Dear Friend, I speak with you most days so it feels a little strange to write to you. However, though we talk a lot, we don’t always say the things that matter. I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much of an inspiration you’ve been to me. The first time we met we were the sole girls on a football course. You were brilliant, I was being taught “confidence in heading” the ball.Watching you skip past all the boys with style and confidence made me feel completely inadequate as a footballer, but, for cone, like I belonged. I wasn’t the only girl refusing to do handstands, or wear dresses to the school disco. You gave me confidence. It was silent but it helped me grow. Then we were plonked in the same class at school and I saw you grow out f football boots and into a whole manner of guises to try and fit in. Because you pushed the boundaries, you were given the brunt of the name slinging, called out for muddy knees and embarrassing cock-sure teenage boys with your silky skills. I watched you blossom, bloom, and then break under the pressure. It was hard and I wanted desperately to fix it for you. I tread two steps behind as you boldly came out, explored and experimented. I followed. We struggled standing out in small-minded spaces and being called out in ‘supportive’ spaces: "But you’re too feminine, you’ve got long hair, you’re not members." I watched as things took their toll and you found a mirror with a distorted reflection; whilst we all saw a brilliant, beautiful, kind, funny, generous friend, you saw something else. Even so, you kept going, you faced the dark and you discovered the light. You didn’t ‘find’ yourself, you faced yourself and continue to search for yourself to this day. Your strength inspires me. It has helped me when I have broken. You’ve picked up the spare partsand shown me how they fit back together. You are so strong and I am certain you are oblivious to this strength. So I’m telling you and I’m making a vow to tell you more. In person. Dearest, oldest friend. You are brilliant!