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"I am legally changing my name due to gender discomfort with my assigned one. My best friend of many years has expressed intense discomfort and non-support. She said she hates my taken name, would not call me anything going forward, and then repeatedly called me my assigned name without apology. Obviously she doesn’t understand, and I don’t know what to do."

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

It doesn’t sound to me like this person could possible qualify as your ‘best friend’ … unless, of course, ‘best friend’ TO YOU actually means ‘WORST FRIEND.’

I read a lot of books about success, focus, getting what you want, staying positive, etc etc. All of them, without fail, will have a chapter on how the people in your life can affect you. Think about the people in your life who don’t treat you well, make you feel bad about yourself, make you feel stupid, give you no respect, lower your self-esteem… Seeing them ONCE can ruin your entire day, talking to them ONCE can put a black cloud over your entire week, interacting with them ONCE can you leave your mind numb for an entire month. Is that really worth it?

Cut this person out of your life. You absolutely SHOULD NOT be surrounded with people that don’t treat you with the respect, love, and support you deserve. You might think ‘oh man, cutting this person out of my life is going to be hard’ but you guys SPOILER ALERT: life is hard.

Do what you have to do to be happy. Get rid of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in your life that makes you the opposite of happy and be confident that you should have so much more because you absolutely, without a doubt, deserve the entire world.

Kristin Says:

When I finished reading your question my very first thought was, “That is NOT a best friend.” Turns out that was also Dannielle’s first sentence… which means you have a unanimous decision from Everyone Is Gay: this person is not treating you with the respect that we should have for a stranger, let alone for our closest friends.

I think you should write her a letter. The letter should explain, one more time, how you felt in relation to your gender over the past however-many-years. It should explain that you – just like any other person – need the support and understanding of those around you. It should explain that you always are willing and ready to talk to her about questions or things that might confuse her. It should explain that you can no longer surround yourself with people who do not have the respect to value you as the person you are. It should be signed not with your assigned name, but withyour name.

Perhaps the finality of the whole thing will wake her up. Perhaps it won’t. I agree 100% with Dannielle, though, if she continues to disrespect you and continues to hurt you – you have to cut her out of your life. Trust me when I tell you that no best friend would ever, ever make you feel this way.

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