Tonight I talked to my sister briefly. In the course of our conversation I mentioned getting together with friends a couple of times in the past week. Both of the friends happened to be trans, but I really didn’t think much about it when I mentioned them. I only mentioned the “trans” part because I was relating my friends’ perspectives on my upcoming work transition through their own experiences.
As I was relating the second anecdote she stopped me and asked, “don’t you have any non-trans friends?” I sort of stumbled in my reply because I really didn’t think about it like that.
The answer is, of course, yes. I have non-trans friends. We trans folk are outnumbered better than a thousand to one by non-trans people. Odds are I’ve taken a liking to at least one of them at some point.
But the more I thought about it the more the question pissed me off. For two main reasons.
1. If it were the case that all my friends were trans, so what? Is there some requirement to have a certain percentage of non-trans friends? If so no one ever told me about it.
2. I really LIKE trans people. I like them so much I decided to be one ( /sarcasm).
Seriously, there are some things I have in common with other trans people that non-trans people just Do. Not. Get. I like hanging around people I don’t… have… to… talk… very… slowly… and… simply… around whenever a trans-related topic arises. And since I am coming to the end of a lifetime in my former gender next week (!!!) trans-related topics are coming up a LOT for me lately.
I do have a concern about coddling myself by socializing only in “safe” company. But that’s more a general issue for getting along in public period. I’ve never worried about that in the sense of limiting the number of my trans friendships – or making a special point to acquire the non-trans kind. Friends are friends. I’m thankful when I find them. I don’t set quotas.
Frankly, during this period in my life, I don’t think non-trans friends make very good company. They don’t get the intense emotion associated with a workplace transition, or making all the legal changes. I don’t mean they’re incapable of lending sympathy. But generally, because they don’t understand this stuff, they’re really bad at it. It probably saves us all a lot of grief that I’m reaching out to my trans-friends almost exclusively for support the past few weeks.
Anyway, I’m not going to call my sister back and rant at her over the question or anything. I’m tired of explaining and/or justifying my life to family.