Summer 2017: Fear of losing my relationship keeps me in the closet. I want to change but I don’t want US to change. How could I expect her to stay attracted to me as my body physically changes if I go through with taking hormones and live as a man? She has every right to say this isn’t for her. Deciding if and how she will deal with this isn’t something I can control. She can choose to care what people think or not. She can open up her mind and be curious with me or not. I remind myself that my feelings are valid but I cannot control other people with them.
Nonetheless, I feel delicate like my whole identity is a fresh open wound and there is no bandage large enough to cover it. Fear of serious discussions and judgement are suffocating because disapproval from my precious partner might cause me to disintegrate into thin air. My fear is that she will think I’m a freak just like the rest of the world or worse – I could lose her altogether.
Ultimately, I knew in my heart that I had to fully “come out” and transition as male. Anything less wouldn’t just be unfair to me; it would be unfair to her also. I would never want her to spend life with a person who is partially in hiding.
Conversations about my gender identity came up over a period of five years and our progress was marked by tiny steps forward and giant steps backward. I would question my gender identity out loud, we would talk about it, then I’d get scared and shove my suspicions and confusion back into the closet. I reverted to darkness, closing each door behind me until I only saw a sliver of light streaming through the crack against the floor as I back tracked and second guessed myself.
My communication was constantly hampered by the fact that I was unable to explain to someone else that which I was unable to explain to myself.
After years of intermittent discussions, we worked through everything and she stayed with me, supported me, remained attracted to me and now advocates for me and others. There can be such a massive difference between the initial reaction of a loved one and how they ultimately show up to support. Trans people take years to process and understand their gender identity. Loved ones can feel blind-sided because they have not had that same amount of time to process.
Outside of therapy, she was my first real advocate and with her support I was able to transition without feeling like I had to choose between the relationship or living as a man. Sometimes I wonder if I could have done it without her.
She says she fell in love with me as a human, not a gender. She is attracted to me as a person, not a part.
I am so grateful.
So, to you, I say thank you.
Reservation is gone and I hold you close, wanting to absorb you into me.
I watch your curiosity and your existence outside of labels and you impress me.
Now that my real self is no longer hiding, I gravitate to you even more and I feel the pull of the entire universe.
I am so in love with you. You are the only one I see. I feel so swept up in you, slept off my feet- feet just stable enough against a hard wood floor to be your knight in shining armor,
Because you deserve nothing less.
In your acceptance I found peace
And I didn’t have to lose you in order to find that peace.
Vulnerability surfacing as my outer shell softens and you get the authentic ME- the whole ME.
Hand in hand we show the world that trans people can live normal and happy lives too.