What Partners Think

Here are a few new (to me) resources for partners:

One blog post by a trans person who was happily surprised by a relationship with a cis person, and who goes on to interview a few partners on their experience of being partnered to someone trans:

Neither Pity Nor a Fetish

And otherwise, there’s the mypartneristrans reddit.

In the first set, there’s a list of the “allowable” types of partners – “boxes”:


1. Straight cis man is with a straight trans woman because she ‘probably’ still has a penis and, therefore, ‘he’s probably actually gay’.
2. Straight cis man is with a straight trans woman AND HE IS DECEIVED.
3. Straight cis woman stays with her transitioning partner, is to be pitied.
4. Straight cis woman is with a straight trans man AND WHERE IS THE PENIS, WE MUST ASK WHERE THE PENIS IS, CAN YOU FIND IT FOR US?
5. Gay cis woman is with a straight trans man, and that’s okay, because we all knew that ‘he’ was actually a lesbian woman all along.

And I wonder where these come from. When I was coming up, only #s 2, 3, & 5 existed, and I didn’t fit into any of them very well either, unless you see me as the “to be pitied” type, which I don’t.

Always useful to see/hear more partners speak up.

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the links! I just wish my wife would seek out some of these. How do you get a spouse to better educate herself on how others have done this? Every time she reads a story of a successful couple managing to stay together through a transition it puts her back at ground zero! My wife is like you she doesn’t want to be pitied but doesn’t want to be seen as a lesbian either.

  2. I think partners are devalued for exactly the same reasons trans people are. How could you value someone’s relationship with a trans person if you don’t value trans people in the first place?

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