I was 22 and in nursing school. Life was pretty hum-drum and defined by my classwork, my clinical rotations, and studying all the time. I really had no social life, no way to go out and meet new people. Oh, sure, as a lesbian I was a bit reserved and guarded as to who I would hang out with, and the only other member of the tribe was 10 years older than I, and super butchy. She wasn’t my type that is for sure. I was always drawn to the femme lesbian- not necessarily a lipstick lesbian- but the women with long hair, pretty clothes, and a natural look. Women who didn’t destroy their look with make-up and gaudy jewelry. Heck, I always looked twice at a natural face with a petite body, and Doc Marten’s were always a plus.
Since I had absolutely no access to a lesbian social scene in the area if Ohio where I was going to school, I had to find other avenues of meeting people. So, like everyone else, I went online. I soon met a woman named Debbie. She and I would chat every night online, and that went on for months. One day, she said she had to talk to me about something, and that she needed my opinion. She finally came out with the truth- she was in the middle of her transition to becoming a female. Born Steven, and never comfortable in her skin, she had quite a difficult life. The confusion, the self-ridicule, the depression. She also had the difficult marriage, and although Steven and his wife did not have children, they still went through great strife when Steven told his wife that he was actually a woman. He felt like a woman, thought like a woman, and needed to fully become a woman. His wife could not bear the process, and the relationship ended badly. Now, after years alone, hormones and laser hair removal, Debbie was ready to take the next step.
After the initial shock, she and I continued to get along wonderfully. I vowed to support her and help her in any way I could. One day, she asked me to go to a website and look at the work of a plastic surgeon she was referred to. She wanted my opinion on the anatomical accuracy of the doctor’s work. So I signed in, and scrolled through hundreds of images. I was in the definite opinion that this surgeon had a true gift, as the pictures I saw looked very similar to the other women I had been with. I was blown away. I gave Debbie the feedback, and spoke with her for another year as she planned her big surgery. Then the fateful day came. She did fantastically. Her recovery was tough but she was a trooper. Soon thereafter, she stopped chatting with me. I had her phone number, but we had always talked online to save money. I waited weeks. Nothing. I picked up the phone just to hang it back up. I was afraid somehow. I had to see my therapist to process the feelings I had, as I realized I had fallen in love with her, and now my heart was broken.
Funny as it was, we never discussed who she wanted to be with after her surgery. I was unsure if she wanted to be a lesbian, or a hetero woman. All I knew is that she never brought it up, and I had become too involved to hear the answer. Months passed. I cried every night.
Then one day as I was leaving the ICU walking towards the lobby, I bumped into a beautiful woman. Our collision made her drop papers, which I scurried to pick up. Apologizing as I arose, she and I met eye to eye. It was Debbie. Although I had never seen her except in pictures as a pre-surgical transsexual, I could never forget those sultry, hazel bedroom eyes. I stammered and was tongue tied. Her transformation was complete. She was everything we hoped she would become.
We ran to the parking lot, got in my car and raced home. My question was answered. She was now a woman who wanted to be with a woman, and that woman was me.