Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Disclosure: Professor

Well now that I told you about the night I had with B, I can follow it up with the lunch I had the next day.

My friend Professor as I will call him is an interesting case.

[Side Note] I am calling him Professor because he is indeed a teacher for a living. Not only that if you ever met him it becomes obvious the man loves to teach it is just part of his DNA.

It is interesting because while he and I went to HS together, at the same time, graduating in the same class and knew of each other. We never actually hung out much.

It wasn't until after we graduated that we really started to talk. Yet even then he traveled so much for school and teaching at music camps in the summer that I only saw him for a few days out of the year. Usually around the holidays. It is during those times I taught him how to ski.

It didn't take much but we were easily good friends it is almost like when we got together no time had even pasted since the last one.

Though today he lives only a few miles away and works around the corner from me. So we occasionally car pool in together.

It really depends on him as his teaching requirements and extra school activities that can get in the way.

essentially this is another very important friend I needed to tell.

So I finally pinned him down and took him to lunch last Saturday to tell him what was going on.

I had a hunch he thought something was up but being the friend that he was he never pushed me to tell him.

We finished lunch, laughing at a number of things and the silliness of life. When I finally broke down and told him.

Now as I proceeded with my little privacy disclaimer and started to launch into my dissertation of what was going on with me something I never saw before happened.

He got an incredible serious expression on his face.

Really I had never see anything like it before from him.

I actually cracked a bit while telling him as I thought here was another friend who was going to walk out the door. That he couldn't handle it and it was visibly upsetting him.

Why did I think this?

He is normally one of the most jovial people you will ever met. Always animated, quick with a smile and a sarcastic comment. Yet steadfast in his belief of you as a friend. So seeing a facial expression I have never seen on him before caused me to panic.

I forced my way through the rest of what I had to tell him and asked if he had any questions.

"Yes actually, I have three."


"First, why did you wait so long to tell me this?"

I explained the issues with his work, my project last year and that I had other people who were a little more important on my list to tell. I also explained the bad reactions I had gotten so far and how nervous I was to tell anyone.

"I get that, I saw you hesitate after lunch and that leads me to my second question. Why would you think I would have a bad reaction to this? I would think you knew I was a better friend than that!"

I informed him that out of all my friends I would have guess a positive reaction from him. However something I was once told is still very true. That you never know what reaction you will get. Sometimes those that you tell whom you would think would have a positive reaction, won't. Along with those that you would thing have a really hard time with it will be positive. Adding in the bad reactions I have had thus far I just don't know for sure.

He explained to me that I should have known better and that to him it isn't about gender, sexuality or whatever it is about the heart, mind and who the person is that matters. That even though it will take some time for him to adjust once I become Kelli full time, that I am still very much the same person only maybe a little different packaging.

"Which brings me to my last question. When, exactly, can I start giving you shit about this?"

Said with an amazingly mischievous grin on his face and a knowing twinkle in is eye. We have a similar sense of humor(you recall I have used mine with great affect to last this long.) he isn't going to be mean or nasty, but I knew he would poke a little fun from time to time when he can.

It didn't take long either with the jabs he did take like blaming me for having to now have a talk with his stepson he never expected to have in the next year. Along with a few others it was still a great conversation.

He asked some excellent questions about how this all came about. Discussed the issue with me thoroughly. Complimented me for taking the time to work through this and do my homework to make sure this was right for me. He really had the best response I have ever gotten from telling something about my function that it was a huge relief.

We spent three hours discussing the issue and all sorts of things. At the end of it all he fully expected to remain my friend as my friendship is more important than anything else.

The most telling aspect of it all was when he drove me home and just before I got out of his car asked: "Are we still on for carpooling this week?"

It is a huge relief to finally have someone who was so positive.


Natasha said...

I loved this post, Kelli. I know exactly how you feel about coming out to people that you expect a positive reaction from, but are still nervous to share with. One of my very dear friends said the same thing to me and I told her that it was fear based on what I have read from other people...that I knew she would be cool, but it was still scary.


Viv said...

Yay! What a lovely reaction, and I have to say, yay for us academics. We aren't just old-fogey sticks-in-the-mud like we so often get made out to be. Our ivory towers give us a great view of the world and a better perspective on all the wonderfully different kinds of human beings out there.

That said, I do definitely understand your trepidation. Especially with the heightened awareness of general public abhorrence of anything that even hints at non-normative sex, it is very hard to just trust that someone will accept you. I am so happy for you to find an accepting friend.