Conversation with doctor:
“So, is your partner bisexual?”
“No, she’s a lesbian”
“Oh, not even a little bit attracted to men?”
“No, definitely not”
*long pause*
“That’s going to present big problems for your relationship as you transition.”

Well, that doctor wasn’t the first to suggest that me transitioning would signal the end of my loving relationship of (at that point) six years, and certainly won’t be the last. I’m not so naive that I don’t realise that historically not that many relationships make it after one half of the couple goes through transition. I do realise that as we change emotionally and physically, our relationships change too, sometimes just moving too much away from the core that held the couple together in the first place for the relationship to stay viable.

I know this. But as it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, I want to make a plea…don’t write us off. Don’t assume the worst. Don’t sit by the phone waiting for the bad news. Because it doesn’t happen to everybody.

I’m not going to go into the ins and outs (fnar) of my sexuality, and that of my partner. I think we covered that in my earlier post So, does that make you both straight now? Suffice it to say that I identify as queer, and my partner identifies as a queer lesbian. For a definition of what the word ‘queer’ means to us (and won’t necessarily for everybody), please see the Glossary I posted a while back. Sexually, yes, we’ve had a steep hill to climb in terms of my physical changes, and also the changes in the way I relate to my own body. But that hill hasn’t necessarily been a bad one to climb, and we’ve quite enjoyed some of the views to be had along the way, if I can stretch that metaphor a little further!

Emotionally, I have changed, and that has led to a lot of renegotiating (and me being b*tchslapped by Willemina pretty regularly). But all in all, I am still the same person I have always been, only happier, more relaxed, more comfortable, more confident than ever. I am finally feeling like the person I always wanted to be, and that’s actually done our relationship a whole lot of good. Let’s face it, would you rather your partner was uptight, depressed, stressed and uncomfortable, or the opposite? Some of the changes we have faced really have been a good thing for both of us.

We’re an odd couple, I know, a transman and a lesbian. But for us, it works. We don’t do anything special, we’re just very, very lucky. Relationships either work or they don’t. Some do break down because of transition, some because of other stuff. If you have friends in a relationship, and one is just starting out on their transition journey, please don’t assume the relationship will crash and burn. Of course, it might, but my point is that it’s horrible to assume, and unfair to say to anyone that’s embarking on their transition that what they are doing will lose them their partner. Just support them if that does happen, and please, avoid “I told you so’s”, because these things are NOT inevitable.

It’s been about 7 years since Willemina and I first met, nearly 18 months since we had our Civil Partnership ceremony (more of that, and the legal issues around it, at a later date. Not now – I’m feeling romantic). We are still together, and strongly so. I can’t guarantee we’ll be together, forever, until the end of our days. Who can? But we have pledged to be together until the point where we stop being happy with one another.

So Willemina Velvetina Pelicina, I love you with all my heart. You are my strength and the arms that hold me when I worry. You are warmth and giggles and craziness. Your smile makes my brain explode, and your farts are the stuff of legend. I’m yours.
***stop press***
New video up on YouTube – interview, romance, and me failing the latest manliness test in spectacular fashion! Just click on MrHerbertTurtle up on the right hand side of this post.