Christine was in need of help, or at least, of a sympathetic ear – and she was saying sorry!
“It’s okay!” I hastened to reply. “There is nothing to be sorry about. I can imagine that it is tough, living with something that does not let you have a, um, normal life.”
In some way, I could sympathize with Christine. But I never experienced the situation on such a large scale. My obsession was part of my own nature, it was not something foreign. Did Christine experience her body as a nuisance, as something that stands like a wall between the real her and other people?.. What did I know about transgendered people at all? I have never even given much thought to this matter, until I met one.
I look at her, from the corner of my eye, I don’t want to stare. But she does not seem to notice. So I go on looking and wondering. I hadn’t noticed anything unusual about her, except, of course, the piercing, the make-up, the hair (or was it wig?) Maybe I just don’t pay much attention to attractive people’s gender. In women, I don’t look for femininity, but rather for charm and individuality – trait that we can meet in any human being.
Maybe I am not gender biased in my attention because don’t think of starting a family? I don’t know.
“I never thought you were a transgendered person,” I replied, in a melancholy way. After all, this was my first falling for transgendered girl, and I had to get used to the thought. “But then it means that you have a condition that requires ongoing hormonal treatment? Are you on medication now? Because it could affect your mood, you know.”
When I was alcoholic, I occasionally thought of being lonely, worthless and inadequate to almost any task. But I calmed myself, repeating the magic mantra: that’s just the whiskey talking in my head. That helped to get over with such thoughts. Lately, it became more difficult, but I offset self-derogatory thoughts with a cheerful “at least, I don't drink.”
If I was comfortable with Christine’s unique blend of gender and personality, I did not like the thought of her roaming alone at night, in this fragile state. Christine’s flatmate is a friend but she can’t go home and even seems scared of the prospect. I smelled a mystery here.
“I’ve been to the magic land of Friendzone, know what it is like. Being a friend involves holding a girl’s hair when she is puking after too many cocktails. Or retrieving her stuff from her ex-fiance. So, if friendship it is, it would take a lot more than your ruined make-up to destroy it.”
So I said with eloquence, then remembered that in my diatribe, I did not allow for unpredictable personality twirks of this friend. Not all friends are alike.
"And then it is so late that nobody probably would see you, sneaking quietly into your room."
Among the other things that make me curious, here is the one I have to ask about.
“Is it your body that you are unhappy with, or other people’s reaction to it?”
My question is not the most tactful one. But I don’t think it is rude. There are so many things I would like to know. Not about all transgendered people as a whole. I don’t think there is a way of making broad generalizations about them. I mean about Christine, personally.