I’m transgender. My girlfriend has supported me from the time we got together, celebrating my “transliness”, even finding tips to help me transition easier. When I got my packer, she laughed at it and asked me to take it off. I felt humiliated, but did so. Ever since then, she begs me to take it off if we start to become intimate. (The term there is “if”; our intimacy has been on a steady decline ever since then.) Now that I’m on testosterone, she’s shying away even more. It seems that being able to afford a decent quality binder has really halted anything. She’s even refusing to kiss me more than once or lay against me. A few nights ago she said that something was bothering her and to not get offended. She admitted that she is a lesbian, and only got with me originally because I was female bodied. She says that she’s fallen completely in love with me, but is no longer sexually attracted to me unless I take my packer and/or binder off. She coaxes the binder off by offering a back massage. (Seeing as I have pulled every muscle in my back and slipped 2 discs, I can’t refuse.) I have absolutely no idea what to do. I’m humiliated. She says that she will always love me, but is sexually frustrated. She doesn’t want to leave me because she loves me, but would rather have sex with a girl. Any advice or..?Molias replies:
I’m sorry to hear that things have been so strained between you and your girlfriend when it comes to your transition. Gender transition is a pretty intense experience; a good thing for you, to be sure, but it’s still full of a lot of changes in a relatively short period of time. And it can be tough, even for folks who want to be supportive and are happy for you, to adjust to those changes as quickly as they’re coming.
For some people, too, it’s a very different thing to be supportive of the idea of trans people, or of trans acquaintances and friends, and to see a loved one go through that process. You’ve probably had a good while to sit with your thoughts about your own identity, get excited about the physical changes that testosterone will bring, and try out changes to your gender presentation. But even if your girlfriend’s known that you were trans for a while, she still hasn’t known as long as you have, and the reality of it may be startling or jarring to her as changes become more apparent.
There’s a process some cisgender folks go through, consciously or not, of “mourning” their “lost” sister, son, girlfriend, father, etc. when a loved one transitions. To be honest, I personally roll my eyes at this a bit because I didn’t die or vanish when I transitioned, and didn’t feel like I was mourning anything at all - I was celebrating! Even so, I don’t have to like or agree with it to understand that it happens.
Your girlfriend may just be taking a while to really understand and process the changes you’re going through. It also sounds like she’s been thinking a lot about her sexual orientation and what it means for her identity if she’s in a relationship with someone who is not a woman.
Your girlfriend is entitled to whatever feelings come up for her right now, around you, your transition, and her own identity - there’s no way any of us can control our feelings and emotional responses to things that happen in our lives. However, while your girlfriend has the right to her feelings, no matter what they are, it’s also her job to manage them in a way that is not excessively hurtful to you.
She doesn’t have the right to be disrespectful by laughing at your packer or anything else you wear that makes you feel happier and more comfortable. That’s really not okay.
Read the rest from Molias at Scarleteen here.
The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has published two groundbreaking booklets on sexual health for trans people. Each one contains basic – yet valuable – information on trans bodies and health needs.
Each booklet tackles a whole bunch of common questions, such as: do post-op trans women still need prostate examinations? and: can trans guys get pregnant after going on T? There’s some trans specific information on HIV prevention, and also some more general health advice.
The language is broadly respectful and acknowledges the great range of trans identities. There isn’t as much of a binary division as might appear to be the case from the titles, with each booklet noting that the information contained within is also relevant to queer or non-binary individuals…
Read the rest from transactivist here (and thanks to our user Redskies for the heads-up!).
Transitioning can be as difficult as it is liberating, and perhaps an especially fraught journey for someone with the glare of the spotlight on them. But as fans rally around the singer, they show how rock can embrace difference. Though sometimes stereotyped as a realm of swagger, testosterone and machismo, rock also has history of producing characters – including the Cramps’ Lux Interior, David Bowie, Prince and stretching back to Little Richard – who offer testimony to its capacity for encouraging fluidity, all having subverted ideas of gender norms to wild, thrilling success.
…But for all the machismo of rock, there’s also the angst, pain, rage and joy that comes with those crashing, distorted chords – its a medium that both closeted and open-but-oppressed trans men and women may find themselves drawn to, especially as teens, navigating their way through a period where society does its best to hammer us into conformed sexual and gender ideals.
Growing up in Tehran, he said, he was 12 when “I think different than other girls the same age.”
He wanted to be a boy.
But Iran, a traditional Islamic country, is not open-minded or educated about LGBT people, Aren said in an interview last week at the NSC office. In fact, in Iran a person can be executed for being gay.
He kept his secret from his family, but his mother, a nurse, would wonder why Aren - as a girl - didn’t express interest in boys.
Aren began dressing like a boy and had short hair. At about 18 years old, he had a girlfriend, whom he kept secret from his family.
One day, when they were in a park for women only, a female police officer asked if Aren was a boy or girl and tapped Aren. His girlfriend got angry and asked the officer, “What are you doing?”
The police ended up arresting the girlfriend because she got belligerent. They didn’t arrest Aren but had him write a statement promising he would act more like a girl, he said.
When he was about 21, Aren and his girlfriend had a party at his father’s house to celebrate their third anniversary. His father was not home at the time; his parents had divorced.
At the party, a friend’s two daughters took a photo of Aren with his girlfriend. After an argument, they threatened to give the photo to the government and to Aren’s family, Aren said. “I am so scared,” he recalled. That’s when he and his girlfriend decided to flee Iran, without telling his family, taking a train to Turkey.
In Turkey, he registered with the police and went to apply for refugee status with the UNHCR. The police and UNHCR directed him and his girlfriend to live in Kayseri, a city in central Turkey, where he stayed for 2 1/2 years until he came to the U.S. as a refugee.
One night, some men knocked on his and his girlfriend’s door, scaring them and saying they were police. The next day, Aren said, he went to the police station, but authorities there said they hadn’t knocked on his door.
Ten months ago, Aren and his girlfriend were resettled as LGBT refugees in Philly, but they have since broken up. Because of the discrimination he faced in Iran and Turkey, when he arrived here, “I think I am zero,” he said.
Read the whole piece here.