Friday, June 23, 2023

BFF – Not!

What might have been: Me and my BFF
Billy and I were best friends throughout grammar school. I can’t remember how we became friends, but we had a lot in common and that is what probably drew us together. We were both Polish, which was a rare commodity in our neighborhood, we both went to the same church (a Polish parish, needless to say), we were both artists, which put us on the outs with the school’s “in crowd,” and we both were fascinated with the opposite sex. We had crushes on certain girls, but we both were also scared of them and never did anything about our crushes, at least not in grammar school.

Around puberty, maybe in the 7th or 8th grade, I remember Billy hinting that we dress as girls for Halloween. At that time, I knew something was up with me gender-wise, but I didn’t know what. The idea of dressing as a girl for Halloween was very attractive, but I was also in public denial about my gender issues and told Billy that I had no interest in his Halloween costume plans.

I don’t remember what I wore for a costume that Halloween, but I do recall that I went out with my usual Halloween trick and treat partner in crime, my other best friend, who lived across the street.

In school the next day, Billy mentioned that he did dress as a girl; he trick and treated at my house and was disappointed that I was not home to see him in his costume. Note that Billy never before trick and treated at my house, so he made a special effort that night to show me his girl costume.

Around this same time, I remember that one of us decided that we should adopt girl names (why - I don’t remember) and for days, he addressed me by my girl name, which was “Susan” and I addressed him by his girl name, which I cannot recall now.

As I mentioned above, we were both artists. He was very good at painting and I was a very good at sketching. As an outlet for my budding trans psyche, I spent a lot of my free time back then sketching males wearing female clothing. I must have killed a forest doing it. One day, Billy mentioned that he had been doing something similar and another day, he showed me some of his sketches. My reaction was to show disinterest.

But my real reaction was fear. I was in uncharted waters; I did not know what was going on with him (or me). I had enough trouble sorting out what was going on with me without having to deal with what was going on with my best friend, so I basically ignored him and I think that was the beginning of the end of a beautiful friendship. We hung out less during our last days in grammar school and ended up going to different high schools and were both out of each others' lives.

I think Billy was reaching out to me. He probably was just as confused as I was and maybe he thought he and his best friend would be better able to work things out as a team rather than solo. If that was the case, he was probably correct and I very much regret not reaching out to him and trying to work out together what the heck was going on. And so it goes.

Over the years, I learned through a mutual friend that Billy got married and lives two towns away, but our mutual friend said nothing about anything trans and I certainly did not ask. I recently found his Facebook page and there was no hint about being a crossdresser. 

I often think about Billy and wonder if he really was trans (or was it just my ’magination) and if he ever did anything about it. I often hoped that one day he would show up at my support group and we could become best friends again except that this time we would be girlfriends.

(This post originally appeared in September 2008 and was updated recently. It inspired me to create the “BFF” Someday Funnies that appeared here on Tuesday.)

Wearing Avon
Wearing Avon (recently added to Miss Stana’s wardrobe)

Janek Traczyk
Janek Traczyk femulating Slawa Przybylska on Poland’s version of television’s Your Face Sounds Familiar.


  1. Since you now relatively "out" as it were, why not contact Billy and feel him out?

  2. AnonymousJune 23, 2023

    The road not taken? Don’t put off till tomorrow what you should have done yesterday

  3. AnonymousJune 25, 2023

    Your story touches a familiar chord from my childhood. When I was young I couldn't understand why, but I felt this urge deep inside me to try on girl's clothes. On occasion I had dreams in which my cousin Lisa would come to play and when she arrived, my mother announced, "Michael wanted to wear a dress today," and I'd shyly emerge in a party dress. Of course everyone admired me and of course it was a dream. I did not have sisters and up until that point never trespassed into mom's closet.

    In sixth grade, my best friend Jerry, out of nowhere suggested we both dress up as girls for Halloween. I was utterly shocked at the idea, but we asked our mothers if we could and to my surprise my mother said, "yes." So did Jerry's.

    On Halloween, mom helped me dress up. I don't know whose outfit it was, but it wasn't mom's. I wore a red skirt, black pantyhose, a slip, blouse, and a navy jacket. I suppose it was a 1970's secretary look. My hair was even long enough that mom fixed it like a girls. She put lipstick and earrings on me too.

    When it was time to step out of the house and meet up with Jerry I was terrified. He was all dolled up too wearing one of his sister's dresses which I think she had worn to her 8th grade graduation. I felt embarrassed, but also delighted to be walking the streets in a skirt and pantyhose.

    Jerry never hinted that this adventure was anything other than a lark. He moved to Texas after school and sadly died at a young age. I don't know if he continued to crossdress, but that Halloween was a scary, thrilling, and wonderful time.

    I've only publicly femulated a few times since, but love it when I do.