The summer of 2011 was significant in another way too. I had arranged to meet up with a friend that I had made over the internet, and I was planning on maybe coming out to her if it felt right. It would be the first time I had told anyone I knew about our journey, and I made my pick carefully. Libby Anne had grown up in a similar Christian conservative environment, and had changed a lot of what she believed over time. She seemed very open and friendly, and she was an atheist, so I had hopes that she wouldn’t condemn me unheard. We met in person with Libby and her husband, and hit it off just fine. I broached the topic of LGBTQ rights and she seemed very caring and open. Before I told her our secret, I reminded myself that she was someone I had just met, and if she reacted in a really hateful way, I didn’t have to see her ever again. That gave me the courage to just come out and say it. But she was completely accepting of our story, and she became someone I could chat with about all the questions. It was a relief to be completely open with someone, and it seemed to bolster my courage.
Did you see that, did you see that? I get a mention! I now count Melissa as a dear friend and we frequently correspond via email and phone.