Just today, my partner wanted to talk – she felt conflicted. She felt that she had to ‘be a man’ for me – to allow me to feel more like a woman. But that this was depriving her of feeling like a woman. I think this really underscores the importance of open communications and checking one’s assumptions – often.
I explained that I am not looking for, nor want a man or the influence of a man. If one has to use a label, then I would be dead center lesbian – I don’t want a man or someone being ‘manly’. Plus, I am in love with her – all of her – ‘her’ traits – emotions – body/soul – everything. I don’t want nor expect her to change, especially for me to feel more as a woman. I want to feel – like ‘me’ – no facade – free to express myself and act myself. That just happens to match what society calls or labels as a ‘woman’.
I think we need to just drop the male/female labels and not get hung up that being a certain way or having a certain trait means we are more masculine or feminine because of it. Helen Boyd’s “She’s not the man I married” goes into this in exquisite depth. Forget about labels – there are far more exceptions then any cohesiveness to them. Going through a transition, especially before starting one, we want to be everything female, somewhat blinding ourselves to our own reality.
I think this is necessary: old Chinese proverb: “the student must reject the mentor in order to excel and move forward”. I think we first have to reject maleness and embrace what we see as total femininity to make those first steps, to clearly define what is and what is not. This allows us to break the life long facade we held up and to identify it as such and see it clearly.
However, this is an extreme – the pendulum is far over to one side, opposite of where is was – the extreme other side. At some point it is imperative to center it, to center ourselves, to become not some idealized non-existent reality that no natal woman can even achieve, but to come back to ourselves – to explore and find who we are and then be that.
After all, that is what started this journey: we were not who we authentically ‘are’ and needed to change. Now, if that means you are good at and enjoy car mechanics before, then do that now! That was part of you. Forget the labels, forget that’s a ‘masculine’ trait – its just a trait, a capability. (By the way, one of the best mechanics here on this island is a natal woman ….. )
So, my partner and I have come to an agreement and understanding – we both just want to be ourselves – so let’s just do that. She was missing the male that I used to be, but upon further exploration, she saw that those traits and capabilities were still there. She wants to be the woman she is – and that is exactly who I fell in love with and need the most especially as I go through this transition and also through the rest of my life.
So, this journey is about being the authentic ‘me’ – not the facade I put on before. Society best describes the summation of ‘me’ as a woman – and that is what I am. But more than that or any labels – I am simply ….. me !!
With much Aloha,
That was an important talk that nipped any potential problem in the bud. Good for the two of you. Give her a hug from me.
Huge hug delivered !!
Yes. Being ourselves and feeling it. ♥
yes, a double huge hug for both of you from me. I am slightly fascinated, Si, because we had such an immediate conversation in the car up to Haleakala that one morning. You opened up to me right away and with that giggle and delightful curiosity…told me the whole story of how you and lisa met as opposite genders. At the time, I didn’t realize that you were going to transition into the woman you had always been. I am most curious if the gender actually changes the male, female qualities. It is so interesting to consider that you two are still a very “in love”couple and of course if that is the case than Lisa would love you just as much and even perhaps more as you become more of who you are…..Conversely, I can certainly see Lisas confusion of the role of a man that is physically not in her life and yet you are there and she is still a woman. Maybe this is an opportunity for Lisa to be more of who she is and that may include more of her masculine traits which will in fact, bring out her more feminine traits….and she doesn’t need for you to be any way except the way you are. I think that is the potential of all relationships including the one with yourself. I think it is very important that you continue to document as well as Lisa document the journey. all my love and support, Linda
Mahalo Linda! Hummm – you touch on some of the core ideas here. I met Lisa in a virtual world: my avatar was female. It was difficult to tell her who I really was (see the tab about “Beginnings” above). Of course she believed I was lying and deceiving her and it took me a while to figure out myself that the situation was opposite what was seen: the female avatar was actually the real me being able to ‘be’ and express herself, something the physical me at that time could not.
That brings up a second very important point – who she knew then and grew to know even more as we physically came together and got to know and love each other – was not Steph, but was Sifan. Those aspects of ‘me’ were and are the core of my being – which society labels as feminine or as a woman.
Which brings me back to this post and your wonderful reply (you hit the nail on the head). Unfortunately, even in today’s society, men or women get very uptight and sometimes angry if someone says (or if they themselves come to this conclusion) that one of their life’s traits are ‘perceived’ as belonging to the opposite gender.
I mentioned above about Helen Boyd’s “She’s not the man I married”. She brings out the point I was making very succinctly – in fact, she will take the most feminine woman or the most masculine man and shred their notion of gender if you base that on traits !!
If you were to make a list of all these so called traits – made a T chart with masculine on one side, feminine on the other and separated your traits – you may or may not be surprised with the result. However, look around for examples to support your choice of which side a particular trait was put on – and you will start to see what I mean. That is, to a large extent, determined by culture, in where you live (there is even a difference between New York and say Montana)! Plus you can find so many exceptions that such a T chart becomes sort of useless.
So, what I was saying above is that we need to 1) drop these labels, we all have traits – just traits and lots of them ‘cross’ that foggy border, 2) be who we are. In Lisa and my case, we fell in love with ‘who we are’ and that has not changed because of my transition. I was born with an incongruency – despite the outward appearance of my body – I was always a woman. If anything, I had to learn to act like a man – but who I was then, was still a woman.
Yes, there are internal changes as well as external changes as one goes through a transition. That is a good subject for another post!! But the core ‘being’ does not change – because it always was – transition is a way to align with that.
But, its a good message for everyone: be oneself, one’s authentic self !
Love and hugzzzz Linda !!