My #1 Fanboy! Being Schooled on Transgender Awareness

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It’s weird putting yourself out there on the worldwide web.  While I have friends who are deleting their Facebook accounts and swearing off social media, I keep writing more blogs, developing more YouTube channels and finding new social media sites.  Truth be told, I love social media.  When my friends talk about deleting their accounts because of what people post I’m a little surprised, but I think people take all of it too seriously anyway.  Social media is supposed to be fun; a way to meet other people who have like interests.  I don’t take too seriously those that post political shit that doesn’t align with my beliefs because I think we are all entitled to our own opinions.  And you know what they say about opinions.

Anyway, I’ve met some really interesting people via the internet.  Since Alex and I started our website we’ve met super cool people and been offered amazing experiences due solely to connections we’ve made via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  I can’t imagine what my world would be like if it weren’t for these sites.  Especially for one reason in particular; my #1 Fanboy.

I get friend requests from people I don’t know all of the time.  Most of the time I don’t know if it’s because they follow my blog, read my book, watch my videos or just want to friend me because I’m so fucking hot, but nonetheless, I typically accept everyone and hope I’ll get some friendly messages.  (The ones from girls in Russian wanting to send me nudes are always the most interesting!) About a year ago I got a friend request from this guy named Devin.  I didn’t think much about it at the time, but over the course of the last year, I would notice that he would like and comment on my posts on occasion.  I always thought it was interesting thought that he was typically the first person to like a post, especially since I was posting most of my statuses at 4-5 in the morning while I was up late writing.

Right after my book came out in August, Devin sent me a message telling me how much he loved my book and asked if I could send him a pin and a bookmark, something I promised to do and still haven’t delivered.  (It’s going out in the mail today! I promise!) Anyway, I made some joke about him being my first ever fanboy.  Probably twenty minutes went by and I didn’t get a response.  I now know that Devin works the night shift and typically is taken a way for moments at a time when he can’t respond as rapidly as my attention seeking behavior requires, but at that time I thought I had offended him.

I had actually never gone to Devin’s Facebook page so I went to it and started lurking around; one of my favorite pastimes.  When I first went to his pictures, he had very close pictures of his face, and being that he looks about 22, he was a little soft skinned and looked just 1/900th feminine.  I was became immediately concerned that what I had mistaken for a handsome young man, was in actuality maybe a lesbian.  I quickly sent off a message to Devin stating that I hoped my last statement wasn’t offensive.  His response was both genuine and simple.

“Not at all. Being ftm(female to male) I am over the moon when i get boy/man/he/him haha It’s all good”

And with that we were instant friends.  I don’t really know how to explain it really.  Over the period of the last few months we’ve gotten to know each other really well.  When all of my friends in my hometown go to bed, Devin is rolling into work in Canada, where we start texting each other throughout the entire night.  Several weeks ago he sent me all of his transformation videos starting right after he had his top surgery and started testosterone all the way up to 36 weeks later today.  Although I’ve had many male to female transgender friends before, Devin is the first female to male friend I’ve ever had.  While that shouldn’t matter, I find myself trying to be very careful about the words and terms I use, trying to not be offensive, but I’ve started to wonder if that’s what you do with true friends?  Are you so careful that it keeps you from being sincere and genuine.  To me, Devin is a man.  In fact, just awhile ago while we were talking about trans awareness week, he told me he often doesn’t feel connected to the trans community because he doesn’t feel trans, he feels like a man.

And when I just texted him that I hoped I didn’t offend him in my post, he wrote: “I don’t think you could ever Peter.  You have a good heart.” I think to me, that’s why it was important to write this post.  Not just to brag about my friendship with Devin, who is still and will always be my #1 Fanboy, or to explain the intricacies of trans people.  I’m not trans and I will never fully understand their experience and journey, but our hearts our the same and that alone should be enough for people to want to be friends.

I think we allow so much to get in the way.  I ask Devin lots of questions about being trans because I want to be educated and his journey is interesting to me.  Everyone’s journey is interesting to me, and yes, we all have a journey.  I think if we started asking people questions and stopped being so afraid to get to know one another, we might lesson the pain of people feeling alone.  The reason we have to have a Trans Day of Remembrance is because of people’s violent ignorance and fear of other people.  A fear of someone’s journey being different than our own is imprisoning; not just for us, but for them.  How sad.  If we allowed ourselves to step out of the way, smile and be friendly, the world would change profoundly.

It would have been so easy for me to not have sent that initial message fearing my being inconsiderate.  I probably would have continued to sit behind the computer wondering who this Devin person was and why he or she was liking my stuff on Facebook.  I’m so happy I took the risk and allowed myself to be educated.  Because of that, I have one of the best friends in the world today.  He has helped me sell books, inspired my creativity, motivated me when I couldn’t find focus and helped build my confidence, which on many days is lacking.  He is one of the greatest friends I have ever had.

A few days ago I asked him how he had originally found me on Facebook and he said that he had watched my videos on YouTube and just friended me because he liked what I had to say.  We should all take such small kind risks; asking for friendship.

Devin, for you, I am truly grateful.  You are the brother I never had but always wished for…

Much love,

Peter

P.S. Stay tuned because Devin and I have decided to record our first ever time talking on Skype and I’m going to upload it soon! Whatever your fear is, stop letting it get in the way of your life, stop letting it hurt other people and start making a positive impact on the world around you.  And send me lots of messages! We might end up being good friends!

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And of course go check out my book The Before Now and After Then being compared to The Fault in Our Stars!
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3 comments

  1. You never need to censor yourself with real friends.

    Too many people hold back or dance around what they want to say/ask for fear of offending.

    I’m happy to have you as a bestie!
    And thank you for giving me the confidence and tiny push I needed to go public with my videos.
    You’ve made a difference in my life.

  2. That is an awesome story. My writing group has 3 trans fem to male dudes in it, and I can’t imagine any of them as girls. They are so totally dudes to me, but I do often get caught up in my own stereotypes with them. I’ll be like, “Oh well, you think that because you’re a guy,” but then I remember that they weren’t always a guy and then I realize how judgmental I’m being. Everyone should have some trans friends. Gotta say, social media is a lot more scary.

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