Significant Others

Specifically, My Significant Other

There is someone very special in my life, and I feel truly (and this is one of the rare times I’ll say this word) blessed. I feel blessed because I feel more than just lucky and more than just happy. I’ve found someone who helped me find my happiness, helped me build it, helped me nurture it, and who has helped me keep it.

We’ve been together for 4 years, enough to know enough about each other to read each other’s minds (ALL THE TIME, seriously, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s creepy). Enough to have been through enough to know how crazy we are, and if it’s the kind of crazy we’re OK with.

I call her my girlfriend, but she’s much more than that. She’s as much a part of my life as I am (in mine, and in hers). She worries when I worry, although to be honest I worry enough for the both of us. I’ve helped redefine her, and she’s helped redefine me. And together we explore this unknown world and learn what we can. We never really argue. Well, we never really disagree much. We just discuss, as in debate, analyze, lay out the options and explore, and come to a conclusion. It helps that we are both very level headed, so whenever we do disagree, we calmly proceed to discuss the issue at hand. Without her, I would not be who I am.

We

It has become almost impossible to talk about my experiences in first person, since she’s always part of everything I do. We went to the movies this weekend. We went on vacation. We are going to have surgery. We are transgender. Yes, WE are. Because whatever I go through, she goes through. Which means that everytime I question my gender, she questions my gender, and her gender, and just gender; she feels my dysphoria with me, and she knows when I’m comfortable with myself, and when I’m not; everytime I face discrimination, she faces discrimination.

But enough about me (although it is about me, always). Significant Others also have their own concerns and fears, which by default become my concerns and fears. “What’s for dinner?” and “who will do the laundry?” are common concerns she expresses. But there are also questions like “what am I?” and “what do people perceive me as?” and… well she’ll just have to fill us in later.

Support

Although she has gone far beyond the definition of supportive, one of her main delusions is that she’s not supportive enough. She told me that sometimes she hesitates when saying something for fear I might disagree or take it the wrong way (not that I ever do), and make me feel as if she’s not on board with everything. “Well,” I said to her, “being supportive doesn’t mean agreeing with me all the time. It means challenging me enough to think so that I can make the right decision.” And thus she continued on to express her fears, concerns, and worries.

Statistics Don’t Lie

5 responses to “Significant Others

  1. Thank you honey for saying such nice things. I just want to fill in some blanks you left here and there.
    Being the Significant Other of a transgender person is not easy (I am not saying it is hard). It is just different, it brings up concerns, issues and challenges that most people don’t even think about. And I don’t say all of this to complain, I usually say all of this in one sentence: Honey, you make my life interesting.

    A couple of comments on Support:

    1. When you are not trans it is sometimes hard to support every single move a trans person wants to make, we started with binding? surgery? what next? hormones? legal gender change? We still have a ton of things to question and go through, but my main challenge is How do I support you? Let’s take surgery as an example, when all of this was cooking it was always hard to understand, what should I do? Which direction should I push you to (go with surgery or convince you not to do it)? What I found most useful is to first forget about any labels, forget about MY fears and concern and look into my honey’s eyes in that moment you can truly see what is right, when you know what makes them feel comfortable, when you see the happiness they irradiate when they feel just themselves. That exactly is where you should be supportive. In our case I knew that ever since the binding began a new level of confidence came about and surgery would only enhance that even more. And that is what we did.

    2. When you have doubts I also have doubts, and how can I support you if I am not even sure. That is when I feel that I am not supportive enough. Now, after we’ve discussed that, I know that having doubts is also a way of support, is a way of questioning, analyzing and caring about everything, caring about you.

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