A few months ago as I edged out of my personal closet I came to the conclusion that the best way I could deal with this was to lose the Big Secret. Be open about it all even if I'm staying a bloke on the outside. I don't have to do this and since I have the ultimate stealth option of a larger than life bloke skin some people might say I'm crazy to do it, but to them I'd say the reduction in stress that no longer living a lie had brought has been worth it. I've not come out willy-nilly to all and sundry but the ranks of the People Who Know have slowly expanded to the point at which they'd probably now fill a primary school classroom. All without any drama.
Yesterday I had a bit of a chat with my friend C. I've known C for over twenty years, he is without a doubt my best friend. He was our best man a few years ago when my wife and I were married and earlier this year he was the first of my male friends I came out to. One or two recent posts from other bloggers have made me consider the meaning of the word "Gentleman" of late, and I think it's a tag I'd apply without reservation to C. Back when I came out to him I was a little worried as to how he'd react because he has distinctly conservative leanings. In UK newspaper terms he's a Daily Telegraph reader, which is to say as reactionary as a Daily Mail reader but possessed of more intelligence. Though it turned out to be needless I was worried when I came out to him because I once caught him spitting with fury at a newsworthy story involving a transsexual a few years ago when I was deeply closeted, to which I politely pointed out that it was not a lifestyle choice and moved the conversation on to something else before I said more than I should have.
Yesterday's conversation was half us wittering on about cars and half in-depth support call. I am very grateful to C for both, the first because of the normality taking my brain away from all this, and the second because I was in a bit of a state due to my wife being away and the fog moving in.
One thing C said made a real difference. He said that if he hadn't known me he would have been just like the Daily Mail readers in condemning out of hand everything to do with transgendered or transsexual matters, but having seen me being eaten up by depression for twenty years before finally coming out to him his views had very much changed. He's on our side now, he'll go into bat for us next time he hears someone ranting at the newspaper.
And that is why I am out when I can be in stealth as effortlessly as pulling on a scruffy pair of jeans and a geeky t-shirt.