and had the heart of gold. While she wore jeans and t-shirts with sports bras, I liked bows, long hair, and everything sparkly, but yet, every time our families got together, we laughed, we never slept, and we played tricks on our siblings. When I came back from posting, she was the only one who sat silently and didn’t judge, our friendship was a bond that was forged across an ocean, and in the years of diapers and potty training.
When I was once invited to her brother’s for a party, I asked about her, I missed her, her brother replied “She is with her boyfriend.” I was a little shocked and replied back “I thought she was a lesbian.” he frowned, not realizing that I have known all my life that she struggled with her identity, it was so obvious. “He said no.” to which I replied “It doesn’t matter who she loves, just as long as she is loved.”
So the day of my wedding, and there he stood, Mitch was his name, not his birth name. I hugged him, it was still the same hug, the same warm smile I had known all of my life, but finally he was free, and who he was meant to be.
Although it was a bit of a shock at first to take it in on my wedding day, I have to say, it is more painful to watch a beautiful human struggling with inner torment, then it is to see them comfortable in their own skin, for once. I didn’t care, he was my friend, the one person who had to be there on my wedding day, but he was shy, it takes courage to show people, especially one’s who know all your history, who you really are. I would never dream of rejecting him. I didn’t understand why my Mother didn’t tell me, she regularly gets together with his parents.
He and I don’t keep in touch, I am not sure what I did, maybe I am not vocal enough about how comfortable I am with being yourself, but I am. From all the years of travel, I have gained one thing in life, or maybe I was born with it, it doesn’t matter who you love, or who you feel like on the inside, it just matters if you are a good person. Nobody should make jugdgements on anyone for being true to who they are.
I miss Mitch, and I hope at some point he realizes just how much I love him.