The Best of Friends

Transgender Online Friends

This is the story of two emails. One that I recently received. And one that I never received. Together, they define for me, the nature of friendships in tgirl world.

As most of you already know, or are quickly realizing, online relationships are an important part of tgirl life. Thanks to the online world, I have friends all over the world. Some of them I’ve met. Some of them I’ve never met. And some of them, no matter how dear, no matter how much we’ve shared, I know I will never meet.

And geography has little to do with it. I’ve met some people from the UK or Australia several times, and we’ve become quite close. While I have friends right here in Southern California who I’ve never met.

Tgirl life is pretty complicated. But tgirl relationships are even more complicated. Every girl is facing her own set of restraints and hurdles. And, for a variety of reasons, some girls feel free to go out while others do not. So it’s sometimes difficult for even the best of friends to actually meet.

The email that brought this up came from a dear friend. She was apologizing for ‘dropping out of sight’ for a while. And she hoped that I hadn’t taken offense. I guess some girls might be more sensitive to that kind of thing, but I took no offense. It didn’t even cross my mind to take offense. The truth is, and this is not a knock on our community, but I’ve come to expect friends to fade in and out. I often think of tgirl world the same way that Dorothy first reacted to Oz: “People come and go so quickly here.”

The second email was the one that never arrived. It was an email from a friend I’d met online and chatted with quite frequently. At one point, she had some business in Southern California, and asked if we could get together. She’d only been out a few times back in her home area, so she was really excited about going out in L.A.

I took her out to a couple of bars, and she really seemed to have a good time. For a newbie, she seemed very comfortable out in public in girl mode. And when she got back home, she sent me a couple of nice emails to thank me.

But that was it. It’s been over a year, and I haven’t heard from her since. I sent off a few emails, but I’ve never heard back. I suppose I could have unknowingly offended her or pissed her off. But I don’t think so. We never exchanged a cross word. We never had a misunderstanding. And yet, she’s gone.

Someone else might be offended. But after ten years of chatting online (can you believe it’s been 10 years of this craziness?), I’ve gotten used to people dropping in and out of the scene. It just comes with the territory. Especially when you’re living a lifestyle that is often kept in secret. Girls get promotions at work. Or they get fired. They get married. Or they get divorced. They find a new girlfriend. They have a child. Or another child. Or they are forced to move back in with their folks. Some cd’s transition, become women, and simply decide to leave the cd world behind.

And I hold no grudge against any of them. How could I? They’re doing what they want, and when you get right down to it, isn’t that the larger issue behind this whole thing? The freedom to live your life as you wish?

Obviously, I would have preferred that the girl in question tell me she was “going away.” Some of my other friends have. But I also realize that that’s not always possible. Sometimes situations arise rather quickly. And there’s just no time for good byes.

So why am I telling you all this? Because, even after 10 years, this can take some getting used to. Like most of us, I didn’t grow up with the internet. I’ve never had internet friends before. So this sometimes vague online connection that we call “friendship” is really quite different than what “friendship” has meant to me in years past.

Which brings me to an event called Viva Wild Side. Viva (or VWS) is a weeklong tgirl party in Las Vegas, and I’ve attended it the past four years. It’s a growing event. More and more new girls come every year. And that’s exciting.

It’s also exciting to see the girls develop and grow each year (myself included). Every year, we see girls improving in their feminine style and presentation. We see growth in their self-confidence and pride. And as I experience all this, I feel myself getting caught up in their journeys. The individual journeys that each of these girls is traveling alone in her own life. They’re all so engaging. They’re all so inspiring.

But sometimes those journeys lead them away. Some girls give up the tgirl life. Some get caught up in vanilla world details such as careers, families, marriages, and grandchildren. Little things like that tend to get in the way of the feminine fun. So while I’m always thrilled to see a lot of my old friends and meet new ones at each year’s VWS, I still miss the girls who don’t come. I know I might see some of them again. But I also know that I may never see some of them again. That’s just the way this life works.

And that’s why I’m writing this blog. I’ve come to expect that people in my tgirl life tend to come and go. But what I’m learning is that that makes every moment with them that much more precious. In real life. In online world. A friend is a precious thing. Because there is no promise that a friend – no matter how close, no matter how dear – will be there tomorrow.

So while I’m still in touch with most of my friends, I’d like to take a moment to thank them all. For their friendship. For their sisterhood. And most of all, for inspiring me and for making what could have been a long, lonely, individual journey into an incredibly fun and lively one!

If you’re reading this blog, I hope you’ve made friends in t-world. I hope you have people you can confide in and share with and laugh with and cry with. And if you don’t, I hope you make friends soon. I’m not saying anything new or revolutionary here, but life is short, moments are fleeting, and good friends have a way of making the bad days tolerable and the good days … heaven.

Take care out there.

(And take care of your friends, too!)

Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy.



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