My Girlfriend Vy

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If your friend told you he was trans, what would you say? How would you react?

Most of us can easily say that we’d be okay with it (hey, it’s the GLBTQ community participating in this blog hop, plus those reading my backlist after all) but it’s one thing to enjoy hot gay sex between the pages, and watch characters like my beloved Ash come out as trans to his friends, and an entirely different thing to experience it first hand with a living, breathing human being.

Three years ago, I experienced just that.

Three years ago, Vy (yes, the same Vy I dedicated Change of Skin to earlier this week) was just Al. He was just one of the guys that my husband had brought home to game together in our basement. Now, she’s my best friend, and most days, more girl than I’ll ever be.

Her journey is far from completed. There are still a few people who don’t know what she’s going through, and there are a couple that aren’t coping well with the announcement that she’s transgender. Overall, however, she has some wonderfully supportive people in her life to more than make up for the couple of small-minded blinder-wearing acquaintances.

As we sat in my living room sipping apple ice wine last Friday, we talked – as we often do when we’re alone together – of her journey. One friend curses himself out when he accidentally says “dude” or “man” even though Vy doesn’t mind. Another doesn’t want Vy “exposed” to her kids. As Vy tries to stay positive about the latter (and positively glows over the support of the former) I study her. Her cheeks are sharper, her hair shiny and curly. She’s painted her toes, and she tells me about the cream she’s found for her cuticles. She complains about the pains of growing breasts, while I tell her it’s time she bought a pretty lace bra. But most of all, she’s happy. Though she still has to face the challenge of revealing her truth to a few important people, she’s improved her life by sharing what had always been – until a couple of years ago – a shameful secret. She’s shedding her male mask and stepping into her female skin. Damn soft and smooth skin, too, not that I’m jealous at all. I can’t be. Not when she’s finally becoming who she wants – no, needs — to be.

May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and while I write this for the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, I also write this for the person who – once I truly met her – has become my best girlfriend. Each and every time Vy musters the courage to tell someone she’s transgender, she’s full of fear and uncertainty. She’s received a ton of support, and yet, the hatred, the confusion, the close-minded ignorance is still out there. She’s faced it. She’s felt it. When she tells me of these conversations, I want to scream. I want to run over to that hateful person and spray paint my distaste on their walls. I’d say this: She’s still the same person you became friends with, but now you know more of her.

I’m not that agile with a paint can, so instead I’m there for her. Often I don’t need to say a word. Just listen. She knows I don’t judge, and she knows I do my best to understand. Of course I do. Any one of you would do the same for your best girl.

Let me know how you address homo- and transphobia. Are you the supportive shoulder to lean on? Are you the activist, lobbying for anti-discrimination laws? What do you do to help the Vy’s of your life?

Tell me about one of your experiences, and I’ll draw a name at the end of the hop to win a book off my back list. Check back here June 1st to claim your prize. In the meantime keep up the good fight, and stand up for your gay and trans friends whenever possible.

With love to all my gay, straight, bi, trans, and cis friends.
~Pia

PS Click the badge for a list of other Hoppers. Each one has something to say about these disappointing phobias, and each one is giving away a prize to thank you for reading.

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18 responses to “My Girlfriend Vy

  • KimberlyFDR

    Thank you for taking part in the hop!

    In order to combat hatred, we must spread love. Educate others, bring awareness, because every person who has their mind opened is one person closer to a world where homophobia and transphobia doesn’t exist.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

  • Xakara

    Thank you for being an ally and a safe space for your friends. As an open bisexual and genderqueer author, it can be hard knowing when a space is safe for me to only write about bisexuality and gender variance, and when it’s safe for me to actually express that as a part of my daily life. Thank you for pointing out the difference between fetishizing a community and truly supporting it!

    My contribution to the hop ~ Writing From the Middle: BiVisibility & BiErasure

    ~Xakara

    Xakara at Xakara dot com

  • Trix

    I’m definitely more of a listener, but I’m always amazed at how binary gender still seems to be for so many people, even in this day and age!

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  • Karl

    I am more of the shoulder to lean on, but I am all for educating. I am just not an activist.

  • arella3173

    I don’t even know what to say to these things anymore. It frustrates me that people need to make what other people do, STRANGERS do in their own private business THEIR business…
    *sigh* It’s frustrating and sad that this is something that’s still an issue. I can only hope that one day there will be more people that support and understand that any kind of love is fine and is just love to those that hate and fear it.

    Judi
    arella3173_loveless@yahoo(dot)com

  • Radio

    HI Pia, I just wanted to say thanks for supporting this cause. It is one that is very close to my heart. It was just about 2 years ago that my daughter broke down on Christmas day and told her father and I that she really, really just wanted to be our son because that was what she felt comfortable as. We felt like we had a split second to make one of the most important decisions of our lives, luckily it didn’t take that long for either of us. Because the one thing we both knew was that daughter, son it didn’t matter. He is and always will be our child and that is all that will ever matter.

  • Urb

    I don’t treat gay people any differently than others. I don’t smirk and make jokes about their sexuality, or tease them about stereotypes they’re expected to fulfill. I embrace them as individuals; some I like, some I don’t. Consequently, I found gay people appreciated my support in the workplace, where they encountered baffling hostility and aggression. I don’t understand homophobia at all. What does another person’s sexuality to do with me? Nothing! The malevolent fascination some people have towards LBGQT folks makes no sense.
    Urbanista
    brendurbanist/at/gmail/dot/com

  • Angela

    You are such a good best friend. I love you.

  • wendynjason04

    Thank you for posting! My best friend is a lesbian and through her and her girlfriend I have met some of the most amazing people. My life changed forever the day I met MJ and she opened my eyes to a whole new world. Now almost 20 years later she is still my best friend and I dont know what I would do with out her.
    wendynjason04 at gmail dot com

  • Beth

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have always been the person that people go to when they are having problems. I listen and try to help in anyway that I can. I may not always be the person on the front lines of the fight, but I am rather in the back, tending to the people who have been hurt by hatred and fear. This was especially true in college. I went to a school with a large GLBT presence. I was a student leader and always tried to make sure that everyone felt included no matter what their sexual orientation was.

    Thank you again for participating in the hop!

  • Brenda

    Pia,

    First…. give a great big hug and a sloppy wet cheek kiss to Vy for me! I am so proud of her bravery in finally taking the steps to be who she really is! I can not imagine what she is going through although I have heard many similar stories from my friends. Notice, I did not say my trans* friends because to me there are the same people I have always cared for!

    As for what I do… I belong to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (they are an international GLBT non-profit) and support the community in various ways through my volunteer work with the organization. Last year, I did a fundraiser for Trans*Action which is a support group that assists with everything from counseling to finding doctors who are trans friendly to assisting with housing and employment.

    Thank you for sharing Vy’s story with this on the hop!
    XOXOX
    Brenda

  • Cornelia

    Thank you for post and post.

  • Juliana

    Thanks so much for your post in this blog hop and for sharing your own story! Such an important subject. My family is very religious, I know they would react badly if they knew I read m/m books, and I am straight. Not accepting people…
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

  • H.B.

    I treat everyone I run into the same as anyone else. I speak out for the things I believe in. Thank you for taking part in the hop.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  • sherry1969

    I’m more of a shoulder to lean on or a ear to listen to what anyone has to say. I’ve never met anyone that is transgender but I would treat them the same as I always did as a friend.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  • Peggy

    Thank you for the post.

    peggy1984 at live dot com

  • Penumbra

    Actually, I do nothing. I treat ‘Vys’ like any other person I meet or interact with. As long as a person is kind, honest, and thoughtful I don’t have a problem.

    Thanks for participating in this great hop!

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  • chickie434

    Thanks a bunch for sharing and participating!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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