Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Coming out... By our new Writer, Cupcake. Stories about the transgendered life for Suddenly Fem
Our New Writer ! Intro and Bio: We would like to introduce you to Cupcake. She is a GG (genetic girl) who has had extensive experience in friendship as well as relationships with M2F transgendered. She knows many people the transgendered and alternative lifestyle world and has even participated in groups involving counseling for transgendered and their partners. We hope you will be as excited and appreciative about her sharing her past and present experiences, and some guidance about relationships and how to navigate the sometimes complicated task of living full or part time as transgendered.
Carrying around a secret puts a strain on you, your relationship and your partner. Whether you're interested in bringing gender play into your bedroom or taking it out-and-about in public, talking about it is essential. If you're questioning your own gender identity and struggling with gender issues, support, affirmation and openness can help both of you to manage this challenging time. Talking may not come easy, but not telling is certain to be harder for both of you. Keep in mind that your happiness matters to your partner and if this is what you need to be happy, bless your heart, you do need to share.
There are some obvious times not to bring this up for discussion. The dinner table at Thanksgiving when your in-laws are over (unless you'd really prefer them not to come back next year), your anniversary or while you're out to dinner at your favorite restaurant come to mind quickly. There are a few less obvious absolute don'ts. Don't bring this up in bed. Naked equals vulnerable and this is definitely a pants-on conversation. Choose a private time and a neutral place for these initial discussions. A quiet dinner at home, a relaxing Sunday afternoon or over a cup of coffee on the back porch are better choices for a conversation that may be accompanied by anger, tears or stress.
Before you spill the news, think about what you need to share. While you may not know all the answers, expect to be asked what this means for your relationship, your sexual orientation and your lives together. Keep in mind that you've likely been mulling this over for a while. Your partner hasn't. Sure, she's had suspicions, but they may be way off base from your reality. If she spotted lingerie receipts or evidence of lipstick, adultery likely came to mind instead of crossdressing. Hey, she might be pleased with the alternative. Regardless of what she thought was going on, this is new information and may take some time to absorb and accept it before she can embrace helping you learn to walk in heels or shopping for falsies.
This isn't the time to hold back and you have to be prepared to 'fess up to anything and everything. If you've cheated, you're going to have to come clean for both your sakes. Your partner has a right to honest information about anything that might cause health concerns. While many partners can accept gender play, crossdressing or even an eventual gender transition, handling dishonesty and adultery is much harder. If you're looking at coming back after infidelity, marriage counseling may be a help. Shop around for a kink-friendly therapist to avoid any backlash related to crossdressing or transgender issues. This probably isn't the time to visit your minister for marital counseling.
If you've confided an interest that is largely confined to the bedroom or fetish parties, you may find your partner takes this in stride, particularly if she's usually, as Dan Savage says, “good, giving and game” or the two of you have experimented with kink before. Together, you can integrate dressing up into your time together in a playful and intimate way. For some couples, crossdressing adds shopping trips and make-up lessons to the relationship, but doesn't fundamentally change it.
A desire to dress and present in a feminine way in public or to transition and live as female full-time may be a bit harder for your partner to swallow. While she might handle things well if they're kept private, accepting a public transition can be much more challenging. Plan and talk through your first public outings together, perhaps planning them for out-of-town trips to allow you both to be more comfortable. If you're considering transitioning, a qualified and queer-friendly therapist is essential. Your partner may also want to look into support groups for partners of transfolk or a trans support group that integrates partners.
Realize that this conversation may not be over, even if you're feeling done. The two of you may need to negotiate dressing up, boundaries and the parameters that make your relationship work. While you need support through these changes, so too does your partner. If you can offer reassurance and continue to build upon the stable and loving foundation of your relationship, the two of you will weather this bump in your relationship as if it wasn't more than a slight smear in your lipstick.