Fast forward. The lunchtime conversation with Mark is at least a half dozen years behind me, but not forgotten. I am still quite religious at this point, and find myself at church in an adult education class–basically Sunday School, but for big people and, importantly, with coffee and donuts.
A man across the chair circle from me abruptly launches into an unsolicited rant about “the homosexual agenda.” Witness our subsequent conversation, more or less:
Me: Do you know that song, “Come Just As You Are”?
Concerned Citizen: Yeah.
Me: Could a gay person do that here?
Concerned Citizen: Well, they have to give up their lifestyle first.
Me: Why do gay people have to change first if the rest of us get to come as we are? Can’t God fix whatever needs fixing?
Concerned Citizen: I suppose.
Me: And what if being gay doesn’t need fixing? Have you considered the possibility that there is nothing wrong with them?
I don’t remember exactly how long it took me to progress from the idea that there wasn’t anything wrong with gay people to the thought that perhaps there wasn’t anything wrong with me either. Even now, I don’t always feel too sure about it. Still, I connected the dots, and decided to quit fighting my transgender identity.
I regret to say that I did not come out the next day in a technicolor blur of fabulousness. As always, I waded slowly into the water. I managed to convince myself that I was in a safe place, and that my friends either did not notice or did not care that I was gradually feminizing. It would be another several years before I found out how wrong I was.
That too, was a milestone, but one I think I’ll leave undisturbed.