The turn of the century saw a rapid rise in awareness and acceptance of gay men. This in turn paved the way to the ‘Gay Best Friend’ trend.
We saw it on TV& Movies - Carrie Bradshaw had Stanford on Sex in the City, Mean Girls had Damien, George in My best friends wedding, the list is long. My own daughter’s best friend through High School and college was a gay man. Many saw the 'GBF' as a vital accessory, and it went a long way in steering the public perception of gay men from something to fear to something to embrace.
This trend is now being repeated in some places, specifically places I frequent. Only now it’s Transgender.
I was at a doctors appointment the other day, when the girl from the front desk came up to me and proudly showed me pictures, on her phone of course, of her best friend… in boy and girl mode. She was clearly happy to both have a transgender friend, and to let me know it. I have friends who, in social settings, are proud to mention that they have a transgender friend.
There are several sales clerks at local department stores that will seek me out whenever I enter their store. Not just for the sales opportunity, but by always giving me big hugs and praise in full view. They are publicly demonstrating that they accept transgender.
There are people I had no social media connections to before I came out, that now are on growing list of Facebook friends.
A trend? Yes, but these types of trends are started by people that enthusiastically embrace social change. They are the ones in society that recognize change and say yes to it, with their actions as well as their voices. The headlines are flooded with transgender support and it’s great. But the public stance of Target, Apple, Paypal, Deutsche Bank, NCAA and many others pales in comparison to the acceptances of the people like this. They are what will truly make transgender normal.