Let me tell you about a trans friend of mine. The story is true. The names have been changed, because I can do that.
She’s almost my age and like me she was a woman living as a man and like me came to that realization only a few years ago. She began HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), taking estrogen and suppressing her testosterone, about the same time as I did and we met each other in our journey at a Group Therapy Session.
Other than not being married, her story is uncannily similar to mine. She has been divorced for more than twenty years has two children and has spent most of her life pursuing a career in the Arts. Unlike me, she DID know she longed to be herself but like so many Trans folk who are cognizant of their gender dysphoria she became a hyper male to hide it. I’ll call her Amy.
Living as a hyper male, she had been a crazy sports fan and if her team, a few years ago, had made it to the Super Bowl she would become obsessed. But since she got on HRT, those intense irrational feelings about a team she rooted for were no longer there. She, like me, had now intense feelings for her family not her teams! Amy’s joys and sadness were much more valued about her family than before. She was still a fan but now she could function after a loss no matter how great the magnitude of that loss.
Nowhere was this more apparent than when her team made it to the Super Bowl just a few years ago. Now she was very happy to see them get there. She wasn’t crazy over the moon happy about them being there like before but just very pleased and excited. We had talked about because it was startling to her. Before she was on HRT, the two weeks she couldn’t have talked about anything else. Hoping they would win and so afraid they might lose. The level of depression was palpable when one of her teams lost a GAME! Losing a Championship was utterly devastating and she would be inconsolable for months. You couldn’t talk with her about it. It was personal!!
She was still in “stealth” mode in her transition. She looked like a man, but inside she felt quite transformed. I did as well. Your shirts get bigger and bigger to hide the obvious. Once you have that first intake of estrogen, it’s like a switch is turned off. There is a calm that comes over you that is both a relief and slightly shocking in its suddenness.
Amy had many male friends and they were all gathering at a sports bar to watch the game. Conversely, her son had no interest in the game. He never did for any of the popular pro sports that so shape our culture. This was a special day for him though. He was waiting for a phone call that would tell him that he was in the latest musical theatre production at his high school. He had been in many shows and was considered one of the best actors among his peers who were all very fine performers themselves. Nevertheless, he had no problem hanging at home and has his Dad join “his” friends to watch the Super Bowl. Amy’s son like her friends had no knowledge of her transition. Amy went to the Sports bar and her son stayed at home waiting for the call.
It was a loud, joyous and ruckus crowd at the bar and Amy found her pals right in front of the giant screen. She arrived about fifteen minutes before kickoff and her friends had saved her a prime seat. She sat down, ordered a beer and started munching on the copious amounts of finger food that were laid out at various stations all over the establishment. The game was a see-saw affair through the first quarter.
Half way through the second quarter she realized she was worried about her son. “Had he got the call”, she wondered? She called him up so she could congratulate him on his getting the part. He answered immediately and she asked if he had got the call. He told her that he hadn’t.
Suddenly like a switch the game went silent and all she could her was her son’s disappointment in his voice. Being an actor herself who had not got the role hundreds and hundreds of times, she knew all too well how her son felt.
The game was no longer important. In fact, the game had never been important to her that afternoon. She made noise and high fived her friends but it just didn’t have that do or die quality to it. It should. It was the Super Bowl!!!!! But it just wasn’t as big a deal as it used to be. But her son’s pain was. She turned to her friends and told them that she had to get home. She turned on her hells hurried out of the bar.
When she got home, she found her beautiful son on the couch watching a Modern Marvels marathon. They didn’t talk about what had just not happened to him but rather she asked him if he wanted to go to a movie or do something to get out of the apartment. A movie didn’t sound that appealing but he did want to get some school supplies. Suddenly they were walking down the aisle at a Staples. There was no talk about the non-call and not once did she even think about the game. Her son was getting into finding some stuff to buy and was much more animated. He found what they needed, purchased it and they went home.
Arriving at home, her son asked, excitedly if he could borrow the car and meet some of his friends to go see a movie. Now he was in the mood for a movie but she wasn’t disappointed he wanted be with his friends and so he went out.
She sat on her couch for a moment curiously content and she started to cry a little. Happy tears. She looked at the time and for the first time in a couple of hours she remembered there was a Super Bowl with Her team playing. Turning on the TV she saw the head coach of her team getting the Gatorade Shower.
They had won and so had she.