I thought I knew what coming out meant. It meant finally being honest, it meant a sense of relief, and it meant actually moving another key step forward on this long journey. When I started telling people several weeks ago that I was trans, I really thought that's all there was to it. I also expected that coming out would mean concerned questions, awkward hesitation, some polite toleration, and probably also some skepticism, even some push-back.
So I really wasn't ready for what I've experienced, particularly this past week as I've told several friends. There was some concern, a little hesitation, yes, but very little, and it was far outweighed by other things. There was also unhesitating acceptance, praise for embracing the truth, and unstinting support. And more surprisingly there was joy. Imagine that! My friends saw me for who I really am, and there was joy.
I wasn't ready for joy. I'd steeled myself for many things, but I wasn't ready for joy, and it affected more deeply than I could have imagined. It not only made me happy, it made me feel strong, even confident... and those two are rare and precious commodities for anyone, at any time.
So finally it comes down to this - my coming out to you and your acceptance has been a gift beyond measure. It's given me a feeling of finally being real and welcome in the world. I will cling to that acceptance and joy as a talisman when (as it must) acceptance is not so forthcoming from others. For this I thank you.