There is a little Chinese restaurant here in town owned by this little old immigrant woman who has to be in her 80s at this point. She’s a wonderful little lady who greets everyone with “My Friend!” We’d been going to this restaurant for years, but for various reasons we stopped after Sam was born.

About a year into my transition, many years after we’d stopped going, I went back to the restaurant for takeout. I expected the owner wouldn’t remember me, much less recognize me. I was completely wrong, she not only immediately knew who I was, but she was DELIGHTED by my transition.

Tonight we decided to get Chinese takeout. I walk into the store and there’s nobody at the front counter. From the back of the restaurant I hear “I’m back here!” She gets up from a table she was working at and comes jaunting up to the front of the restaurant, excited to see me. “My my my, look at you! Oh give me a hug! It’s so nice to see you! I love your curly hair!” (This is all in the thickest Chinese accent you can imagine)

The woman is truly a treasure, and it’s so great to have people like this who really get it.