In the mid-90s my business and finances were in bad shape. I rented a $100 a month two-room office and I ended up living in it at night.
The landlord and landlady, also broke, kindly allowed that, and allowed me to use the bathroom in their neighboring office to shower and so on, even though it didn’t have warm or hot water. They cut me slack when I couldn’t even pay the $100 per month on time. They allowed me to use their insurance agency office after hours to teach private computer classes and make an extra $20 here and there.
They were good friends and almost surrogate parents. For years, they saw me every day, and then we lost contact.
Two days ago, I visited them and in a preparatory call, I warned them not to freak out because I look very different now. “What, you’re a girl now?” asked the lady. “Actually, yes,” I replied, amazed she’d say that, *unprompted*.
So, I walked in looking as I do now, and the husband was beaming and shaking my hand, and the lady gave me a big hug and said “I don’t care, to me you’re still my [old name] and I still love you.”
It felt SO nice. This was in a small town in rural Nevada, where one might think folks would be less accepting, but instead they have been wonderful.