With November being Trans-Awareness month, I thought it might be apropos to write about this topic. I’ve had a few people ask me about the piece that got published in Minerva Rising about loving beyond gender. It was an excerpt from my memoir “Scenes from a Not-So-Ordinary Life” that I am still working on finishing. Some of my readers have shared their thoughts about this and inquired about my own experience some 16 or so years ago when I was in a relationship with a woman who had transitioned to male.
It was a confusing time for me which I’m sure those of you who may be going through this now with your partner who is trans can relate to. It was the second of the five years we were together that I watched him administer injections of testosterone weekly to assist in his transition. It seems so long ago but I still recall agonizing during the entire two weeks while he was away undergoing surgery, thinking about our future, not knowing what to expect once his change was complete or how I would feel about him or if I’d still be attracted to him. Despite the unknown, I couldn’t wait to see the outcome of the end result so that he didn’t have to “fake” it any longer.
After he transitioned, we kept to ourselves instead of being sociable because of the negative experiences we were forced to deal with. He had lost his family’s support but it hurt him, as well as I more, being disrespected by folks we thought were our friends and from a community that preaches about embracing individuality, diversity and acceptance. With all the controversy, we became introverted. My dreams, like nightmares being haunted by my own fears invading my unconscious mind like a hostile takeover. What would I tell my lesbian friends or how would I explain “him” to my family? If I stayed with him did that mean I wasn’t really gay?
What made it even more difficult was that I was transitioning too, trying to find my place in this leather world, discovering what made me tick. My needs, goals, desires, wants, everything was in a free fall. But I became too consumed with what others thought rather than what I felt inside. Once I realized that I knew what loving beyond gender meant. It has everything to do with acceptance, respect and what’s truly in your soul regardless of biology. I loved him so deeply that I no longer had a need to question who I was based on what society said I should be. Who he was inside didn’t change, he was just now physically who he was meant to be. It took a lot of courage for him to make that decision and I admired him greatly and anyone else whose made this choice. To this day when I see him out and about, I still get those giddy butterflies, like a sixteen year, old on her first date, when he says “hello darling” in his slow, southern, Louisiana drawl.
Society tries to keep us in nice little boxes, male, female, straight, gay, bi, trans. Labels should only be used as descriptors not identity. So, if you find yourself struggling when your partner tells you that they are transitioning, always remember, the person you are in love with is that same person who eventually, will look like a better version of themselves. I am so thrilled these days that there is a higher presence and visibility in this community in support of trans folks. I am filled with so much joy that the evolution of our community has embraced this, reminding me of how far we’ve come.
Any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.