As far back as he could remember, Andrew had never seen the boy in him everyone insisted he be, because of parts he was born with. He felt as much a girl as his sister, Susan. He enjoyed dressing in her clothes and wearing his mother’s makeup.
But each time he tried to be her – to be Ansely – his family refused to let him. His church tried to correct him and his peers bullied him.
One day, he gave up, and it was then his family realized he wasn’t playing a game or going through a phase. It was then they got help he needed, a psychologist named Randolph who diagnosed Andrew as transgender.
But Andrew was tired of the bullying and the hate, and fearful of what else awaited him should he make the transition. Even after transferring to the Berryman Financial office in Boston – a place more accepting of the LGBT+ community, he found enough hate to make him wary.
Kevin’s wife filed for divorce, ending a sixteen-year marriage Kevin struggled to save – if only for his sons, Carl and Dennis. Now, his bed felt empty as did his heart – and that was before he met the other man she’d left Kevin for, with whom she was happy.
Andrew was someone Kevin could talk with, who listened and understood his pain.
Though Kevin was uncertain about Andrew’s gender and what others would think of his friendship with Andrew, he was not going to walk away after witnessing bullying Andrew received. He fought his discomfort with Andrew’s gender identity and became an ally, and someone Andrew could talk with also.
A friendship formed. A friendship that helped each gain strength, to stand tough through their struggles.
But Andrew couldn’t help wishing for more than friendship.