Ever since my girlfriend and I met in autumn 2008 I had described myself as ‘gender-ambivalent’, happy with both my masculinity and my feminine aspects. She’s always known me comfortable with my Stag and Hind selves. I had a tattoo to mark my counselling diploma course ending in July that year to represent that acceptance in myself….it’s the symbol on this post …the three aspects of the Goddess (Maiden, Mother, Crone) represented by the interlocked moon crescents which are also the symbol of the Stag. The was irony that I got stuck at the point of making that spiritual connection with myself. I DID have a moment of clarity around that summer where I realised I could have my breasts removed. But I was in a massively dysfunctional relationship with another woman which massively screwed-up how I was feeling about myself at the time.
But then I met Rubi – that’s what she’s decided she’ll be called here – and I fell in love with a most amazing woman who loves me for being ME. Like I said Rubi has always known I had a certain gender fluidity. But this is a whole new level of experience and I was acutely conscious that my choice of gender identity was going to have a profound effect on her own internal sense of self-identity. Rubi is a LESBIAN and she loves WOMEN. How was my decision going to impact on her? Yes I was scared….
The day following my conversation with my manager I had a session with my therapist of 3 and a half years, Eve, where I recounted my ‘moment’ and my final acceptance that I needed my inner boy to become a man so I could feel completely whole and at one with my body. Eve was not surprised as my gender issues have been a constant background theme to our work together, although never discussed directly as I’ve always had other pressingly real and distressing stuff to work through as I went deeper into myself and my relationships with others as part of my training to become a therapeutic counsellor. The next steps were to go and speak to my GP and get a pyschiatrist referral to a gender identity specialist…and to speak to Rubi.
My drive back home was determined and focused. I picked up Rubi at the GP’s by coincidence and so made an appointment for myself for the following Wednesday. We had to pop back to Rubi’s mum’s before getting back to my parents’ place later where we’d get a bit of space to talk. We did talk and I was able to tell her exactly how I was feeling and what I wanted to do about it. We kissed. We hugged. We cried. So many different feelings and we were able to share them all. Most of all Rubi was excited about me wanting to come home in my body. She’s looking forward to seeing me being truly happy in myself… and to be honest I think she’s also looking forward to the turboboost in my libido that will peak with puberty 😉
Rubi came across a website for partners of FTM transpeople which has been useful and found an excellent article which we both found spoke to us quite powerfully. I’ll post the links in a bit. It’s quite possible that Rubi will have her own blog about her experience of our journey together. I’ll post a link to that as soon as it appears.
What has been most affirmed through my coming out to Rubi is that our deep deep love we have for each other is based on a mutual respect for each other’s personal sense of self. We have a wonderfully healthy ability to communicate to each other what we’re feeling and thinking and we’re both highly kineaesthetic and tactile people so a sense of being comfortable in our skins is really important to both of us as individuals. Rubi connects with how I’m feeling, empathises deeply, even though she experiences my current body, especially my breasts in a very different way to how I currently do. Then again, she also says she would have fallen in love with me had I been flat-chested or if I had lost my breasts to cancer. But this is not why I am losing mine. I am choosing to remove them because they just there and they shouldn’t be – they’re not there in my mind’s eye. For a self-confessed breast woman, Rubi has been amazingly accepting of my choice….and I have promised her one last feel the night before the op! After that she gets the pecs.
Better get down the gym sharpish…