One thing I remember as vividly as anything about the days of my youth was the experience of being a girlfriend. To girls, I mean. Now I only had a vague conception of what was really going on at the time, I mean I knew I was a girl inside but I only somewhat grasped that what made it so easy for girls I knew to befriend me and talk to me was the "girlness" about the way I thought and communicated.
In the days before I was so obsessed with beating this thing and being rid of it, I was, looking back, much less skilled at faking "being a guy" on that level. I just assumed that "I thought the way I thought" more so than recognizing a gendercentric "flavoring" to it.
Oh there were guys I was close to, of course. It would have been pretty unthinkable to avoid all male interaction, even for a girl. But they were, as guys tend to be, all very surface and superficial in content. Guys never talk about how they FEEL except under duress. But with my girlfriends it was different, there was a connection. From high school all through my young adult years, there was always at least one girl and often several that - had my plumbing been right - I'd have been doing sleepovers with and painting each others nails.
I've missed that over the time since, though on occasion there revives a taste of it. It's one of the more pleasant aspects of transition - getting back in touch with that part of womanhood. One of the most precious parts of the last year is the several girlfriends I've discovered since I came out. some very old friends from high school, some I only casually knew before and some I only just met in the last year.
If there was anything in life I was ever good at it was being the listening ear, the sympathetic voice, the crying shoulder if need be to girls who were my close friends and now, while sometimes it's me doing the crying, it's wonderful to have those conversations again.
Those of you I count as my girlfriends, please know that you have done more than you can know to help me down this road, just by being that alone - every girl needs her best girlfriends and I'm glad to know I have some.