I have read several blogs on here about relationships with trans people. Not the kind you get from uninformed people, but the kind that come from the people within them. You know, it is not a very promising scenario.
Any trans person can tell you that while you loose many things when you transition, it’s the relationships that seem to disappear the fastest. For most people the issue of trans people is very cut and dry. I guess for the most part it is true, you are either cool with it or you’re not. Whatever your motives or logic may be, some people are predestined to be open minded.
At any rate, I digress. Where I was going with this is that significant others seem to be the area of most heated contention. I figured that myself being in an open and functional relationship that it might be most beneficial for me to share my perspective. (And if my girlfriend wants to write a rebuttal I will gladly post it here as well for you to read)
First of all, and I can’t stress this enough. If you are just starting out in a relationship, and you are in the least big gender dysphoric, TELL YOUR PARTNER! If they have issue with it, then it is way better to know now than after you’re seriously vested in the relationship. Be up front, be frank, walk in with loads of information and resources to share. If your partner is seriously interested in you, it may take some time to come to terms with the whole possibility but it is important for them to know. Make sure to answer any of their questions to the best of your knowledge, and whenever possible help them find places to do more research on their own. The internet is a wealth of credible (and quite a bit of not so credible) information so it is easy to find answers to even the most complex of questions.
If this person would rather talk to others in similar situations, there are plenty of us, including our partners, that are more than happy to answer questions that may not be easy to answer. You know the stuff like “My boyfriend likes to crossdress, does that make him gay?” To answer the question: Maybe, but it has no bearing on whether your boyfriend may or may not be homosexual; chances are, if they told you about their crossdressing, that likely they are more into you than your brother if you know what I mean.
Now that we covered the best case scenario, the other possibility, worst case scenario, your significant other will flip out and dump you, tell your friends, and post on your Facebook hateful messages. In that case, well, that bitch is psycho, and you can pretty much use that as your defense. It’s not uncommon for people to not be okay with this, and you shouldn’t force it upon them. Most people that flip off the deep end are compensating for insecurities of their own.
The thing in this to remember is that mate selection is important, and while nobody wants to get involved with someone based on personality alone, it really needs to be at the forefront when looking for a long term relationship. You have to remember that while girl A may be hot, she belongs to the KKK and likes to go to sunday school in her free time. Girl B on the other hand, is hot, but she likes to go to human rights rallys and is a vegan. While these are very extreme examples, I know you can identify the person that is most likely to be cool with your trans tendencies. Okay, if you’re scratching your head, it’s girl B… At any rate, if you’re just hooking up with someone as a f-buddy, then treat it as such, do your business and move on. But if you’re truly looking for a serious relationship, a little targeted selection will greatly increase your chances of success. As a note in this, a beautiful personality is, as corny as it sounds, way more important than looks.
This brings about another side note, being in a relationship is supposed to make you feel special, wonderful, happy, and more. It has nothing to do with “looking good in pictures” and making “cute babies”.
Okay, now we have covered the basics of getting involved, in summery tell potential long term partners up front, the worst they can do is go psycho, in which case they lose credibility and face anyways. Best case, they will take a little adjusting but otherwise be cool to continue and find out more. A solid relationship is built upon a solid foundation. Understanding is the strongest foundation material of all, and upon understanding, everything else can be constructed to beat the most destructive forces known to relationships.
Now, lets say that you have been in a relationship for a long while, and you can’t hold it in any longer. You are going to have to realize that no matter the situation, your significant other is going to feel somewhat betrayed. Being lied to is terribly destructive to the foundation of a relationship. The thing you have to realize is that before all of this even occurs, a person likely has a pre-disposition to understand or be comfortable with gender variance or neither. This is something you may want to determine before you spill the beans. A lot of this understanding has to do with your behavior, if you go around being macho man, making fun of gay and trans people, you are breeding those behavioral traits in your partner.
I know that a lot of you are sitting out there shaking your heads saying no way Jose at that last concept, but it is entirely true. If you have been in a relationship for quite some time, take a serious look back at the way your behaviors relate to your partners responses. Nobody wants to be accused of toadyism, but seriously the obsequious nature of blossoming romance tends to change peoples perceptions of the world with a drop of a hat. Try it if you’re not sure, all of a sudden take a stand on something like um white versus yellow corn in tortilla chips, if you can back that stand with a valid well articulated argument in support of your corn favor, then your partner will likely follow suit. It doesn’t have to be an argument, stuff like saying “I like the flavor of the yellow corn better, it’s more earthy and tastes like something” then later, add that you should switch to yellow cornmeal for your hushpuppies because you think it makes for a more savory hushpuppy. You’re not telling your partner that yellow corn is the only corn, but instead you are indicating your favor of something that likely your partner has never thought about, has had no direct experience with, and really has no opinion of. By approaching a topic in this manner, your partner knows how you feel and feels as though they are developing their opinion of their own free will.
Exposure can be even more helpful to this cause than the power of suggestion. Find a relatively normal trans person (which is a challenge in its’ own right) and make them a family friend somehow. Exposure to other trans people will allow your partner to understand that trans people are not boogie monsters, and that being trans does not have to be a Jerry Springer episode.
Together, it would look something like:
Lets take for example, you love to go fishing and you talk about it all the time. However, your partner does not share the immediate love of fishing. Now they are either going to put their foot down and say not a chance, OR they are going to go along with you, and either pretend to like it to spend time with you, or actually like it and become involved. This translates directly to the trans scenario, they are either going to put their foot down, and not be okay with it, in which case there is no point trying to figure it out, or they are going to try to understand and want to work with you, which is a start, or they’re going to be heck yeah, lets do this!
Once you have worked on the backdrop, it is time for the big show. Pick a nice quiet time, setting up nothing suspicious. Perhaps a dinner at home together where you will have no interruptions for the night. Sit down, look your partner directly in the eyes and explain that you need to talk about something very serious in a cool calm sort of way. DO NOT beat around the bush, you do not want your partner to have time to start playing scenarios through their mind. Explain where you stand, how that applies to your relationship, and where you would like to be in the future. Then talk about it, do not let the situation get out of control, and maintain eye contact at all times. You need to make sure that your partner is aware that you are 100% devoted to answering their questions and concerns.
Okay, hopefully you read to this point before you did the above, this is where I tell you that this will take time to resolve, no matter how understanding your partner may or may not be, it will take time for all of the fallout to settle. I want you to know that you can not force a relationship to work, you must be fully aware of that. If the damage done by this is the catalyst of failure, then that’s all it will be. You have to know that sharing this part of yourself is part of growing as a person and as a couple.
It is at this point that I would like to take a moment and talk about those of the lesser faith. Crossdressers and transvestites are in a even more difficult position than a normal transsexual person. Both CD and TV people do not have to face the internal conflict of being TS. My advice is easy for the people in new relationships, go ahead and tell them, let them know up front, if it doesn’t work out, you really haven’t lost anything but some time. Where it gets tricky is when a TV or CD has been in a long term relationship and wants to begin sharing it with their partner… Well, I don’t have any good advice other than what I have already given. Unfortunately TV and CD people have a lot more to lose if their partner can’t accept them, and will not forgive them for deceiving them for so long, and there is really no good advice for the situation…
At any rate, remember good functional relationships will work it out, they are dynamic, and the people within them are dynamic. Everything can change at any moment and couples bound to stick together know that the direction in which things progress can be dictated by one person or the other, or even both people in unison. Trust, and understanding means that both people in a relationship can and will count on the each other to do what is in the best interest of the pair.
Being loved is worth every second of the journey.