In my last two posts, I showed you the emails I sent out to friends, both close and not so close. I don’t think I could have sent those even six months ago. It took an incredible amount of strength to just hit send. But, in many ways it wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. I took a certain amount of safeguards. I hand picked who received them. And I edited them down as much as possible. But, once you hit send, it’s gone. I’m no longer in control of the message. The email can be passed around. I could have been embarrassed online. I think what got me to the point of hitting send was that it’s the realization that it’s not the end of the world if that happened. I felt safe sending those emails to the people that received them. If it blew up in my face, I would question my associations with these people. But, I would not change my mind about my direction. And most importantly, I would not let a negative response drive me into a deep spiral of depression that endangered my life. I don’t think I would even let myself send those emails even a year ago.
Now, what was the upside to hitting send? Well, in the grand scheme of things, it was a relatively small thing. But, I like I wrote in one of the emails, I reached a point where I felt stifled in the way I could express myself online. And I had to cut a few cords. I wanted to make a switch to using a different facebook account. And I had started using Google+ under a different name. I decided that when I do transition, I want to continue these friendships. I’m not going to uproot my life. I’m happy here in Colorado. I think I can make a go of it here.
Now, the responses. All were good. There were a few people who didn’t respond. The lack of response from a few people worried me a little. But, after a few days, I let go of that worry. In the following two days after hitting send I sent out a few feelers to some of these people. What I received back was everything from one word acceptance to a delayed response due to travel. I chose not to worry. The overall tidal wave of acceptance definitely made up for the very few omissions by silence. What follows are a few responses with names omitted to protect privacy.
*One last note. It was incredibly hard to go to sleep after hitting send. But, I didn’t have any regrets.
Before I even left the diner, I received this email from a woman I went to H.S. with. But, didn’t know until I met her on twitter.
“Hot damn! You go girl!”
That made the seven mile ride at 3am a lot easier. Everything else came in the morning.
“Well, we haven’t met in person, so I feel extra special that you let me know your news. I say, do what’s right for you and live a happy life. I wish you all the best. And hope we do meet in person sometime soon. :)”
“Can I make this short? Fuck yeah. Happy for you! If at any time you need some support / a bouncer type give me an email or call. ”
“Just want to let you know that I am really proud of you Rebecca. I’ve seen you come a LONG way from the person I met hiding in the corner of the Boulder theater, afraid to interact with anyone. My main point in responding here is to express my hope that this transition will bring you the peace necessary to NEVER consider suicide again. You are a good person, and the world would be a lesser place without you.
“Rock the fuck on, and I look forward to meeting in person one day! :)”
“Good luck on your journey! Thanks for sharing 🙂 let me know if you ever need anything. see at the next ignite, yo.”
“Awesome. it must have taken a lot of courage to send this, and i admire you for that. i look forward to reading your updates as ****** or rebecca- as long as it’s genuinely you, it doesn’t matter.”
“Power to you. That took balls (no pun intended) and I wish you the best. I also call everyone “dude”, so no change there. ;)”
This could have gone horribly wrong. But, thanks to some good planning, some good judgement, and possibly some luck, I think it worked. I now don’t feel so self conscious about sharing online. And when the time comes to go make the jump to full time, I have less concerns.
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your kind words.