Day 25: A Really Good Day
Thursday starts with another morning coffee meeting, this time with a colleague I’ve worked with on and off for years. He’s a good guy, a straight talker, and shares my low-bullshit threshold. In other words he’s from Philly just like me.
Let’s dub him Mr. No B.S.
I start with my standard spiel: I’m moving to New York. I’ve harbored two secrets for most of my life…
But as I set the stage for my reveal with a story about how I dealt with stuttering, I can tell he’s biding his time until I get to the juicy secret. Stuttering just isn’t cutting it today.
So I pick up the pace and cut to… transgendered.
“Huh. Y’know, you probably should have led with that. You can’t tease two secrets and then start with stuttering.”
Okay, maybe he’s got a point. And in a way, it’s refreshing that the mild rebuke is over my presentation and not the substance.
He admits to not completely understanding, but he’s cool with me moving my life closer to being who I really am. I mention that I’ve come out to just about everyone I know in New York (except for one), so as long as he doesn’t share with that final notch on my New York belt, I’m cool if he happens to mention it to other people.
He then notes that his wife is a real estate agent in New York, and shares her email with me to help in my apartment hunt. With my coffee done, we head over to his offices on Broadway so I can scope out his new digs. He introduces me around to everyone in the office, but I need to get back to work and I’m out the door moments later.
Unbeknownst to me, he outs me to the entire office within minutes of my departure.
Okay, that’s probably an exaggeration. It’s more like 20 minutes, but when I learn of this later, I envision, with much amusement, the scene unfolding as follows:
“That guy who just left? Transgendered.”
“Oh, and he used to stutter.”
I return to my office and in a few hours I receive one of the nicest emails I’ve ever received.
[Mr. No B.S.] gave me the update so I feel inclined to offer my ear should you ever wanna talk. As a guy who’s spent his whole life stuttering (years of speech therapy as a kid until I finally figured out, as I’m sure you did, all the ways and tricks to hide it on a daily basis without ever actually getting rid of it), and as a guy who’s also part of the LGBT world, it’s always good talking to someone to whom you’d have to explain very little because they’ve lived most of the same experiences. Anyway, congrats on making such brave moves. Here’s to bigger and better days.
I am gobsmacked. I mean, I kinda knew this guy from before, but this is such a welcome note of support and so completely out of the blue.
We email back and forth in the evening, closing our surprising correspondence with…
Once you actually put people to the test you’ll be surprised by how many of them pass it and make you realize that you’re your own worst criticizer.
Truer words have undoubtedly been uttered, but not tonight and not in an email to me. And while he might be right about putting people to the test, I never expected someone to volunteer for that test out of the goodness of their heart.
Too often we dwell on the negative. But let me tell you, in the past two weeks, I’ve only witnessed the positive.
Here’s to bigger and better days, indeed.