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Loving a trans man isn't easy

Loving a trans man isn't easy

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A femme's perspective on losing her butch
When I married the perfect butch, I didn’t know that only four short months after our wedding I’d be married to a trans man.

My perfect “masculine woman” couldn’t take the inner turmoil anymore and began to transition.

Transitioning may be more common these days, but my reaction was anything but. I was a catatonic, newlywed wife, crying in a La-Z-Boy for six weeks straight.

I cried tears of grief. I felt as if my love was leaving me, and in exchange there would be a potbellied, hairy-bodied, balding, middle-aged man.

If I wanted this, I would’ve stayed in the closet.

For several months Papi was going through the changes so fast, it seemed like the train had left the station and I could only helplessly watch mi esposo disappear.

I was afraid, especially of the unknown: who would I be married to now?

I agonized that I would lose the seductive pull I once felt for Papi. I was terrified that my love would fade because I’ve never been attracted to someone who has gone through with the procedures of transitioning.

And besides, I love butches, dammit! How unfair it seemed.

After all the years I spent feeling hopeless and suicidal in the closet, I was now going to be thrown back in, the door hitting me in the ass, the key tossed away. 

To the rest of the world, I’m just going to look like any other straight woman out there. As femmes, we’re hardly seen as queer unless we’re on the arms of our butches. Now where would I fit in? I fought too hard to be recognized as a femme! Do not strip me of my title, tiara and stilettos.

I was also distraught about my love’s growing clit, not to mention the man hair that seems to now be growing up Papi’s thigh like an out-of-control ivy in a race for time to surpass the groin.

Would the new clit be huge? Massive? A five-foot fucking clitoris?

Well, it wasn’t as bad as my rampant imagination made it out to be. Still, that longtime friend looks a hell of a lot different than the one mi esposo had in the beginning of our relationship. Plus I now get a fistful of hair when I stroke my love’s thigh.

Unfortunately, I spent enough time in the closet to know what man stink smells like. I thought those days were behind me, until my love started taking hormones.

When my love realized that the smell was making it difficult for me to have sex, it really created a wall between us. Mi esposo didn’t know what to do with me, and I didn’t know what to do with my morphing spouse.

Like most ill-informed people, the biggest myth I fell for was the “roid rage” phenomenon. I didn’t want our relationship to go belly-up because there may be a storming spouse around the house.

My love promised me that this truly is a myth, and now, nine months into the transition, I still get to have my silly spouse that I fell in love with more than three years ago.

We are all going to change over time, but the abruptness of going through top surgery was shocking. I really thought I’d be okay, until I had my bags packed to catch a plane, en route to help with the aftercare.

It was hard enough to see the overt sign of my butch being stolen from me, but to see Papi’s body in trauma was equally difficult.

Most sad and distressing was the fact that I couldn’t cuddle with Papi anymore. I needed to hear my love’s heartbeat, as I used to when I’d lay my head upon those soft pillows of paradise. But they were no longer there, and mi esposo was in so much pain it didn’t even allow for hugs.

Only the other day was I able to lie on my love’s chest and hear that familiar heartbeat again. It’s not the soft, cradling pillow I was used to, but at least I can listen to mi esposo’s heart.

I looked for support but found very little because partners don’t generally talk about the difficulties we face in transition. Nobody wants to be the one to say, “This fucking hurts,” lest we be judged by the politically fuelled who would label us transphobic.

The Rah-Rah Tranny people on the sidelines say we’re not supposed to grieve the loss of our soulmate to a new gender. We should a) keep it quiet and support the transgender person or b) leave the relationship or c) both.

But I screamed for support! I called a queer crisis line and they didn’t return my call for weeks on end, which I found really unacceptable.

Eventually, Papi and I found great support from people who don’t judge or label us, regardless of our feelings or choices. These friends also don’t flock to a forum to discuss how they feel Papi and I should live.

Yes, I am disliked for the honesty with which I’ve expressed my feelings toward the process and my part in it, but I will not be silenced.

Having insisted on expressing my grief, I am now slowly finding that I can love my spouse, no matter the changes.

Day by day, I find I’m falling in love all over again.
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Comments

Loving a trans man isn't hard.
Loving a trans man isn't hard. Loving an asshole is hard. Loving someone who can't express or respect boundaries is hard. Loving someone who isn't giving you what you need is hard. But loving a trans man isn't hard, because there is no one version of "trans man", there is no one story, way of being, mode of being in a relationship, and so on.

When you say "loving a trans man is hard", you are attempting to bunch "trans men" into one category, somehow fraught with peril, and that's just neither fair nor accurate.

How about people take ownership of their own bullshit? Their own limitations? Their own desires? THAT would be a true story. THAT would be heartening. THAT would be closer to a real accounting of YOUR struggles, because that's what this story is about. When you attempt to cluster trans men into this "hard to love" group, you do us all a disservice, including yourself.
Wow, really people??
I can't believe some of the backlash from this article! I mean, seriously! This is a raw, honest, sincere piece, and as a transman, I totally GET where she's coming from. Yes it's hard to be trans, but don't think for one second that you transition alone in a relationship!! Our partners go through this too, and the thing is, as transfolk, we are allowed to talk about our journey and how hard it was, and point out the things that suck about it - but our partners aren't allowed that same freedom of expression, for fear of being called transphobic. It's BULLSH!T. Transition isn't easy for partners either. And as for the word 'tranny' that has everyone so pi$$ed off - I don't use or particularly love the word - but it's also a regional thing. Some trans communities DO use the word - and besides that, it is more about the WAY it's used, and she didn't use it out of bias or hatred. I am ashamed at how some of my own trans community have attacked the article and the author. I found it to be very honest and very necessary. How about we allow others to speak their truths without ripping them apart...
Loving a transman can be REALLY easy
I married a straight woman. She saw me for who I was/am despite some of the biological accoutrements that came with me.

She never had a hard time loving me or accepting me, Pre or Post transition.

To be with someone who made her happy was her only desire.

The politics of naming identity means nothing to her as the naming of orientation is just a conveniences for other peoples comforts.

Just saying that not everyone has a hard time loving a transman.

Kinda ironic that in the gay community the femme is considered the perfect match for a transman as he is really an urber butch-lesbian but evidently this troublesome for the author. So at some level she does see the man she married.

Anyhow, I just wanted to put it out there, that transmen can find love in all the right places outside the lesbian community and the issues this femme has presented which seem to be common.

A side note, if she was really interested in being vocal about her personal experience I am certain she would have been able to make the title of her comment into an I, statement not a generality.

But by making such a liberal statement she can garner an audience for her blog which is listed in her article.

The title really does detract from the amazing great things transmen bring to relationships and it set a subtle but profound perception that relationships in general with transsexuals are difficult.

An I statement would have brought to light her homo-normative social, sexual and cognitive bias/expectation when confronted with heterosexuality via her husbands transition.

The article seems to me to be a big blame statement rather than an exploration of her own prejudices.

And lastly, I hope the husband is comfortable with the reality that this article and subsequent blog posts can be sourced. That the act of this post in the newspaper and online means that his right to silence and right to privacy has been reduced.

I hope you both can find a place with each other.

Best of luck.
Kettle pot black
I get that you are sorting out your reactions to your husband's transition.

Mostly, what I get is your rage and need for your butch to validate your sexuality and orientation. Your anger of having lost that female lover. Sadly, this narrative is going to be camped on.

Funny how female to male transsexuals are often blasted for the very same thing, forcing their femmes to go straight.

Stealth? Really? Seems your man was stealth before he named his sex and orientation. You are pissed it is not what you want it to be. You are pissed because his transition makes you stealth because he no longer looks like the stereotyped lesbian.

Oh, and when does the conversation turn to his being out as a transsexual so that you can keep the visual queer lesbian card? And he never gets to interact socially as a man.

Are you going to write another article to talk about how much you love the man you married, more than the two sentences you shared thus far? Will that narrative receive as much support and validation? Will be as validating to the queer community?

It will be interesting to read where you are further down along in the transition.
You never say, he and him
Why is that? Why the avoidance of male pronouns for your -husband-, hmmm?

And seriously, man stink? I've known many, many women who have stunk to high heaven. Man stink? Really?

-Clit- Are you kidding me?

On so many levels I find much of your story details offensive and your writing style crude at best.

For those issues alone you should lose access to the tiara and stilettos!

Femme Rah! ;)
Oh come on
People, get a grip, no one is "silencing" or "attacking" Andrea for what she wrote here.



So the writer can comment on what she pleases, however she pleases, using words and phrases meant to make the point that there is somehow some mob of trans people out there who are being somehow unfair to her (what precisely did you think she was trying to get across when she said "The Rah-Rah Tr**ny people on the sidelines say we’re not supposed to grieve the loss of our soulmate to a new gender. We should a) keep it quiet and support the transgender person or b) leave the relationship or c) both"? Who said this? How is it OK for her to lump trans people into some category as though we're all saying the same thing?), but when people take issue with pieces of it, suddenly we all apparently are silencing and attacking her?



Come on now.



I support anyone's right to say as they please, I only request that they be open to hearing critique of it. If Andrea didn't actually want to hear from people, she wouldn't have posted this so publicly. Andrea's apparently a grownup, I'm sure she can handle it.
Tomayto-Tomahto
Seriously?!?!?!

So, you mean to tell me that it is OKAY to invalidate Andrea's experience with her husband's transition just because she used the word "tranny"?

Reguardless of the verbiage used (and whether or not some ass-hat is going to get their knickers in a wad over it), the point still remains the same.

And what that point is is this:

Andrea is a woman who up until her beloved's transition had viewed and identified as a lesbian, and now, with her beloved transitioning, she is now having to "transition" as it were as well, and she is voicing the difficulty of this "transition" because it means something different than how she had seen herself.

So, she used the "wrong" term as deemed by some holier-than-thou trans person.

All I have to say is grow up and get over it. NOWHERE in the entire article did Andrea say she is anti-trans, NOWHERE did she attack ANYONE for their journey into transition. She merely used a supposedly "out of favour" term.

Realistically, the fact that she even spoke up takes a LOT of courage, and through so many people blasting and flaming her for it, this proves my point. Her stance, and experience is the same as MANY of the partners and spouses of trans folk, she is certinaly not the only one and certainly not alone.

So rather than making this all about YOU, why don't we look and see that this is HER experience and HER story right now and get the hell over ourselves for a moment and share in the fact that we too have more than likely felt what she is feeling or something very similar to it.

*stepping off soap box/end rant*
Thinking Some Just Like To Argue
Steph, do not attempt to make claims which are not fact. You stated, (in regards to Easton's use of the word Tranny) "That word isn't yours. It hasn't historically been used against trans men, and it's not really yours to claim, let alone "proudly"." I am a trans man, and have been attacked for being a trans man, and been called a tranny, in hatred, by my attackers and I am not alone in that. I know quite a few trans men who have had that experience. Honestly, I am sorry you are upset, but do not tell me or any other trans man that “That word isn’t yours” I earned the right to reclaim it as my own with every bone they broke in my face that night, as have many other trans men, and until you know that the trans guy you are speaking to was not one of that group, have some respect that others have struggled just as hard on this journey as our trans sisters


Anonymous, you are right, Andrea is not trans, Andrea is a trans supporter and partner of a trans man, ergo in the eyes of the vigilant grammar police of this community she has no rights, no freedom of expression, no room to learn and grow. She isn’t trans, but she has merely done what trans people have done for years, expressed herself honestly. Was it the most PC way to speak up? No, maybe not, but it was Andrea Hector Brown, speaking in her own voice, telling her own story. That is to be commended, perhaps educated, but not silenced as some would try to do.
It's just a fucking word!
She wrote an honest and deeply personal account of an aspect of her life. Cut the PC crap it's a just a fucking word, ''Tranny'' ''Tranny'' ''Tranny'' ''Tranny''. Is it a good appropriate word to use in polite conversation? No. But is the work itself supportive of trans people? Yes. So being so ridiculioulsy critical is completly missplaced. It's not like she was saying, ''I hate trannies and they should all die!" Let's have some common sense here. Also, it's totally ridiculous to suggest that only certain people are aloud to ''reclaim'' a word. It's either an impolite word or it's not.......................................... And just for good measure: Dyke, Dyke, Faggot, Faggot, Faggot, Faggot, Tranny, Tranny, Tranny.
missed the point
A few of you have missed the point of the critique of ANDREA's (allcaps for emphasis, not volume) use of "tr**ny".
It goes something like this: ANDREA IS NOT TRANS, therefore ANDREA has no business flinging that word around. There are ongoing conversations in trans communities about who WITHIN our communities can use the word in a reclaimed sense (mostly whether and to what extent trans men can rightfully use it), but those are not conversations I care to have with non trans people, and certainly not in a space like this. Here is a link to some discussion about language people may find interesting/ helpful: http://dglenn.dreamwidth.org/1588929.html

And no, that cannot be simplistically boiled down to "If for honestly expressing herself we would condemn Andrea Hector, then we are no better than those who would condemn us for being who we are." What an intriguing twist you've made, Erik! So now when trans people speak out about something that is hurting us, we are actually no better than our oppressors? Neato! I bet those who would condemn us would actually love to hear from you about joining their campaign.

It is quite simply about setting boundaries with people WHO ARE NOT TRANS (for starters) around using words that are actually painful for many (not all) of us. As Lisa Harney over at http://www.questioningtransphobia.com/ says: "There’s a difference between a member of a minority using a word with a painful history and members of the majority reifying that painful history."

As someone who professes so much desire to be understood and respected for speaking out about her "situation", I would like to imagine that Andrea is quite capable of understanding and respecting that.

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