Mary and I were talking about my development, and focused on the early 90’s. Would I have transitioned if I hadn’t met her? I think I was on that trajectory. After Dee and I broke up around Thanksgiving (I used to have a very detailed diary, but I destroyed it when we moved), everything came exploding out: clothes, makeup, going out to a neighborhood gay bar that was very T-friendly. I told certain friends: Zubia, Yvonne, Susan and her husband, Debra and Suzy. I began holding social affairs as Joyce: dinners at my house, outings to the theater. They were days of revolution, of rebuilding the world, and they were both fun and desperate.

Three things happened, right in the midst of my transgender socialite phase. First, Peter Thomson came back to work, and it felt like cold water being thrown in my face. And rightly so, as I had been going out almost every night, allowing the pressure in the bottle to explode, but I wasn’t doing a terribly good job at our company in this wild Teenage Girl era. It wasn’t just that Peter gave me a reality check about what was important in my life, but I also look up to him and Frank and William, and felt perverse and ashamed of my gender explorations. I think this is a variant of all the rest of my life, of course, but I remember feeling it.

During the Peter stage, before William arrived, Kevin, a Macintosh programmer we had hired and helped to get a green card, announced one morning that he was transgendered. He was breathing heavily and was obviously worried we’d fire him or something. But we just said, ok, as long as the programming takes place. I remember feeling two things. First, I immediately thought, this is my chance to pipe in with “me, too!” — after all, Kevin was so brave and had taken this critical step, why shouldn’t I? There was a pregnant pause at the table, and I could have done it, but I didn’t. I guess I rationalized it by thinking that this was Kevin’s big coming out announcement, firstly, and that as an owner, I had a different relationship with propriety than an employee did, secondly. The next thing I thought was, oh, great, this will spoil everything, ’cause you can’t have two transgenders in the same office. I was fairly miffed. And, childish as it sounds, I quit going to crossdressing support groups because of a fear that Kevin, now Kendra, would be there, and would find out.

Pathetic.

Kendra began dressing like a junior high school girl, which is understandable, I suppose, but was awfully comical for a while, then settled down and began to look professional. She had surgery in 12 months and came to our housewarming party as a woman, accompanied by her mother.

Next thing was that William came back to the firm, and that meant I had two big brothers watching out for me. William and I were much more likely to go out and do things, so it was like Peter squared in its moderating influence.

Final thing was I met Mary, visited frequently to Madison, then Columbus, and as Jenny Boylan writes, I felt that this deep love, which was very different than the love I had had for Shari or Dee, was the final nail in the coffin, a good nail that would put to rest forever these conflicts.