OK, OK, I’ll write this post already. I’m A, Emily’s cisgender partner. I’m arguably the reason this blog isn’t just another trans woman’s transition story (well that, and there’s no such thing as just another trans woman). In keeping with tradition (Emily did it once, somewhere), I’m going to write this intro as a moderately snarky Q & A.
Q: Your name is actually A?
A: Well, no, it isn’t, but I work with kids and I felt I should at least pretend to try to maintain some kind of internet anonymity. If you are really determined to figure out who I am and make my life miserable, I’m sure you can manage for yourself.
Q: How did you and Emily meet?
A: We met in college. In a professor’s office, we think. It was a few years before we started dating sort of, and a few more years before we started dating actually.
Q: Were you upset when you found out your fiancée was trans?
A: Given that she came out to me about an hour after we met, it was hardly a shock. She wasn’t my fiancée then, she wasn’t even my girlfriend. You could say I walked into this with my eyes open, though honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into.
Q: But she hadn’t transitioned when you started dating. How did you feel when she announced she was going to transition?
A: For the most part, utterly thrilled. I have to admit, there was always a little part of me that thought: “I know you’re really a woman, your closest friends know. Isn’t that enough? Can’t we just go on this way?” Then I saw the change in her after she decided to transition. Suddenly, I could see how much energy she’d invested in chasing herself in circles for years. Now that she’s moving forward, it’s like opening all the windows in a house that’s been closed up for years.
Q: And now that she’s started transitioning?
A: Well, I live with a part-time 12-year-old. That has its ups and down. Still, the emotions are real and honest, and, since she’s not actually 12, she is usually pretty aware of what’s happening to her. I’ve been shocked to realize just how much emotion really is hormones. Emily has turned into me! (Besides, it’s good practice for being a parent…)
Before the transition really started, I was also very scared about having to be out to everyone, not just carefully chosen friends. While I’m sure there are going to be really unpleasant coming out situations, so far, it has been almost 100% positive. Given the sociocultural milieu we inhabit, I figured we’d mostly get either “oh, that’s nice” or some sort of earnestly confused support from people who are socially liberal but don’t quite understand the difference between male crossdressers and trans people. We’ve gotten a little of the latter, most of it easily sorted out with a quick explanation, but the vast majority of the responses have been: “Wow! That’s wonderful! Sit down and tell me everything. Good for her.” I was totally unprepared for that, and it’s been really nice.
Q: Did you ever think about cutting off your engagement after she decided to transition?
A: No, I waited until she started transitioning to ask her to marry me.
Q: So how do you feel about Emily making you into a lesbian?
Okay, deep breath. I knew I was bisexual for years before we started dating. Gender has just never been a top priority for me in choosing significant others. Admittedly, it’s been convenient being publicly straight, and now there are lots of new considerations about things like where we can live, but that’s just reality. We live in a place where gay marriage is legal, so it’s just not that big a deal. (Sadly, trans rights have been sacrificed for the sake of gay rights just about everywhere, so being the female partner of a trans woman isn’t quite as just not that big a deal as being the female partner of a cis woman would be.)
Q: Do you have any other interests? What do you do when you’re not being the partner of a trans woman?
A: Thank you for finally asking. I teach. I care about alternative education and about children. I like all sorts of crafty things: embroidery, knitting, sewing, etc. I’m interested in Buddhism and meditation, and given the chance, I like to go off on long, silent retreats. I pretend to keep another blog about education. I’m trying to get interested in gardening, but I seem to keep finding myself in places where I don’t have a garden and not staying put long enough to grow a garden anyway. Next year, I plan to try indoor hydroponics.
Q: What’s your NHL team?
A: If I told you that, I really would put my life in danger. I like the Portland Winterhawks though.