I have been reading about other guys and the challenges they face dating. I can only imagine how difficult it might be to meet a girl (or guy) you really really like and have to figure out how to tell them you are trans. Most women and gay guys expect their male partner to have a penis and likely prefer that it works. I have no idea how I would try to explain to my partner that while I look and sound and act a lot like a guy, I lack the equipment that she might expect below the waist. And how would I feel if she were to decide that we had no hope at a future simply because I don't have a dick?
I dated a woman once who's ex partner was quite the opposite. Her last girlfriend told her that everything would work out between them and that life and sex would be perfect once she had a sex change. Her girlfriend wanted her to become male. When she told me I could see that it had really upset her and as a butch I thought it was a pretty big assumption to make that any butch would necessarily want to transition. Her girlfriend was a young femme unsure of her sexuality and still in the closet to her family. She had dated men but met a butch lesbian which seemed to be the next best thing. I am sure she thought maybe there was a chance she could turn a butch dyke into the man she needed. Of course that wasn't the case.
A lot of guys met their partners before their transition. Some have had the love and support of that person for the entire transition and others lost their other half somewhere along the way. I am at the beginning of my transition. I told my partner about my decision to transition before we started dating. She has been very supportive even when I have been at my worst. I worry that in the future things could change.
There is a lot of information written about our experiences as trans people but a lot less written from the perspective of our partners or ex partners. Would you still feel the same for your partner if they were to change gender? If suddenly your husband became your wife? Your girlfriend turned into a boyfriend? How would you explain that to your friends and family? How would you deal with their reactions? Are you now gay/straight? Would you be afraid of being ostracized by the queer community since now perhaps you appeared to be in a "normal" relationship?
Often I think transitioning is more complicated for the partners of trans people than for ourselves. While we feel our gender identity is wrong and that by transitioning we are righting that wrong, our partner hasn't necessarily felt that way. For them it must sometimes feel like they are going in the opposite direction of our transition. They might become unsure of themselves and self conscious. They might try to change some aspect of their normal behaviour to placate us or make us feel better about our own transformation. Suddenly the lesbian is with a man. The queer is with a woman, the wife is with another woman, the man is with another man... how do you suppose the woman who has identified as a lesbian all her life feels when suddenly her partner decides to remove most of the physical feminine traits from her body? My partner has historically been attracted to soft breasts, smooth skin the scent and taste of a woman and soon she will finds herself waking up to a flat chested, hairy bummed, guy with a moustache. How does that impact her identity as a lesbian? How do her friends see her? how does the queer community see her? How do strangers see her? Does it matter? Of course. It matters as much as our identity matters to us.
I worry about the future. I worry about losing the girl I have. I worry that I might have to learn to date girls as a guy. I worry that maybe one day my lesbian girlfriend will want a woman. I worry that suddenly my queer friends won't see me as queer. I worry that I might get lost without a label or that the label doesn't accurately describe what's in the package...
But for now I enjoy the little things like going to work and having people call me Marcus, use he and him when talking about me. I enjoy watching my girl count the whiskers growing in on my chin and commenting on how handsome I am becoming. I focus on the little things and hope that in the future neither one of us will be dating.