I have known my friend, Kitt, for some 14 years. He was a trailblazer in the FTM community in the metropolitan DC area back when it was not safe or cool. Kitt started a website for FTMs back in the days when many people still used 1200 baud modems. The website is now defunct, but he listed all sorts of resources, and there was a chat function. Guys all around the nation made use of his website with its chat function and the resources listed. (See here for all that I can find.) So Kitt was not only a local hero, but a national hero as well.
Kitt appeared on a national TV talk show — and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one it was. He used the pseudonym “Alex Fox” in those old days to protect his identity. To call him a trailblazer would be an understatement.
Kitt organized a Yahoo list-serve called Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis Guys. The list-serve still exists, but is mostly inactive. Through the list-serve, weekly Wednesday night social gatherings were held at a Friendly’s restaurant. It was there that I first met Kitt, and he has been a friend (and neighbor) ever since.
I just got word that Kitt passed away last night. He was just 60 years old — 2 years older than me. It would not be right to say that Kitt’s death was unexpected, but it would be right to say that I am shocked beyond belief. Kitt had a hard life, and he was not always the best friend, but he was the best friend he could be, given his circumstances. Among other things, his was the loudest voice warning me to not get involved with my psychopathic wife and he spent hours and hours and hours trying to convince me to stay clear. He did his best, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Even so, he did support me with regret when I got married, and he and his partner and his son were the ones who filmed my wedding video, which I won’t post again. Here are some photographs from all the years I knew Kitt:
Well, the photos are not in chronological order.
- Celebrating my birthday in October 2009, shortly before my first trip to the UK to meet Paula
- Celebrating Kitt’s birthday, June 2010, just before I married Paula
- ~2006, a trip to Sandy Point, MD, with friends
- Next 6, photos, June 2003, celebrating Kitt’s “barbeque birthday bash” in his backyard — same yard I can now look across the fence and see from my own backyard
- A glass of beer that Kitt bought me at the American Legion in 2010 while I was struggling to understand why my wife wasn’t sending me the damn (nonexistent) deed to her house
- July 2010 — a big storm with tornadoes hit Greenbelt during the month that Paula was here to marry me, and a tree fell in Kitt’s yard
- Back to June 2010, me giving Kitt a hug (and getting a hug) for his birthday
- July 2010, the pretty box that Kitt hand-made, containing the wedding DVDs for me and Paula
- Next two photos — July 4, 2010 — Kitt and friends helping me show what an authentic American 4th of July was like — unappreciated by her
- Last photo, again, another shot from Kitt’s birthday in June 2010
- The “gang” at Kitt’s birthday bash in 2003
A dark and sideways video of Kitt with my voice the loudest. Except for the wedding video, it’s the only video I have of him.
From the photos, it’s easy to see that Kitt was loved by many. Dear God, look mercifully over Kitt. Forgive his failings, and honor his integrity. Comfort those left missing the hole he will leave in our lives. Take away his suffering, and let him understand that those of us who knew him appreciated his gifts. I wish I’d seen that last text message, and had his company one more time.
Hug the people in your lives who’ve made a difference, even if they are not perfect. I could not have transitioned from female to male if I had not met Kitt and the wonderful group of friends he banded together. I am very sad tonight.
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