He was tall, had very typical masculine physical features, and a deep, commanding voice—the image of a pure alpha male.
But I would soon find out that “he” was a “she.” I was introduced to “Vanessa.” Vanessa had a great smile, was confident, loved wearing dresses, loved taking care of children, and wanted so badly to have a pedicure with me.
I sometimes wear pink, have a soft voice, have purchased the book a few times and have more Chanel lipsticks than I can count. I identify as straight, having dated men all my life, including men in the military.
It did not help that her parents had arrived in America from a country whose culture included a strict, traditional, even patriarchal view of gender.
We should not let ignorance and historical views take over the narrative. Facts, along with personal stories, can help change some peoples’ minds.
A lot of scientific research, for instance, shows that being transgender is clearly physiological, and there are documented differences between a typical cisgender brain and a transgender brain.
Be a listener—even talking to someone, accepting him/her for who he/she is, and letting that person open up is a big deal, more than we could ever know.
That is the most important thing, and will build a true honest friendship you can have for life.