Breaking Up While Trans

It happened. My relationship ended.

It sucks.

But thinking about all of the sucky things that have come about in the aftermath, there are a few things that keep coming up. They’re big things. Existential things. Probably the things you always feel lurking in the back of your mind and you don’t even know it.

I had to wonder– how much of what I’m feeling has to do with my trans identity? And by that, I mean, the identity of a person who spent a good deal of their life pretending to be something they weren’t.  This isn’t unique to trans folks, of course. But that’s where I am.

Recently I have been trying to work on making myself more open to vulnerability. Not like weakness. But openness. Softness. Feeling. Sharing. Daring. Risking. I saw a TED talk by Brene Brown that basically changed my life, and so I’m trying to practice that in my life.

So I am going to be vulnerable and tell you what it is that really scares me about being broken up with.

  1. I am unlovable.

This is the big one. The one that underlies just about everything, when it comes to it. I know a lot of folks struggle with this. But I think, perhaps, those of us that exist outside of the binary may experience this more than others. When you come of age feeling like you’re an outsider, like you are not reflected in culture or media, like you have no voice, it’s easy to interpret those feelings as you being inherently undesirable. Unwelcome. Unlovable.

Any family shit you have beyond that is basically just icing on the cake.

2. No One Else Will Ever Get It

Another doozy.  When discussing my current situation with a friend, they commented on how my situation is basically a typical first-love coming-out scenario. Basically that you fall really hard for the person who you feel really truly sees you for who you are, or as you see yourself.  It could be your first girlfriend after you come out as a lesbian.  Or your first partner that sees you as a trans person. They’re the first person you feel loves you for you. Sees you as you see yourself. Treats you as you want. After years of never feeling this.

Of course anything of that magnitude would leave an impact. It’s no wonder I feel like I have been cratered.

3. Was I Not ________ Enough?

Fill in the blank. Doesn’t really matter what it is that you have to fill in there, if you find yourself asking this question, you’re not alone. I think especially as a trans person that likes queer people, male and female, it’s easy to feel like you might not have been _____ enough. If you’re with a queer female person, was I too much like a boy? If you’re with a queer male person– was I not man enough?  It can be extremely terrifying to be in a situation where you feel like you’re trying to convince someone you’re still _____ enough to be worth their time.

Yeah, relationships are hard. Yes, breakups are terrible. But for those of us who are trans, it can be a lot more complicated than that. Have empathy for your fellow humans. Be most excellent to each other.