As many of us look at the prospect of missing our friends at least in person for a while, I want to share a post about lasting friendship.

The photo with this post says a thousand words on its own. This past February, my friend Eric and I recreated a photo his mom took of us over 30 years ago.

Eric and I shared a love for technology and experienced the evolution of personal computing together, both being lucky enough to have parents that encouraged our interest. We were very ahead of our time 😉

Our strong friendship, though centered around our common hobbies, also had a lot to do with our shared temperament. We spent countless hours learning about computers and creating things with them, not just playing games. Because of that shared time, I have the career I have now.

We had so much in common it was uncanny, except for one very big difference that would become obvious many years later.

While I considered Eric to be like a same aged brother from another mother, it would not be until many years later that he learned I was actually his sister from another mother.

Though we’ve lived in separate states for many years now, he was the first person I fully came out to as transgender. His response was exactly what I would have expected. A response filled with care, acceptance, and offers of support.

In many ways telling him was the first step to me being able to be the open and honest person I am today with the world at large.

Be there for your friends, with real support and emotion, and don’t be afraid to be your true self with your friends. It makes a huge difference in their lives no matter their location on this planet. Let’s all draw closer together during this time and let people know we care.

Thank you Eric! Love you buddy! Your sister, Ariana 🙂

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posted on Instagram – https://ift.tt/2wfU3sY

These images are exactly 3 years apart. I do work hard to stay in shape and keep that feeling of renewed life I had in the photo on the left (despite the difficult circumstances and major stresses I had at the time). At the time (20 months into transition), I was trying to figure out how to buy the condo I live in now (so my kids didn’t have to sleep on the floor in my one bedroom apartment), while still in the middle of a divorce, and thinking any surgery was years away as my company insurance plan still excluded all #transhealthcare. So, I was paying out of pocket for what little I could do to maintain my transition. Yet, look at that smile I still sported on the left. I knew I would get to the day depicted on the right.. today. Maintaining a positive and forward looking outlook is so essential to staying healthy and mentally strong during transition. I am physically and mentally stronger than the version of me on the left. I am also better at relationships, friendships, and just at being happy with who I am. All of this took concerted effort over time, while maintaing a positive view of what I had already made it through. Your circumstances compared to where you are trying to go may seem impossible. Your outlook influences so much of your eventual success. You will get there! If you can’t see past the forest of challenges have friends lift you on their shoulders! ❤💛🧡💜💙💚 (p.s. I find it funny how I just recently decided to go back to this hair length after all this time!) #nofilter #transitiontuesday #transformationtuesday #positivity #girlslikeus #transvengers #transpositivity #glowup #thisiswhattranslookslike #TransIsBeautiful #pride #lgbt #changes #hairchange #brunettetoblonde

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I don’t usually post #transformationtuesday posts because there are maybe less than 10 pictures in existence of me as an adult pre-transition without either my kids or other people in the photo. Even then, those that do exist have already been posted on my blog or website or in articles I have published such as those on HuffPost. I’ve decided to begin participating more often though by showing more of my early transition photos in comparison to now. On the left, I was 2 years into my transition and fresh off of yet another laser facial hair removal appointment. The right was from this past Sunday when I went to the #AuroraPrideParade. In both photos, I am feeling like myself, feeling strong, and like a general #badass for living as my #realself It gets better! #girlslikeus #transvengers #TransIsBeautiful #lgbtq🌈 #happypridemonth🌈 #happypride🌈 #transgender #wontbeerased #timeline #girlswithglasses #myhairtransitionedtoo

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