So, just for the hell of it…
Imagine that I actually muster the insane courage required to come out to my girlfriend.
I can go ahead and drop the nuclear bomb. “Hey FYI I’m transgender. Uhh sorry about that….didn’t know until recently.”
Let’s just say that the shock wears off and there my beautiful girlfriend still sits (offering at least a suggestion that she may stick around for this).
That can’t possibly be the end of the discussion. She will have questions and I’ll have to answer. I owe her that as long as it doesn’t become a complete beat-up-on-Alli session.
This is where things get REALLY difficult.
So what does this mean for us? What does this look like day-to day?
She’ll have to ask, “So how far do you need to go?” …or something along those lines.
This is a big pressure moment because every cell in my body will be screaming at me to offer some (mostly false) concessions.
In real time at that very moment I will be hyper-speed-processing every possible less-than-full-transition option and trying to figure out if I can accept it. All this because HERE is where the rubber likely meets the road for her.
“How bad is this going to be for me.” She has to be wondering.
I have been through this in my head over and over. Felix Conrad in How to Jedi Mindtrick Your Gender Dysphoria spends a lot of time on this topic. Asking basically two questions:
- How bad is your Gender Dyphoria? Is it possible to accept something less?
- If you decide that you can’t pass and know that not being able to pass is where the road ends, what now is your fallback position?
I have come to a place (or so I believe today at this moment in time) where I believe I have to be able to pass or I should not transition. If I can actually get Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) I may be able to pass. If I can’t I don’t think I’ll ever be happy.
At this point I believe FFS may be an option for me so I end up telling her that I need this to go all the way.
Once again, allow me to fantasize. My girlfriend has not yet left the building.
The conversation is nowhere near over. What is this going to look like to her?
Some of this will be predictable…some will optically be absurd and always right in front of her. This show will not be easy for her to watch. Why?
So I can tell her about HRT and give her some information so she can measure her thoughts about that. I can tell her I am being assessed for FFS and what surgeries I am considering. I can tell her about possible timing and recovery. But what else?
Here’s where things get weird. How do I explain the following VERY uncomfortable psychological aspects of my condition?
I have been conditioned to fake alpha male for my entire life. This presents the need for solutions to undo all that as I am not even remotely feminine in appearance, voice, mannerisms…nada.
I’m going to invoke some old-school Dungeons and Dragons thinking to this. After the initial bomb hit subsides let’s say she has a Transgender Boyfriend Acceptance Level (or TBAL) of +20 – just due to not immediately ending things
- I will need to practice voice training so I can sound like an actual woman. (This uncomfortable aspect yields a -5 modifier to her acceptance or TBAL.)
- I will eat and exercise in such a way as to make my body look as feminine as possible. (This one adds only a -3 TBAL modifier as she kind of figured that may be part of it after the initial revelation.)
- No more guy tattoos. If they aren’t girly they aren’t happening. (She probably won’t care about this so I’ll give this a +2 modifier to her TBAL)
- I will need to practice my body positioning and the way I move…a lot. (This adds a -8 TBAL modifier as it will look absolutely absurd and likely be hard for her to watch as I fiddle-f*ck my way through it)
- I may need to dress up and leave the house even before I fully transition. (-10 TBAL as this may bring her humiliation in the short-term)
- I’ll need to dress differently a lot of the time but can also offer a build up to that as I approach full transition. (So -2. She’ll deal with it.)
- I suck at makeup and it’s a big deal. I’ll need help. (She figures this isn’t that weird so +5 modifier to TBAL and even offers to help)
- I’ll also need to disclose my secret life. A few friends (Trans and Cis women), a blog with a lot of crazy stuff in it, a Twitter account with almost 400 followers… (-5)
- Even my name. I’m Allison not [Insert Deadname Here]. (+1 she kinda gets it.)
TBAL Actual: -5
Now here is the big one…
Mental age. This gets weird in a hurry. Some of us cis/trans/non-binary (it matters not) FEEL either older or younger than their biological age. So that isn’t too weird right? I’m 48 but feel more like early 30’s mentally as my fake man self. I’m sure my girlfriend may feel a little younger too.
As a woman I feel like I’m much younger. 19? 23? 26? I dunno. Hard to pin down.
I have heard this called “second puberty” which I am guessing applies more directly if your mental age is in your teens (mine is not). Ostensibly I missed out on the childhood I needed. I never got to be that girl. Instead I just felt like less of a man and needed to fix it by being a “real” man.
Girly movies? Yup.
Invite me over to a girly sleepover where we can do hair and makeup? Oh God yes.
Take me out clothes and makeup shopping? Squeeee!
Go out to a club with girlfriends? Well let me go shopping for a new dress!
I can’t revise my entire history but this is where my sensibilities lay. I missed out on a lot and somehow I just feel like a much younger woman. This likely will sound (and look) freakish and absurd. (-10 TBAL modifier)
TBAL Actual: -15
I really haven’t thought this through but -15 probably puts us below the minimum acceptance threshold.
So I can go ahead and muster all the courage in the world (because that’s what it’ll take) to drop the bomb on her but the devil here is truly in the details.
This could go from maybe acceptance “Hey maybe I can do this.” to “Oh my God I have no idea how to even process ALL THAT!!” to “I can’t do this at all.” in a heartbeat.
How terrifying to possibly have some acceptance at first blush and then have it all unravel before your very eyes and seeing pure unadulterated dread wash over her beautiful face as she realizes she can’t be a part of this at all.
The devil really is in the details…
Damn, girl. I think you detailed a ton of my worries this week. I’m looking at coming out more properly, but can I actually do what I want to do?
I think the immediate thing for me, and maybe you is: break it down into smaller bits. Not all those things will happen at once, or at all. It’s ok to answer, “I don’t know yet” and try some stuff out, see how it goes.
How do you eat an elephant??
Too right. I can only hope that the conversation doesn’t run away on me. I agree that bite-sized pieces is the way to go. It’s also legit likely that “I don’t know yet.” will have to be all I can say to one question or another.
How to eat an elephant indeed. Wise words my friend. Thank you.💕
Sending love, Alli. Stay the course. We’re here with support. Thank you for writing down your thoughts and dreams so eloquently. I can only hope it helps you as it helps me to see things more clearly as an ally.
Thank you so much Lexi. You are such a sweetheart. 🥰