I happened to be the person to answer the phone at the transgender center on a call from a trans man in his fifties. I could hear the tension in his voice, and it was obvious that making that call had been very difficult for him. He told me that he had driven past the center a number of times, but had never quite worked up the courage to come inside.
I was the first trans person he had ever been able to have a conversation with.
He wants to come out, but is scared to death. He goes to the Metropolitan Community Church, but when he started hinting about possibly being trans to other church members, a couple of the lesbians—he previously presented as lesbian– ridiculed him in a pretty nasty way, so he stopped talking about it. He told me that his dysphoria in being forced to live in an inauthentic way has gotten so bad that he has been thinking of killing himself.
I probably spent an hour talking to him. I urged him to come to the trans masculine support group. He didn’t want to because he says he looks feminine. I think this is someone who has been ridiculed a lot. I told him that no one in the group would care what he looks like and that everyone there would want to help him. I told him that he is family and should come and meet us. I told him we care about him. I told him that coming out and living as trans is very hard, but that it is easier than living as someone you are not.
By the end of the call he said he felt much better. There are aspects of his experience that I, as a trans woman, do not understand, which is why I worked to hard to get him to his peers. He said he would come in.
Hope. We all need a little hope.
It was a good day!