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Support » Husband came out as transgender and we’re planning a pregnancy » April 17, 2022 6:04 pm

Replies: 2

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Hello VV,

My spouse came out as transgender a good few years into our relationship. (You can read our stories in the “Stories” section.)

They identify as non-binary and aim to present as androgynous. This has involved significant changes in hair, wardrobe, body hair etc. (as well as name and pronouns).

For me, I like their androgynous look, even though when we married, they looked classically male, and for a good chunk of our relationship had a full beard (which I really liked!).

it *was* very difficult to adjust to the changes, but I did, and I feel the same now about my spouse as I ever did (sexually, romantically, emotionally). This is despite the fact that I would consider myself heterosexual!

A huge part of this was us very carefully negotiating each step, and me being able to draw firm lines about what I was and wasn't okay with. Yes, sometimes we clashed over what my spouse wanted and what I wasn't okay with, and this was very frightening, but thankfully, my partner was very patient and fully willing to go at my pace. Setting things up so that there was a plan agreed and discussed TOGETHER was key. Otherwise, it quickly feels completely overwhelming/ impossible etc.

Another big thing was simply whether or not their desired look would also be one that *did it* for me. Luckily, it does. If, in principle, you think you could be attracted to your partner’s planned androgynous femme / butch look, then it’s worth keeping an open mind - and it helps to insist that things GO SLOW. (I needed a lot of time to adjust, one little step at a time.) Especially given that you have a new baby on the way that will need so much focus.

however, if you feel that the change just won’t ever fit with your sense of yourself and your relationship identity, then that might point to a different path.

I also totally relate to this fear of “how far will this go”. Initially, even my spouse wasn’t sure, and even now I sometimes get scared that they will want to try a

Support » Transgender » April 17, 2022 5:35 pm

Replies: 10

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I learnt about my spouse’s transgender identity about 6 years into our relationship. Were there signs before? Not hugely! I always knew my partner had a strong “feminine side” (for example, they were gentle, tender, emotionally attuned, non-competitive etc.) and we spoke openly about that. They were not at all into DIY, sports, etc - which I liked! They identified as a feminist and were accepting of LGBTQ people etc. Otherwise, not really! At least, not that I was aware of.

later, I learned that they had always had a strong interest in women's clothing, generally chose female avatars in computer games and had previous worn / tried on women's clothes (dresses) as a teenager / young man.

initially, my spouse only spoke to me of their history of cross-dressing. As time went on and we explored things further, they identified as transgender. They now operate in the world as a non-binary person.

I think that anyone who is transgender (or gay) can start in a place where they don’t understand their *own* identity - and may instinctively reject labels when they are brought up, because they are struggling to confront this in themselves. He may also be terrified of your reaction, losing you etc. But the behaviours outlined above suggest that your partner does have a sense that his gender identity is something he needs to better understand (maybe sexuality too, though I’m not so sure it indicates this).

if it helps, my journey with my spouse was very difficult, but it has a happy ending. (You can find my story in the My Story section.) I’ll add that my spouse does not fit the pattern of autogynophelia, even though they came out aged 40. My spouse describes how they always had the sense of themselves as female / not-male - even since the age of four or five. They just had no way to express this part of themselves properly in the world until they came out and transitioned. Their experiences and motivations are not sexually driven (our sex life remains the same), b

General Discussion » "It's not about you" / Trans Tape? » April 6, 2022 5:01 pm

Replies: 4

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Of course this is about you as well! I think it’s one of the most difficult things in these situations: because you’re in a relationship with the other person, to an extent your own identity is reflected in and affected by the other persons identity. Of course, they are going on their own journey of discovery and exploration and you want to support that, but of course this is going to have great significance and relevance for you. I think an analogy would be, let’s imagine your partner decided they suddenly wanted to live in a completely different country. If you’re going to stay in the relationship with them, of course that is going to be relevant to you! I know what was completely essential for me in navigating my partners transition was frequent, ongoing conversations about negotiating and collaborating over these issues together. Being really clear and honest with each other about how are you each feel and what you both want  is so important. Neither persons point of view is more important than the other's; not if you’re in an equal relationship together. Being a good ally and supporting your partner is great; but this is your relationship as well. It doesn’t mean you get to put demands or force them to do or not do things either , but I think with any other relationship issue both of you have to have a say in what the agreement, arrangements and ultimate outcome is going to be and you have to be able to ask the question whether that works for you as well as them. Wishing you both all the best of luck 

Our Stories » A Positive Story (transgender spouse) » April 6, 2022 4:41 pm

Replies: 0

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Hello everyone, 

Here is my story.

I got married at the age of 32 and had been with my partner for about six years before that. About a year into the marriage, I discovered that my partner had “a history of cross dressing“. This in and of itself completely blindsided me, and I was particularly affected by the simple fact that I thought I knew everything about my partner, but was discovering a “completely different” version. It took me a number of months just to come to terms with this piece of information about my husband’s history. I was very distraught and anxious.  

My husband was extremely supportive and patient with me, and we had many, many long conversations about what this meant to him, to me and to us. At that time his and my understanding (and agreement) was that this was something that was in the past rather than the present or future.  I generally had a good understanding and acceptance of transgender issues; the difficulty for me was simply that I had never expected that this would be an element of my life with my partner. 

Over the next few years, between us we went back-and-forth about how this aspect of my husband’s identity might or might not have a place in our relationship. There were times when I was desperate to encourage this aspect of him and give it a place of acceptance and inclusion in our relationship, but then discovering that I felt completely overwhelmed and frightened when it came to trying to put this into practice. 

Over this time, our understanding of my husband’s gender identity became clearer. Ultimately we redefined things from “a history of cross dressing“ to my partner being transgender. This in itself felt like another big shift and shock. 

Fast forward a little way, through further efforts to include this into our marriage, followed by me not coping with it, and us putting it back in the closet, almost breaking up over it, and over a year of marital and individual counselling, I am really happy

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