04 February 2012

How Can I Help You? Third Edition

Q: I'm Transgendered and having trouble being myself. I'm afraid to present myself as my true gender. There is so much hate in the world. What should I do?

A: Being yourself is a terrifying concept, because it opens you up to other people, to the world, to how broken our society really is. My only advice to you is to take time to examine yourself, because the way you identify to yourself is far more important than how you present to other people. Ask yourself why you are so scared – do you think people will not like you as much? Do you think it will scare away potential partners? If either of these is ringing true, I have one more question for you: could you really be happy with someone you cannot be your whole self around? If you think you could, then you are not ready to come out yet…and there is nothing wrong with that. Take as much time as you need to figure yourself out before you bring other people into the mix. Being comfortable with yourself first will open the door for you to find someone who will love you and see you for all that you are.

I am not going to say it will be easy; I would never lie to someone that way. What I will say is this, though – the world is changing. Please do not be so distracted by the hatred that you miss all the love that is out there waiting for you.

Q: I am a bio woman and my boyfriend is ftm. It is rare that anyone knows about his situation so I have no one to talk to besides him. And there are times I do not want to talk to him about things. I mean, technically he is still a female. Female body, female voice, female name. So does that make me a lesbian?

A: First things first – how does he identify? If he is FTM, prefers male pronouns (even if he still has a “female” name) or has expressed the desire to transition, then you need to respect your partner’s gender identity. Just because his body has a more “feminine” look (assuming he is pre-T) does not make him any less of a man – what makes him a man is who he really is, who he is inside, not the body he happens to have.

Now to the issue at hand…I am not going to tell you if you are or are not a lesbian, and that is because there is literally nothing that matters less than that. I understand that labels are important, especially if you have recently come out, and I do not mean to be harsh in saying this but it needs to be said, and it seems as if you need to hear it – there are more important things than you in this world. If your partner is male identifying and female bodied, he most likely has some body dysphoria If you want to make him feel more insecure and dysphoric, referring to him as your ‘girlfriend’ or yourself as a ‘lesbian’ because you are with him is a really awesome way to do that.

Your partner deserves someone who loves and respects them for exactly who they are, and from your question, I am going to guess you are having your doubts. Please understand I am in no way saying you are in the wrong or you need to feel something you are not ready to feel. Some people simply are not meant to be. So look inside yourself. Try to figure out if your label is more important to you than your partner’s full comfort. It might seem like there is a right and a wrong answer, but there most certainly is not.

If you think you can love, support, and be with him regardless of what you “call” it, then I wish you both the best of luck.

But if you do not think this I something you are ready for, then you both need to let the other go…and I wish you the best of luck if that happens to be the case as well.

-Sage Veritas

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