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Day 26: On My List…

2014 October 18
by Jen DiGiacomo

I’ll admit it. I have a list. A list of people I want to come out to personally before going “public” with this whole transgendering thing.

And when I say public, I mean allowing Google to spider this blog, and referencing said spidered-blog on Facebook for everyone to see.

Cat out of the bag. Toothpaste out of the tube. Beans spilt from wherever beans get spilt.

I feel like my friends, my family, my business friends have earned the right to get the details of my journey from my own lips. I mean, this is a pretty big change. And if I desire that my friends stand by me as I navigate these changes, walk down the street with me as people gawp, go to dinner with me while the rest of the restaurant stares, they deserve to know my deal.

The hardest part, though, is that I don’t completely know the deal myself. But my hope is that through these coming-out conversations, through this blog, we’ll all get a little closer to what is going on in my head and why I can’t seem to ignore this anymore.

So yesterday between Mr. No B.S. and the subsequent gobsmacking email, I ventured over to Brooklyn to share “my deal” with someone I’ve worked with for years. He runs a dev shop, has argued with me over project payments, due dates and scope creep, and mentored my kids. So yeah, I am proud to call him my friend.

We meet at Brooklyn Roasting Company, because one can never have enough coffee. We shake hands, make some small talk before I get into my spiel.

The stuttering portion of the program is more effective than it was with Mr. No B.S. and leads very nicely into my transgendered reveal. His response though, is wholly unexpected.

He sighs deeply and tells me that he’s had a really shitty day. Nix that, a really shitty week. And this? This just made his day. And his week.

As he later writes me, “I walked away from our chat feeling inspired… it’s just so refreshing to hear someone be honest with where their head is. I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to celebrate where you are in your life.”

So, yeah, I think it went pretty well.

With that as the backdrop to my thinking, I realize I’m going to see one of my best friends from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away at a party tonight. We worked together on an online reality series. He directed a short film or three that I wrote. And we’ve won a handful of awards together for various projects and such.

But life moves on and he relocated to central Pennsylvania, directed a few independent horror films, while I juggled my weekly DC-NYC-single-parent routine with some pretty cool consulting gigs in New York City.

So good friends, but several years and several zip codes removed.

We’re both supposed to be attending a trailer parter for a movie we’ve both been helping out on. It’s at Broom Factory up in Baltimore. I bring my two sons and schmooze my way through the Maryland filmmaker scene.

Well, okay, everyone else schmoozes and I hold court with the vegetable tray. I’m not really a party person — and while the people I know there are super nice and all, I realize I’ve come here on a mission. Corner my old friend and tell him what’s been going on with me.

The only problem is that he’s late. And when he finally does arrive, everyone at the party wants to talk with him. We get a few minutes of warm chitchat in, but this is a party for mingling, not personal revelations.

I sigh and weigh the situation. Wrong place, wrong time? Or am I making up an excuse to not tell him? We finally sneak out back for a cigarette.

Right place. Right time.

And… a lighting guy joins us belatedly, dazzling us with his epic tales of lighting TV shows and movies in and around New Orleans.

Moment lost.

I sigh and realize this is not going to happen tonight. Each reveal in its own time. Each time in its own place. And for me, his place remains firmly on my list. The time, well, only the future knows. And the Shadow. But he’s busy schmoozing with the lighting guy from New Orleans.

Note: When I began transitioning in 2014, I was known by my nickname DiG, which sufficed until I learned my mom had chosen Jennifer had my birth gone differently. So for historical sake, I leave my posts and podcasts as originally conceived, but know that my name is and apparently always was Jen.
Day 25: A Really Good Day
Day 27: Mint Juleps
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