I’d left the party a bit early. It was the one where my closest friends asked on behalf of other guests what pronouns I was preferring these days. And I left without answering. Apparently there was some discussion after I’d left. I got a message from a longtime acquaintance/friend the next day. He’s a cis-male, straight guy who is one of the most kind, lovely, decent human beings I’ve ever met. He’s a particularly good person and I always enjoy his company, though I rarely spend time with him, life being what it is.
He wrote, “After you left there was some discussion about you transitioning. I hope I’m not prying, or delving into an area that I shouldn’t. I just hadn’t realized it was something you were working with. I know nothing of the process, or the challenges that, I’m sure at some level, go along with it – physically, intellectually, emotionally… You’ll let me know if there’s anything you need, I hope, not that there’s much I can provide. But just in case – please feel free to let me know”
I wrote back some about my process and thanked him for his kindness and gentle approach. We messaged back and forth several more times, catching up and the like. His genuine caring and curiosity were, as usual, a balm for the soul. In a sort of concluding message I wrote, “I may just call on you at some point in the future – once I’ve got more than 5 chin hairs. I have no idea how to shave and I may need a lesson.”
He wrote back, “I shave naked in the shower.”