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Are Partners of Trans Necessarily LGBT(Q)?

Over at Helen Boyd’s blog, the question comes up of whether partners of transpeople identify as being under the LGBT umbrella – Helen herself says “I’m the Q that gets left off a lot,” which makes sense to me. I wanted to leave a comment but I’ve never been able to successfully register on Helen’s site to do so, so I decided to make a post of my own to discuss the topic.

In order to be attracted to, and have a successful relationship with someone who is considering, or has crossed over the gender barrier, does a person need to have a little Q in them? I suspect the answer is yes but I’m well aware that this is a very sensitive subject touching on not only how the cisgender* partner self-identifies, but also how their transgender partner might feel about the way s/he is seen in relationship to her/his cis partner once s/he has fully transitioned. If a wife considers herself straight while married to a man, and continues to consider herself straight after her spouse has transitioned to become a woman, wouldn’t that mean that either she still sees her spouse as male, or that she no longer feels that erotic energy towards her mate? Neither of which would seem, to me, to be a good thing for either spouse. Or is there a way to really and truly feel that you are only attracted to one gender, except for the unique and singular case of the person you have already spent much of your life with? I’d still argue that in this case, there’s a little queerness creeping in!

There’s also the question of the difference between a relationship that started before transition was even contemplated, and a relationship that didn’t begin until after transition was complete. In the latter case, I would assume that someone who was prepared to make a lifetime commitment to a post-transition partner with all that that entails would already have identified themselves as a little off the straight track, although I can see that for the trans partner, having someone willing to make that commitment while remaining firm in his/her straight identity would be very affirming. (I’m not talking about post-transition relationships where there has been no disclosure, as that’s a topic in and of itself.)

I’m not a big believer in labels myself, but in the case that triggered the original post (the application of LGBT scholarships), I suppose it is important to “find what fits”. Those of you out there reading who are in relationships right now, how do you (or your partner) view this? Does it apply? What possibilities have escaped my notice?

* Editor’s Note:  “Cisgender” refers to a person whose gender identity and biological sex, as assigned at birth, match.  Contrast that to a transgender person in whom those factors diverge.

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“Tragic End for Lesbians” news report

To some people, they may find it strange that I, being born “biologically male” means that my attraction to women would be considered heterosexual.  However, I have always identified internally as a lesbian, and this has created a problem between my spouse and me.  Working this out logically through reason is really not as easy as it sounds because of the flood of emotions that are evoked in even discussing this.

Well, just when I think I’ve got problems, I stumble onto something that makes me see how others in other cultures or societies are pushed well beyond their own limits.

Take, for example, the following news report from India by Queer Media Watch.

http://qmediawatch.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/pinknews-tragic-end-for-lesbian-couple-tormented-by-family-pressure/

From the site:

“A lesbian couple who committed suicide by setting themselves on fire have been put to rest in a joint cremation this week. Christy Jayanthi Malar [38] and Rukmani [40] set themselves ablaze after their families took objection to their “unnatural relationship.”

“This is common in India where there huge social and legal pressures to live a heterosexual lifestyle. The alarm was raised when smoke was seen coming from Mrs Malar’s home. When neighbours went in they found the bodies of the two women held in an embrace.”

A senior police told The Times of India newspaper:

“We can’t say the relatives pushed the women into suicide. “They might have verbally abused them, but that was to bring them back to normal life.”

Jeez, what the hell is wrong with the world today?  Obviously a LOT.

You can read the rest of the article here

Looking for Contributors – Interested?

This site has always been open for contributors.

In fact, the reason transcendgender.com was developed was to create a community where people could post and share their ideas, personal stories and struggles, and gender-related issues they felt were worthy of public discussion. (It’s also a place where contributors can link to their own personal blog or website, thereby serving as a jumping point to a growing community.)

Posts can be in the form of a personal blog, or a newsworthy article, such as the ones creating fiery discussions currently taking place over the DSM-V workgroup selections, or maybe even an interesting trans-related video.

We’re always looking for anyone interested in being added as a contributor. If you’d like to be added, please send an email to help (at) transcendgender (dot) com with your name and wordpress account if you have one or reply to this post with a comment with all the required info.

We’re also always looking for ways to expand the site or make it better. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Thanks!

Lori Davis