So I kinda love this brief piece on Medium which is kind of a big yawn’s take on someone’s spouse turning out to be a woman, and yet I kinda don’t like it too.
Let me explain: there have always been partners of trans people who are a-okay with their partner’s transitions. It’s not news; there doesn’t have to be tragedy; some people adjust and move on.
For others, not so much.
And sometimes when I read pieces like this one, by any partner, which flourishes the NBD as a kind of fanfare of its own, I wonder: why? Were you forced to write the piece? Do you need to point out that those pitiful wives who do have a hard time making sexual and other adjustments just aren’t as liberated and groovy as you?
Mind you, these are all things I have been accused of. I’m in a glass house here — I’ve heard many times that I am (1) a cheerleader, (2) a gatekeeper, (3) an exploitive asshole, (4) a doormat. (I’ve never worked out how I can be all of the above, to be honest, if anyone wants to help me work that out.)
So yay! It wasn’t a big deal for you. Trans women in particular should know that it’s not impossible to transition from within a relationship. I will honestly say that my wife and I wouldn’t have made it – not only because I was already gender-y or because I’m awesome (she would say I’m both) but because my partner valued our relationship to such a degree that she was willing to include me in her decision-making around her transition.
That is, it’s not so much about winning the partner lottery for the trans woman; often it’s about the trans person considering the other person and the relationship as much as they consider themselves. And sometimes it doesn’t work out because it doesn’t; relationships don’t, a lot, and that’s okay. A big change like transition is a lot to get through together. No one has failed if it doesn’t work out.
More narratives by more partners, please. And let’s all honor each others’ stories, struggles, and lack of struggles.