I’ve never seen such a beautiful Save the Date notice! You told me that KT is a graphic artist, and now I see what a great one he is. The picture of the trees against an evening sky still subtly lit by sunset, and the outdoor chairs beside a campfire, is lovely, and the text brought tears to my eyes. “One day someone walks into your life—and makes you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.” I’m happier than I can say that, however unexpectedly, the right person has come into your life and recognized that you’re the one who can make it work out.
Yes, I will come to your wedding, and celebrate with you, and KT, and the new stepdaughter who needs your wisdom and already loves your dog, and all the other friends who gather to look ahead with you to the happy future you deserve.
I know you’ll understand that I can’t help looking back, as well. We met when I was discovering, well into midlife, things about myself that I’d only known hazily before. You were on the verge of discovering, as you just approached midlife, the confident, dominant, charismatic self that was ready to emerge. You taught me things about myself and life that I needed to know, and, once my wild crush on you finally settled into acceptance of the fact that I wasn’t really what you needed as a lover, I took joy in what I could be; a firm friend who understands the impulse that brought youngsters to their knees before you, and also understands the traumas you’ve been through, and has comforted you if I could when you needed comfort.
I found that I couldn’t honestly be submissive, or poly, or either a sadist or a masochist, and certainly not dominant, but through you I could understand those mindsets. I understood when you told me that you’d never felt safe as a woman, and I knew some of your very good reasons. I learned to say “he” instead of “she” when you came to that stage, and knew when you started taking testosterone to counteract side effects of menopause that there was more to it than that. I was pretty sure, when you said you didn’t think you’d ever go as far as having top surgery, that eventually you would. I do mourn, privately, for the breasts you’d been binding for years, but whose image rising above the waters of a hot tub fueled my dreams and fantasies during sex for several years. That didn’t keep me from always being supportive, and always treasuring the times we still spend together now and then to catch up on each other’s lives.
I couldn’t be the writer and editor I am without what I’ve learned from being close to you. You’ve seen a few of my stories that were inspired by you, but I don’t think you’ve seen them all, which is probably just as well. You did find out that the only true-life story I’ve written was about the time you gave me lessons in spanking at a Fetish Fair play party so I could impress a girl who was focused on spanking, more spanking, and nothing but spanking. Let’s just say it worked out well.
I’m overwhelmingly glad that life is working out well for you now. And I suspect you secretly—or not so secretly—share my glee at the fact that a long-time butch lesbian has now transitioned to being male (not unusual in itself) and is marrying a biological male to set up a household where both identify as gay men.
You’ve written some fine stories for my books in the past, until you didn’t feel right writing lesbian characters any more. If I ever get the chance to edit a truly queer, beyond trans (or any other labels) anthology, you’d better write for me again. You don’t have any excuses left.
Wishing all of you all the happiness you deserve, and then some,
P.S. And thanks for the memories.