Another note/update from the partner who was excluded from a women’s-only dance yesterday:
UPDATE: It’s been quite an emotional roller coaster. I want to make a clarification: This is a private group of women holding a fundraiser. It is NOT a PFLAG group. PFLAG, itself is trans-inclusive and trans-friendly. In addition, trans-women are welcomed at the dance. (Not sure about people who don’t identify as either binary but that’s a different issue.)
I was really trying to express how I felt as a partner who has lost this part of her community. It just hurts.
I understand that we no longer belong as a couple in a women’s-only space. In the meantime, if this helped spur a little more discussion, I’m glad.
I love my partner fiercely. He’s very brave and loving human being and I’m lucky to have him by my side.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
So this isn’t PFLAG’s problem, but it’s still our community’s problem, in my opinion. In reading over the comments – I know, I know, I’m not supposed to do that – over at AmericaBlog where John Aravosis wrote about it, the one thing I’m struck by is how quickly this became about the trans guy’s identity and why he would want to go to a women’s only dance.
And you know, that’s the whole problem, isn’t it? Why should someone’s transition negate the partner’s identity as a lesbian? The whole idea that they wouldn’t “look like” a lesbian couple is infuriating – the same argument was made against butch/femme couples back in the day.
Here’s the thing: as a community, could we maybe start to acknowledge that people transition, and that they have histories, and identities, and life experiences, all of which may not tidily map onto our models of “straight” and “gay”? Can we allow trans couples to decide how to negotiate their own identities as individuals and couples instead of everyone else telling us where we belong? Can a trans guy honor his own past and his relationship’s past without other trans men telling him he’s sold out his gender and trans people everywhere? Are lesbians really not used to guys transitioning yet?
A little compassion would be awesome from groups who are now and who have been, historically, excluded discreetly and explicitly, kindly and hatefully.
Trans partners are often a wrench in the homo/hetero works, but sometimes we get eaten by the gears.