Monday, February 4, 2008

Partners & Lovers

I've had a note jotted down for about three months now since my partner visited me in St. Paul for Thanksgiving. I wanted to write about the partners of transgender peoples, especially the partners who are present throughout changes. I have an idea here, and it's a developing one, that the partners of transgender peoples have to be incredibly welcoming, giving, kind, and accepting in order to stay with their partners.

This thought manifested itself as I was discussing my move to New York with an ex. She asked about my current partner and what pronouns she used (since she identifies as genderqueer). I answered her, and then began thinking about my partner's own gender ambiguity which often is shadowed by my more conservative search for gender confirmation surgery. For the first time it struck me that my partner's genderqueer and bisexual identities were not just beautiful parts of her identity but also important aspects to our partnership. Her love for me began before she even knew how I identified, and with a bisexual and genderqueer background she was set to love anyone, male female, third-gendered, non-gendered, whatever...and to support any decisions about surgery or hormones. In reality, a bisexual genderqueer partner might truly be the most supportive partner in the world as they have been in many camps, experienced many oppressions and been accused of privilege, and have continuously come back to Queer as a home-base.

When I became aware that I was going to transition, I thought that I wouldn't have a steady partner until after my transition was complete. I couldn't imagine that someone would stick by me as my actual body as well as my legal and medical body changed. It's exciting and incredibly important to have someone who is so supportive and affirming of my life, and I imagine for many other transgender people that support is the first thing to lose when you come out. This is not a finished post, I just wanted to make sure that the beginning of the thought went out tonight. I cannot imagine being in the position I am now without the support of my partner, and I imagine that if one was to gather the partners of transgender peoples together you would find that they are the most amazing, caring, and flexible people in the world. Our partners can sometimes be the only people who know how to hold us at the end of the day.

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