The following is about someone I knew when I was much younger. She was instrumental in my own development as a person and her love will touch my life forever. At 12 I had no idea what “transgender” meant. I just knew there was something special between us. I decided to write this after hearing “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a song we both liked, playing at the gym where I workout. They say your first love is something you never get over.
The hot Michigan summer went by quickly and soon it was August and almost time to go back to school. Our friendship had grown over the last three months and other than a couple weeks when our families went on vacation there wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t at least spend some time together. You live right down the street from me. Our families were friends and somehow we just started hanging out together.
We are very different in some ways. I am big for my age and excel at sports. Especially football. My favorite athlete is Michael Jordan. At 12 I’m already over 6’ tall and most people think I’m a lot older. Very outgoing, I’m popular at school, especially with girls. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to blow off studying and do crazy stuff sometimes to get attention in class but never anything bad. My teachers tolerate my behavior because I’m almost a “straight A” student and easily the best athlete in the school. I also am very good with computers and technology, listen to heavy metal, play video games like Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein 3D, and ride motorcycles.
You are a month younger than me, much smaller, and very cute, with long blonde hair, blue eyes, freckles, and great legs. You also enjoy playing video games (especially “role playing games”), love pop and dance music, and shopping. Your idol is Madonna and it is obvious you spend a lot of time on your looks. Since it’s summer, you almost always wear very short shorts and bright colored shirts and shoes. Unlike me. I typically wear black sweats cut off at the knee, a black “Gold’s Gym” tank top and Nike Air Jordans. My favorite movie is “Terminator 2” which my dad took me to see for my 9th birthday against my mom’s objections. Last Christmas, my parents bought me a 310 lb. Olympic set and bench and I love working out.
Earlier this summer, not long after we met, I drove my uncle’s ’69 Chevelle over to your house and gave you a ride around our subdivision. It is a dark green “SS” 396 4 speed with a bench seat and you scooted over so you could be next to me. Our legs touched. You didn’t say anything but I could tell you noticed I had a hardon. You just looked up at me and smiled. You have a sweet personality and never act up. You told me once that you want to be a dancer on Broadway one day and while you don’t have a lot of friends at school, you are a member of a kids dance team and are very talented. When you’re not with me you are usually hanging out with them. My mom, dad, and I went to see you perform in July. You are awesome. Every bit as good or better than I am at sports. You love to watch re-runs of “Fame” and you are also very smart‒like the smartest kid in school. From the first time we met we seemed to hit it off. It’s obvious we really like each other and over the summer we have had some great times together.
Many of the other kids at school think you are gay and call you names. I really don’t give a fuck what they think and told them to leave you alone. They have but now they are probably saying shit about me behind my back. Whatever. I for sure don’t feel “gay.” Not that I think there’s anything wrong with it. I have played competitive sports now for several years and I am around guys in the locker room all the time. Never been attracted to any of them. I first kissed a girl when I was 8 and most definitely like girls. But I also like you. In that way. At least I think so. There is definitely something that I feel when I’m with you that I don’t feel for my other guy friends. The only way to describe it is that when I’m around you I feel the way I do around girls. I don’t really understand it and I’m not sure if you feel the same way about me. I wonder if you think I am sort of like your “boyfriend”?
I still remember the time your mom drove us to the Somerset Collection Mall in Troy. We spent an entire day together and it felt like a “date.” We went shopping and had lunch at a very nice restaurant. And then played video games at an arcade. You stayed very close to me and even held my hand at one point. We looked at clothes and you asked me things like “Would this look good on me?” I felt like you were sharing part of your world with me. It was totally different from when I hang out at the mall with my other guy friends.
A few times this summer we have gone for rides out in the country on my Yamaha dirt bike. I love it when you have your arms wrapped tight around me. And I know you like to “flirt” with me. Sometimes you act just like the girls in class do. A few weeks ago we “camped out” in your parent’s backyard and stayed up all night talking about stuff. I told you things I’ve never told anyone. I also remember when we went to King’s Island last week. That was awesome. I keep a picture of the two of us taken that day near my bed. I don’t know if I’ve ever liked spending time with anyone as much as I did with you that day. We shared an ice cream cone and I remember when we got down to the end I almost kissed you. Thinking about it now I wished I had. My feelings for you made me look up some stuff on the Internet (back in the mid-nineties we still had dial-up access and not much as we know it today) and I found something about “transgender teens.” Their stories made me think of you. I have wondered about it ever since but I’ve never asked you about it. I figure that you will tell me when you are ready whatever it is. One thing’s for sure, I really like you. A lot.
I’ve never told you about any of this and I’ve never even kissed you or made a move on you but I think about it all the time. Part of the reason why I haven’t yet is just my age and inexperience. Also I am afraid of losing you as a friend. I am glad you are part of my life and I hope you feel the same way about me. This weekend your mom and dad went to Mackinac Island and decided that it was OK for you to stay at our house. I’m really excited about getting to spend a few days with you, alone, just the two of us. Maybe I’ll finally get a chance to tell you how I feel about you. I’m not afraid anymore.
Friday afternoon, after practice, I stopped by your house on my Yamaha to pick you up. I totally wasn’t ready for this! You were wearing very tight red satin running shorts and a bright yellow t-shirt just short enough to show off your tummy. You also have on knee-high tube socks that show off your legs. I can tell you have styled your hair and maybe it’s my imagination but it looks like you might be wearing a little mascara as well. And is that lip gloss? Your blue eyes look amazing and with your freckled nose you are totally irresistible. You climb on the back and we head over to my house. We spend most of the time watching TV, playing video games, and dancing. You are an amazing dancer and even with my athletic ability I find it hard to keep up with you. You show me a couple more dance moves and soon your body is pressed up against mine with me holding you around the waist. When the music stops, it’s almost like time is standing still. Our eyes meet and we share our first kiss. You just look at me and go “Wow.” Right then my mom walks in and says “Are you guys hungry? I made you some hamburgers and hot dogs.” We go into the dining room. I see the way you are looking at me and I also can feel your feet playing with me under the table. You are giggling and I’ve never seen anyone eat a hotdog that way before. I didn’t realize you could be so naughty. I like it. As soon as we finish, you “dare” me to try to catch you and take off running through the house. I chase after you and soon my mom is yelling at us to cut it out or go upstairs. Laughing we run upstairs to my bedroom and slam the door shut locking it.
MTV is on and we sit on the bed and watch videos by Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine, The Offspring, and Nirvana. We talk about school, movies (we both like “Wayne’s World”) and music. You look around at some of my sports trophies and also my CD collection. You wonder why I like bands like Metallica and Slayer. “They’re so loud and angry. You should listen to Madonna. She’s like totally awesome!” Going through the rest of my collection you find “Vulgar Display of Power” by Pantera. One of the songs is called “Fucking Hostile.” You say “Omigod! Does your mom and dad know you listen to this?” I had snuck a Coors Light from the refrigerator in the basement. You try it but don’t like it. Looking at the picture of us from King’s Island you say “That’s so sweet Andy. I had a great time. Maybe we can do that again before we have to go back to school.” You ask me how football practice went earlier today. I tell you that I landed hard on my shoulder but was OK. “Poor baby…” you say and start to massage my shoulders and back. I have a hard on and am a little embarrassed but what you are doing feels great and everything seems so right.
I reach back to take your hand and turn around. We are face to face kneeling on the bed. I kiss you again but this time for much longer. You put your arms around my neck and kiss me back. Your mouth is slightly open and our tongues touch. Stopping for a moment you look up at me and say “I really like you Andy. Most of the kids at school call me a ‘sissy’ or a ‘fag’ or worse. I’ve always known that I was ‘different’ from other boys. You are the only guy I’ve ever felt I could be myself around.” Then you smile and add “Did you know everyone says I’m your ‘girlfriend’?” We kiss again very deeply. I grab your little ass and pull you tight against me. I can feel your small erection touching mine through our shorts. Our hands start to explore and just then my mom knocks at the door. “Hey! What are you guys doing? Why is this door locked? Are you smoking in there?”
Reluctantly we stop and get off the bed and open the door. The moment is ruined (Thanks, mom… Not!) But there will be other moments I’m sure. We go downstairs and watch a couple of movies. But mostly we talk. About you. About us. You tell me that you first realized you were not like other boys when you were about four or five. You just knew you were a girl in the wrong body. Your life has been a constant struggle but your family has been supportive. Especially your mom. And how you first noticed me after school at a game last Fall. I smiled at you as I came off the field after scoring a touchdown and removed my helmet. You thought I seemed really nice and had a “cute butt.” You think football is crazy and wonder why anyone would play it. But you understand that I am really good (already I have college scouts checking me out) and promise to come to some of my games this year.
You tell me again that I am the only guy who ever truly accepted you for who you are. I learn that it was the day I picked you up in the Chevelle when you first started to really like me. You said it made you feel like I wanted you because you were a “girl” and wanted to be alone with you. You said I wouldn’t have done that with any of my “guy” friends. “You all would have stood around and looked at the engine or something. Or talked about how fast it would go.” And you don’t think I would ever have let a “guy” sit close to me like that. You said I made you feel special and you also felt “safe” with me. The last couple of years in school you have been really afraid of the other kids. The verbal abuse and bullying has gotten to be too much and you now fear for your safety. Your parents are going to send you to a private school in Bloomfield Hills this fall. You tell me that you are also really worried about me because now everyone knows we have been together. You wonder if I could go to the same private school with you. I guess even your parents had talked to mine about it.
Then you tell me that you would like me to call you “Stephanie.” I had known you as “Stephen” until now. It’s late and eventually you fall asleep on the couch with your head on my shoulder. I haven’t been in love with anyone yet and I wonder if this is how it starts. Looking at you as you sleep, Stephanie, I realize that you really are my girlfriend. I kiss you gently then doze off shortly after. The TV is still on. Sometime during the night, my mom covers us up with a blanket and goes upstairs. Tomorrow will be a wonderful day because I’m spending it with you.
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