Angel is away on a little holiday at the moment so this is Princess making a contribution to the world of trans-literature. I’m not the writer in this relationship and I’m quite happy to leave that to Angel… although I often think that perhaps I should get myself motivated and write that non-fiction tome I’ve been playing about with in my head.
Motivation! What a conundrum. I can’t get motivated to write my book and it’s about… motivation; more specifically workplace motivation. Ooh, the irony!!
Anyway….. I’m going to use this post to talk about what it’s like to have a partner who accepts me being transgender. Women like Angel are quite rare and I still pinch myself and worry that I might wake up and it’s all a dream. At the most basic level Angel just gets it… it’s as if she is intuitively tuned into what being gender variant is all about – the challenges, fears, highs and lows. It is so affirming to be able to just be me. I can present as I want, when I want and Angel has no reaction either way – although she always seems really pleased when I make the effort to look good.
I hear and read stories of other trans-people who have great difficulty getting acceptance from their partners. They battle, argue, fight and negotiate… and eventually reach a compromise. The transgender partner’s existence is negotaiated and agreed upon… And I can’t help but think that it’s a recipe for disaster. This is not love… it’s a case of “I love you but….” and the very fact that there is a ‘but’ means that there are conditions being imposed. “I will love you on condition that…..”
I used to be married and I had conditions imposed on me. I was allowed to dress a set number of times per month; I wasn’t allowed to go out the house; I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone; and she always went out so that I was left alone to do ‘my thing’.. Oh yes, I wasn’t allowed to use the T word.
I hope you see the problem here… this concept of being ‘allowed’. I, an adult, had to ask or permission to be me. Surely adults have the right to choose their own path in life? Surely adults do not need someone else’s permission to exist? I was being forced to pretend that I was somone I never could be. I had to be her version of me. And ultimately that led to resentment, anger and distance. After 16 years of marriage I just couldn’t maintain the facade anymore and we went our separate ways.
…. But that opened the door for me to find Angel and the last 3 years have quite simply been the best years of my life. They have been the only 3 years of my life… because it is now MY life, not someone else’s version of what my life should be.
That is the greatest gift one person can ever give another. That is true and unconditional. That is love.