Hi K! Welcome to TG Guide. You are not alone - and this is a good place to share...I'm sorry you haven't found the 'right' person yet...but I do believe that with the advent of better understanding which is going to come, and I can attest to how quickly information is spreading, possibilities are out there for you finding that 'someone to love'. Don't give up hope --- be your beautiful self, and someone is going to see your light and gravitate towards it. GreenShade
Thank you for your comments above (Emma's post) --- from 'the other side' of it I have to say, looking back, and thinking of the assurances J gave me, you cannot totally know how transition is going to affect your life. you might know initially your sexual preference/interest/curiosities -- or maybe not. SRS seems to be a very individual need also. Your transition most likely will change the construct of your existence, and to a lesser degree it changes the construct of your partner's existence. Neither of you will be the same people you were when you began the journey. Will you grow together or apart? I do know that many couples DO stay together. So it can work. Start with honesty and communication --
I think there is a lot more to sexuality than 'parts" --- though definitely 'parts' can be large part of it. The gender 'switch' plays on not only physicality but emotional and psychological aspects of the individuals involved. Most cisgender women I have spoken to find it a 'mind warp' initially. Some experience more than others, less than others, but it's a lot of 'mind adjustment' -- change...human's seem to 'resist change' sooner than they 'accept change' --- HA!!! But it can and does happen with support, communication and honesty. Particularly between individuals that love and care for each other. For me, it was never so much about the 'parts' as it was 'not understanding the phenomena' (this was in the mid-1990's) and having no one to ask questions of or to give me support or acknowledgement for my own feelings. So I had to find out for myself what it all meant. It required me to be willing to change my perceptions about J and about my self -- ...
Thank you, Monica! I do think that TGGuide provides a great service to the transgender community at large. I am very fortunate to be able to contribute whatever I can by my experience. Sharing brings its own reward for which I am grateful -
I look forward to your contributions to others on this site, ALSO!
Bonnie and Usernameoptional - Thank you for your responses. I so wish that I had the information then that I have now! "Yes" to each person wanting to be his or her authentic self. So sad that so many of us have have had to suffer through the confusion and unhappiness over things we did not know, felt we could not change, desperately wanting different, feeling out all was out of our control -- unable to communicate our deepest needs, fearing loss - all of us in a state of unspeakable pain with our particular circumstance. It's a sense of gratitude that I have at this point, knowing that FINALLY information to support understanding and to promote the individual's need to live their authentic life, is beginning to be communicated. While there is much yet to be done on that front, we all know that change is happening. (TGGuide and its use of the internet is a great platform for informational exchange!) For myself, as I see the dialogue occur, I have begun to feel that now there is hope.
When I began my journey as a significant other to J who transitioned from M>F, I could not find information or support for what I was experiencing. I was overwhelmed with feelings, fears, loneliness, and questions! So many questions! I am happy to be able to say that more and more support is available for the significant other.because of sites like TG Guide, Facebook groups and on-line blogs.
Each allows open conversation in which shared experiences and feelings can be expressed. My blog at jackanddianestories.blogspot just reached over 5000 views! (I started it to share information and to gauge public interest in the subject matter. ) By the feedback I am receiving, I see how many people are sharing a similar journey. I am not an isolated experience. I have also found that being there for others, reaching out, and sharing experiences is helping others.
Sharing experiences makes a difference. Thank you for what you share with me.
Thank you, Bonnie! Well said - helpful perspective towards understanding - Your responses show the insight that a partner needs to know to be able to balance what may be happening for them.... TU! again -
I thought it might be helpful to post some of the types of questions that female partners of TS individuals (M>F or F>M) going through transition may have. I hope it might add to awareness -
1. "Since coming out as TS M>F my husband spends a lot of time on line looking at half-naked photos. He>She did not do this before. What does this mean?"
2. "Have you noticed increased aggressive behavior from your TS spouse since starting hormonal therapy?"
3. "He says he loves me and wants to be with me for the rest of our lives but he has asked me if we can have an open relationship. I want to be with him, but I do not want to have an open relationship and told him so. What do you think this means?"
4. "He has come out to me, and to his family, but he says I cannot tell my family or my friends, yet. We all live in the same town. I don't know how to handle this, and worry about when and how my family might find out. What do I do?"
As a significant other, if these questions came up, how did you handle them? TS, can you shed light on thoughts regarding any of the situations above? THANK YOU!
I am finding that on-line groups are few and far between...TG Guide is a great platform for asking questions and finding answers. I encourage the TS with cisgender partners to check out this site. While on FB there are a couple of groups which are very supportive, I often think when I hear questions there, that having the question asked HERE would elicit so many great responses from TS individuals that could help answer questions a cisgender might have.
As I continue to search for support groups for the cisgender involved in a relationship (marital or otherwise) with a TS are few and far between -- still. I wish I could say otherwise.
TG Guide is a great platform for the significant other to ask questions and possibly find relevant answers.
I encourage the TS who has come out to their partners to introduce them to this site for support.
I have discovered a couple of cisgender support groups on Facebook. The questions are often similar but overwhelmingly express the desire to be supportive to their TS mate whether it is a M>F or F>M and to make their relationships work. To me, I feel knowing this should be hugely encouraging to the transitioning TS.
The cisgender coming onto these sites are often confused by the 'coming out' of their partner, and express they do not always know what their partner needs from them, but they want to understand and be supportive. The cisgender individuals I have spoken to, have not stopped loving their partner because they have come out as TS. Rather, they express their love for the individual.
Open communication with the TS is extremely important to the cisgender. Too often, however, the cisgender does not know how to ask the questions without feeling they may offend their TS partner. As the TS, being as clear as you can be, in expressing your needs to your partner, could be helpful in the process of your transition for your cisgender who desires to support you. Be ready for the hard questions. Be open and honest.
I am hearing the complaint of the cisgender partner of a general feeling of exclusion in the processes. "I feel invisible." A partner can begin to feel 'invisible" to the TS and friends and family once the TS comes 'out' and transition begins because so much attention is on you and your change. This can add to the cisgender's feeling of isolation in your process, it can create sense of abandonment by you, by others, and adds to the cisgender's sense of loss. For the cisgender, your transition toys with the sense of mortality. They are loosing you as you were and there is perceptual, psychological and physical loss that comes with your transition. A 'death' of sorts.
Keep in mind that your TS transition creates many questions in the mind of the cisgender. Not just about you, but also about themselves. Many have children either with the TS, or extended family. Other questions come up.
Primary question -- it isn't about 'how will our sex life change?', or 'how do I tell my family.?'...it is more personal, internal and encompasses adaptation and understanding. More often than not, what I see is selfless love of you.
You are not alone, and neither is your partner. Support is here for you both.
For Sharon - That must have been very difficult for you. My wish for you is that now, with time, and community, and generally more information out there, that it has become easier for you.. Thank you for sharing.
When I met J I was attracted to "his" wit, sense of humor, and intelligence. I really wanted companionship, and a "good relationship" One that was fun and on a different level than I had experienced as a divorced single mom with young children...and the muscle-contained by leather, 'testosterone driven' guys I had been meeting. J was different. I wasn't physically attracted to him, I will say. I was physically attracted to 'the other type' of guy. J, was 'different'. A professional, he was well educated, smart, active, energetic, and fun to be with. I did not see him as gay or effeminate, but I did think of him as erudite and eccentric. We had a lot of interests in common, and intellectually thought much the same. We became friends. I enjoyed him for him. He wasn't looking for a one-night-stand. He seemed to want a relationship. To me that was the initial draw. His inner unhappiness presented on and off over time, but his inner truth did not come out or show until six years into the relationship. While I had no 'clue' he felt the way he did, when he did come out, it never occurred to me that it was 'wrong' or 'taboo'... rather, I just didn't understand the phenomena...its meaning, its origin, etc. The only TS I had ever seen was walking in the Tenderloin, too much makeup, big hair, and on the prowl. But that wasn't the J I knew. So I was very confused for quite awhile. J's transition became a journey of discovery for both of us.
i can only speak from my own experience. When J came out, of course 'he' wanted to tell everyone. If J could have dressed in drag and shown up at the door in full female dress and said "Whola!!" when the door opened, he wouldn't have been happier. But I knew it couldn't happen that way. I did not know how my children would take it. So I sat down (without J there) with the kids and told them what he wanted to do. Then we had a family talk about what it all meant, and what changes may be coming over the next months. As a family, our experience was several years ago, when little was known and less was seen when it came to being trans. I was very concerned that the kids would not understand, particularly the little ones. As for the older boys, I did not know how they would respond, and was concerned. The younger ones saw J as a father figure, the older ones, as a fun friend. There was that 'awkward' period of time, it wasn't a moment, or an hour, or a week... probably a few weeks went by before they all accepted J's change, and as J came out, and the persona morphed, there were awkward moments, missed pronouns, giggles and comments. But, I was surprised. My oldest, then about 21 immediately said, ""I am not surprised, that would explain....." Another just looked in disbelief, and squirmed. I don't know that he really fully accepted J after the transition, but he did show J respect, while keeping his distance. The youngest son said, "Really? and went into a fit of giggles as a 8 year old might, and my daughter said, "That's why he didn't care if I painted his fingernails pink. He's a girl!" Breaking into smiles and laughter. Each initially had a look of wide-eyed surprise on their faces, but quite truthfully, they all handled the news much better than I did. The surprise of it seemed to quiet down a lot just as soon as they realized that J hadn't left, still joked with them and made efforts to engage them in conversation and activities, just as 'he' always had. Kids, are very resilient.