Well, I consider myself "out" to those around me, my neighborhood, some co-workers, and so on. However, I have some lifelong friends who do not live nearby. I mainly communicate with them via that social media monster, facebook (they only know me in my male mode). For some time, I have avoided any opportunities to visit them, and this was making me feel sad...wrong...something hard to quantify.

Anyway, I took a few minutes to type out a nice letter and sent it, again via facebook, to about 15 of those who mean the most to me. I had to come to a point where I could accept the reality that it was entirely possible they would all reject me. Once I cleared that mental hurdle, I was ready...and hit send.

Let me pause here to mention that I am transsexual and I revealed all. I told my friends that I am beginning my transition. The first feeling I had when I sent it was one of euphoria...followed, immediately, by a bit of fear.

Without being too tedious, some of the replies follow:

"you are my friend, and please always know you will always have the love and support of my family."

"we have been coworkers, but more important friends for along time. If you need anything I am jus a phone call away."

"Rock on Mark!"

"Good luck Mark."

"No worries ... Be who you are inside. My friend Elizabtth is now Luke, and he relied heavily on his buddies during the three year transition. Keep your head up and enjoy the emergence of who you feel like inside."

"BTW, i want to thank YOU Mark for taking me into you confidence."

"Be who you are! I am sure the journey has been difficult, but don't forget to enjoy the ride." (from my half-sister)

"About fell out my chair! Didn't see that one coming. Many many questions??? But that can wait... For now I just want you to know that you will always be one of my dearest (and most interesting) friends!!!"

"Good on you, Mark! (Does "you go girl" apply yet?) "

Thus far, one friend has deleted me. I told them "no hard feelings" if they had trouble with my little announcement. I meant it wholeheartedly. Having said that, I guess I have better friends than I ever realized.

Thus ends post #500 for me. Thank you for reading.