Here We Go With That Label Complaint Again…

Have I mentioned lately that I hate labels? I have? Good. I’m going to do it again.

I hate labels.

So during my first therapy session, my therapist really pushed for me to try to think of myself as a heterosexual man. And I have been trying to. I’m trying to maintain an open mind to the process, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve got myself pretty well figured out – it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong about myself and I’m not going to let my cockiness get the best of me during this process. The problem with trying to identify as a straight guy is that those two things have not shaped how I grew up or how I color my world. I grew up female. Surrounded by and hanging out with guys, but physically female. Despite my best efforts, my mom put every bit of effort into making me act female. I’ve learned to pass in both worlds – better as a male than female, but I can make due. I’m also not totally of one sexuality. Sure – I’m primarily attracted to women – or people who express female, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t found men attractive or wouldn’t be open to the idea were I not in a committed relationship. So I’ve decided that I’m not a heterosexual male. I’m trans. I’m me. And it’s just that simple, or complicated, you decide.

I think it’s my lingering attachment to labels and to the need for things to be labeled that has me questioning my relationship so much. I think of Melissa as a lesbian. And what lesbian is going to be attracted to a good, old heterosexual man? And that’s part of the problem. She’s not a lesbian; she’s Melissa. She’s my fiancee. She’s that girl that didn’t run away when I told her I wanted to transition. She’s that girl that has relentlessly harassed my doctors because her work hours are better than mine for doing that. She’s the one that helped me talk to my family. She’s the one that set up therapy appointments, endocrinology appointments. She’ll be the one picking up prescriptions, most likely. She’s forgetful and gets off track. She drives me crazy with her inability to follow through sometimes. I feel like I have to remind her about the same things all the time. But she’s Melissa. And it’s true – lesbians aren’t going to find me attractive anymore. But I have something better than that.

On a vaguely related note – Melissa tried on wedding dresses yesterday. I got to see some pictures of the one she’s not picking. She’s going to be superstitious that way. She looked amazing and, I’m told, found one that she actually loves. So that’s fantastic. Feels like this whole wedding thing is getting more and more real every day. 8 months left. Where has the time gone? I feel like I just proposed.

That’s all for now,

Ty

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4 thoughts on “Here We Go With That Label Complaint Again…”

  1. I’ve been having a similar thought kicking around in my head lately. So I’m eyeing up transitioning to female and my girlfriend is 100% behind me. But she identifies as straight, or at least always has up until now, and I’m attracted to female gender presentation. I’ve only had two serious relationships (the first lated 6 years, this current one is just climbing up to 3) so I’ve never really paid much attention to my own sexuality as both relationships were with women and there was only a gap of about 3 months between them. Both just started kind of unintentionally without looking for anything.

    So, I’m thinking do we now identify as a lesbian couple? Is my partner now bisexual? Am I a lesbian? If so, am I one now or only when I transition? I mean I don’t care really, it’s not exactly important, but it’s odd as I don’t think about the labels. She’s just who she is, she’s into me and I’m into her, regardless. I don’t specifically think about her gender and she says she doesn’t think about mine. So if someone asked me what sexuality I was right now I’d probably just answer with “Erm….”

    Hm. I may think on this and write a blog about it myself at some point!

  2. There are as many ways to be a man as there are men, including being a trans guy kind of man.
    I can’t see myself as a middle aged straight white guy – but that doesn’t mean I’m not trans and it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get top surgery if I want it (although it took my a while to truly believe it).

  3. I’m also struggeling with the labels… I like how you say that “straight guy” haven’t shaped or colored you growing up – you really pinpointed it there for me, thank you!

  4. I identify a lot with what you are saying here. I was in a lesbian relationship for the last 18 years, and this year we are now seen as a straight couple. It is not just me that is transitioning, C has to transition as well. Suddenly we are treated differently than we were before and both of us have to navigate this new world. C has been my rock through this process and although at times we hit some rough patches, we know it is the right path for us.

    I am also just me, a trans guy who has to learn new ways of doing things. I do find it much easier presenting as male, mannerisms and behaviors do not need to be constantly checked as I needed to do before. Things feel so much more natural.

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