March 31st was the annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, which none of you would know, but is a community that I give a great deal of thought to, and about. Each of my girls have had friends/known people who transitioned, so it’s been a topic in our house hold for many years. This post is one that I’ve been sitting on for quite a long while. Mostly because I’ve struggled with how to ask these legitimate questions without coming off as a) ignorant or b) judgemental. I will absolutely take ownership of the fact that I know less than nothing about this subject. The subject at hand is how one transitions into their new gender when making the change from male to female, or female to male. I have a great many questions about the social responsibilities of transitioning and don’t even know where to begin to become more educated on it. Which sucks because I really do want to know more. So I’m hoping that somebody who does have more knowledge than me, perhaps even a transgender person, will read this and would be willing to help me to understand what it is like to walk a mile in your shoes.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like to discover that you were born into a body of the wrong gender. The weight of that, the confusion of it? What was that like? I often wonder at what age do transgender people come to realize this about themselves? My best guess is it is probably very much like anything else any of us might learn about ourselves that doesn’t “fit” or a part of ourselves that we might struggle to associate with, meaning quite early on. But one’s very gender? I can’t even begin to comprehend how solitary that must be.
Who do you tell?
And when do you tell them?
I have many questions.
I also think that thankfully we live in a society, that for the most part is becoming more empathetic to the plight of trans people, and the support, love, and understanding they need in order to make the transition with no shame, or judgement, is growing. And all I can say is thank God for the evolution of humankind.
There is one question that I wonder about, and in fact when I speak to friends about the subject they have the same question: which is, at what point is it the appropriate time for a transgender person to let a potential new partner know about the person they used to be? Is it on the first date? Should it be something that is brought forward immediately? Or is it something that is only the business of the person who has transitioned?
My daughters each know people who have transitioned and yet for some reason they’ve never asked them this very question, to which I wonder why not? Is it taboo to ask this question? Is it rude to wonder if a trans person needs to be transparent about who they used to be? Does it even matter?
What are the guidelines, the rules, the playbook for building romantic, intimate relationships once Marty is now Mary, or vice versa. I read articles, often, about couples marrying, and wonder how the subject is broached. You know me love is love, and we only get one life, so it is our God given right to live that life wholly, fully and the best we can. I suppose in this one instance I’m wondering at what point does the other person in the equation of the relationship find out about a partners past if it involves them having been a different gender at birth?
Things that make me go hmmm, and a topic I’m truthfully keen on learning more about, so please enlighten me.