I blogged yesterday on my desire to share the special intimate friendship that is unique to women. Here, I'd like to extend that to thoughts about friendship in general.
It seems to me that there is nothing unique to women in having this form of relationship unique to them. I see that men sometimes form a special bond, which takes a different character completely, yet is just as unique and precious. I see it between men and women, lovers, where a special dynamic of the two sexes blends, often, to another unique form of friendship. I see it among my trans friends, where a connection built on the common experience of living in a physical incongruity bonds us instantly in shared experience.
There are many species of friendships. Mother and son. Mother and daughter. Father and son, father and daughter, grandparents, whoever – the common experiences, and disparate characteristics of age, hormones, body, soul, blend into different types, each unique and precious.
I never formed that male bond with another man, though I've witnessed others who have. Sure, I had friends, but not that special male-to-male bond. It was impossible for me to form such a friendship, because to do so, I would have to be someone other than who I am. You cannot have that bond without honesty, and I could not be honest and still develop it.
Not so the female/female bond. I can be completely myself and embrace and experience that friendship, and in fact, I have always desired this friendship intensely. That part is in my power. The part where my female friend perceives me as female, and so returns that bond and completes the circle, is up to her.
It may be this aspect of intimacy that creates so much pain for transpeople when they attempt to live in the roles assigned to them at birth. Humans are gregarious animals. Our social needs are intense, and vitally important. One of the cruelest punishments, or tortures, is solitary confinement. People locked alone without human contact for too long often go insane.
Similarly, people who do not expose who they really are to those around them experience some degree of isolation. This isolation will remain no matter how intimate they might be with someone, because the unique, special form of relationship that is natural to them in regards to that person can never be developed. Gender is far more important to the human psyche than sex. Gender is a vital part of every human relationship. Sex is only important in a few.
I am blessed with a number of these special bonds. And thanks to my transition, I am no longer isolated. I am finally blessed with the one that has been missing for my entire life.