I was once friends with a woman who felt like she was trapped in a man’s body. She was a lesbian. She was one of the kindest persons I knew, a person who was always there when I needed someone to talk to. We used to live near each other and I could be found hanging out at her place. Her mother was one of the kindest souls in this planet, always showing a tough exterior, most of the time sounded like she wanted to scold us for being too noisy, but she was always concerned, always involved, always had a kind word or two to me.
Isabelle was always with Peach, an older girl who was her girlfriend. I used to think that Isabelle’s mom knew about her and Peach but the former allowed them to have sleepovers so who knew.
Back in the day, it was still frowned on to be gay or lesbian. It was not like now when members of the LGBTQ+ community are openly accepted by most everyone. Isabelle and I studied in a prestigious Catholic university so you can only imagine how the school was to them. But, I, along with six of our friends, accepted Isabelle for who she was.
We had a falling out, not due to conflicts or anything but distance. We just drifted apart. I saw her once at Ortigas. We were both working already then and she was so very different from the Isabelle that I knew. Still with a sweet smile, I believe still kind, but I felt the gap between us. It just wasn’t the same.
But I will remember Isabelle, the one trapped in a man’s body, one of my closest friends in college, with fondness.