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 cruelly.
One day, he gave up and it was then his family realized he wasn’t playing a game or going through a phase, and got him the help he needed, a psychologist named Randolph who diagnosed Andrew as transgender.
But, now, 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.
Then came Kevin, who visited Berryman Financial every Friday. Andrew was Kevin’s contact.
Kevin’s wife had had him served with divorce papers, ending a sixteen-year marriage Kevin had struggled to save – if only for his sons, Carl and Dennis. His bed felt empty and the phone calls with her now lacked the “I love you” at the end. And, then, he met the other man she’d left Kevin for, with whom she was happy.
Andrew became someone Kevin could call and talk with, who listened and understood the hurt he was feeling. Andrew was the first person from Berryman to attend karaoke Kevin sang each Thursday at the lounge of the hotel he stayed at. Andrew was the first contact at Berryman who thought Kevin knew his job and didn’t need constant supervision.
Though Kevin was uncertain with Andrew’s gender and concerned that others would think he had a romantic interest in 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.
Soon, a friendship formed from which they gained strength to help each other through their struggles. But Andrew couldn’t help wishing for more than friendship.