With certain girlfriends, you can giggle about sexual history, analyse the who, the how, the what, the why, the where, the when. With other friends, sex sounds almost as impolite as the word, fuck.
Kiren is a sensuous and sexual being. He doesn’t shy away from talking sex.
Sunday Roast before he unveiled his name, he would sometimes keep me in stitches talking about sex. After I was introduced to Kiren, I then started feeling quite confused and uncomfortable, listening to such talk.
There were other things I had to learn as his friend.
The verb is ‘transitioning’. Not, ‘transgendering’.
My name is Kiren, he told me at the start of the year. It sounds like- I’ve been called – all my life. I figured if I were to choose a name like say, “Michael”, someone could be calling out to me on the street, “hey, Mike, Michael!” and I might not realised I’m being addressed!
I listen to him describe the pain of the female body. I am a doctor’s wife who had my elbow and lower arm reconstructed in February. I am also a dancer, my body is my instrument. I cannot begin to fathom what it is like, to feel, so deceived by your physical self. I also cannot understand, the courage it must take, to decide on elective surgery.
I am scared. I am worried for you. How will you meet someone again? Who will want to be with you? Is it really necessary?
Yes. He said firmly. Yes.
Spice is 59 and a good male friend. With Spice, I can speak without editing my thoughts, because that’s how good a friend I think him to be. But even then, Spice doesn’t talk to me about sex, nor that T-hormone makes you feel like puberty again, horny and hungry all the time! (Kiren)
More importantly, Spice asked. Is he still the friend you know? Is he still the same person?
Yes, I said firmly. Yes.
Then everything else doesn’t really matter. You’ll get used to, him.
Kiren? Why do you always talk to me so openly about sex? Do you think that’s still appropriate with your transitioning and as a male friend?
Woman! Don’t you get it? I’m talking to you, Tammy L Wong! I know I can say anything to Tammy L Wong! She’s un-shockable! Some people you know better not say it as is, but to you? My god, I can talk to you about anything! Our friendship has never been about gender! I am still the same person that hates cruelty to dogs and animals!
Hey, do you need another drink? Let me go start a tab…
Thank you, Kiren. I get it now. Drink with me. Here’s to you, to us. To Friendship.
*Photographs of Sunday Roast and Max the Bearded Collie were taken at the Crown and Two Chairmen, 31-32 Dean Street, Soho