I said I'd be selecting friends to come out to as part of my action plan, so I'd better start thinking which of the poor fools who'll admit to knowing me to select as my victim.
That's enough joking. I'm serious, and apprehensive. Not that they'll disown me and denounce me as an aberration from Hell, because I'm pretty sure my friends aren't that kind of people and I have the advantage of being able to pick who I talk to about it. No, this is for real. It's not in the privacy of my own home and it's not in front of other TG people who'll understand, it's out in the real world and in front of someone to whom it'll be one hell of a shock. After all, it's not as though I'm someone who's always looked a bit femme, nor someone who's spent a year or two getting progressively more femme in front of them, I present as the same full-on huge bloke they've always known.
Of course, my appearance is my advantage. If I misjudge the person and they turn aggressive, I'm a hell of a lot less easy to get all transphobic at than the stereotypical vulnerable slight-of-stature femme guy of the public imagination. Bullies don't tend to pick on big blokes.
So who do I start with? I don't know why, but I can't imagine anyone but a woman. It's not that I don't have male friends who'd be nice about it, it's just that I'd find it a hell of a lot more embarrassing saying "I'm transgendered" to someone I've helped build a gearbox with than I would to someone I've done the feeding comfort chocolate to when she's split up with her no-good boyfriend.
Off the top of my head I can think of five women I'd feel comfortable coming out to. They've all known me at least ten years, some of them much longer. They're all more successful, cleverer and a lot nicer to look at than I am.
Two of them are university friends of mine, married and settled with growing children. I know I can pour out my heart to them and they'll cheer me up with hot tea, but the trouble is I know both of their husbands very well too. Would you say "I'm transgendered" to the wife of someone you've helped build a gearbox with?
A couple of former work colleagues of mine however are better prospects. From different employers, they don't know each other but I count them both as among my most cherished friends. Unfortunately they both now live at opposite ends of the country. Americans may laugh at our puny little land mass, but trust me, somewhere that's a couple hours drive on the prairies would be several times that on our clogged roads.
My favourite candidate is someone I could easily pop over and see taking time out from another trip in the none-too-distant future. I know her because of a shared interest in a club as a student, but while I was a geeky tech kid she was a right-on politico who ran for every trendy cause under the sun and was student womens officer amongst so many other politically correct positions. That's not to say she's a nutty feminist in the Millie Tant from VIZ mould, she may well have worn metaphorical dungarees at times in her youth but knowing her well for years I have complete confidence that she wouldn't hit some kind of feminist ideological meltdown when faced with a transgendered person. She's far too nice and clever for that.
Shame I've not seen her in five years. "Hello, how's life been treating you, how are the kids, by the way I'm transgendered". It would be better without the impediment of slight unfamiliarity. If I'd had half a brain, I should have come out to her twenty years ago. (incidentally, on a tangent the Lesbian & Gay office in my student union as was became L,G and Bi about a year after I graduated and a quick web check shows me it's now L,G,B and T. How times change!)
I need someone I've known for years to confide in. Am I being hopelessly naive in thinking this'll work?