Do you feel awkward about gender-variant folks? It’s OK!

I wanted to share part of an email I got from a friend today. Well, she’s really an acquaintance, whom I’m fond of but we hadn’t seen her since “coming out” until last weekend, at her party, and then again last night, when a few of us met for pizza and beer and cheer:

From friend:

“I just wanted to tell you how much it meant to me to get to spend time with you and Lina tonight (and please feel free to share this with her). When I met Lina for the first time on Saturday at my party, I will admit I felt awkward and did not know quite what to say or how to be around her. Knowing about the transition and actually experiencing it are two very different things (as I know you know). And there wasn’t much time, and so many people. But tonight I saw her in a completely different light, and felt very comfortable talking to her and asking about things. She is lovely, and kind, and charming. And I am so glad to feel like I am a part of both of your lives.”

There was some other stuff, too, but the reason I’m sharing this is it’s so real and heartfelt, and I want to say to people that IT’S OK TO FEEL AWKWARD. I mean, really, as much as gender is a big part of our lives, how could we not feel awkward at first? The first few transgender people I met it was all I could think of when I talked to them. I saw that slowly changing in me. I think the important things are to keep an open heart, an open mind, and open communication. And don’t beat up on yourself for whatever your reaction is. It’s your reaction. You’re human. But do pay attention to it and think about it. That makes you a thoughtful human!

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