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Somebody That I Used to Know

“Seriously Michelle, you are going to reference ‘Glee’ yet again? God, I think I’m going to try and find some handmade steampunk themed stirrup pants on Etsy rather than read more of this crap.” I hope not. In spite of my comedicly flat opening here it was my hope that we have something to talk about, plus you simply don’t have the ass for those pants. OK, so I was watching ‘Glee’ and heard the Gotye song, “Somebody That I Used to Know” and thought it was something I thought I would like to hear again. My spouse/sister looked it up on YouTube and we watched a delightful video by the original artist a couple dozen times.

I’d explain the song in detail, but honestly, you are already in front of a computer so go look it up and come back to reading this. Really, it’s worth it. If you are rolling your eyes because everyone already knows about this, all I can say is look, no one who has even read one of my posts before would fling the words “hip” or “with it” or “not pathetically dorky” in my general direction.

The reason this is so popular, other than the gratuitous use of a xylophone and naked people covered in paint, is that it speaks to a very universal phenomenon. To stay on topic and not just write a teenagery gushy tribute to the song, I’m going to take a big leap and say that so many of us in the transgender community have a collection of such somebody’s as a direct result of our existence. I think the goat man [Editors note: Gotye did not choose his name on account of his resemblance to a goat] said it best, “and that feels so rough”. It does feel rough.

Now, I’m not bringing this up as an excuse to air some grievances at individuals who turned away or instituted a policy of radio silence once I came out as trans. OK, maybe a little bit, but I’ll leave out names. Been down that road before in a blog from years past where I under estimated the tendency people have to dive 38 pages deep into a Google search of themselves. I got quite the verbal spanking and promised not to do that again.

Most of the people I came out to reacted way more favorably than I could have hoped for. I will say this, no one told me off or anything, well, except for that one time, but I don’t think that happens much anyway. I wrote to one of my oldest friends and let him know. We were best friends in the first grade and virtually inseparable through all of grammar school and high school, lost touch sometime in college and reconnected on Facebook a few years ago. Just last March he came to my dad’s wake and we pledged to get together for dinner and catch up. Anyway, I wrote him in December. Nothing. I pinged him on my old male Facebook account and asked if he got my letter. Nothing. Now that it’s late spring, I’m beginning to think he’s now just somebody that I used to know.

I had a very close friend in the Air Force whom I loved with an intensity that has only been surpassed by my love for my spouse/sister. We worked together, spent every day together, talked almost every night after I came back to Buffalo, and she even came to my wedding. I wrote her a long letter as well and received only deafening silence in return. Honestly, I would have well preferred a nice venomous “fuck you, freak” because at least then I could have mustered some righteous indignation over the severance of the relationship.

“But you didn’t have to cut me off; Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing… But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough… I guess I don’t need that though, and now you’re just somebody that I used to know.”  It’s true really; all of it. So you all don’t take this the wrong way, yeah, it hurts a little, but just part of life in general. On getting my letter they may very well feel exactly the same way. “Michael” was somebody who they used to know and just got the news that he’s no longer there, and maybe never really was to begin with. Hurt feelings in transition often go both ways, and as much as tell ourselves it’s really only about us, we know that isn’t true, even if we want it to be.

So, as with anything in life, I say goodbye to some old friends, embrace even tighter those who stayed, and welcome new one’s who are happy to know the real me. All said and done, it’s a pretty fair trade if you ask me.  Maybe not so rough after all.

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

9 responses »

  1. “Somebody That I Used to Know | Michellelianna”
    actually enables me imagine a small bit extra. I actually adored every individual component of it.
    Thanks -Shaun

  2. 760763 572346This put up is totaly unrelated to what I used to be looking google for, nevertheless it was indexed on the first page. I guess your doing something correct if Google likes you adequate to place you at the first page of a non related search. 449375

  3. Pingback: Somebody That I Used to Know Redux « Michellelianna

  4. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  5. I just got through writing a long email to the man who took me in last year when I had to move out of the house I shared with my wife and who was the very first to know that I was Deanna instead of the man he thought he had known for the past couple years through an International Men’s organization called the Mankind Project. At first he was very accepting of my transition, then cordial and finally he seemed to shut me out of his life emotionally so that he wouldn’t feel so bad kicking me out because I had become an inconvenience. I left thinking good riddance to him and now that I am happily settled into a new living situation I wanted to at least close the chapter of our lives together by inviting him to ask me on a date so that we could just have a fun night out together with no attachments or expectations of any future relationship. It may or may not happen and in my humble opinion, it will be his loss, not mine, if we don’t.

  6. I have experienced the never responding so called friend. Did it hurt, yes, did I do anything wrong, no. Did this happen long before I transitioned, sure. I’m not the only person that experienced this so I don’t let it get to me like used to let it. I look at it this way, they are leaving me alone so I can spend more time with the people that really matter to me, Isn’t that nice of them. Things change and so do each of us, I hope they find what their looking as I hope to find what ever I’m looking for at any given time.

  7. I’m glad I found your blog. You see things from a very similar point of view to mine. It helps me to sort out some of my own thoughts and feelings to hear them expressed by another from a similar perspective.
    It’s too bad that some people who we thought we could count on are too overwhelmed by our changes to remain by our sides, but it is also too bad for them, because I’m sure they feel that we somehow abandoned them too.
    I understand from your writing that you share my wish that people would understand that we are still the same people, they are just seeing a facet that was there but could not be shown.


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