Stories

Complications in Trans Relationships

Man and Woman Embracing

Don’t Have The Words

I recently bumped into a trans crush of mine. We are currently on-hold, but not really, when I have the time, in an on-off kind of way.

This person is also a public figure to a degree, which complicated things even further. I play safe instead of playing risky in public.

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I don’t know exactly how to say everything I’m dealing with that separates me from this person, and it’s hard to articulate.

It’s not you, it’s me, and it’s also kinda us, because being with them requires a different approach to sex, time, space and life… just a bit.

It’s not drastically different, and I don’t want to ever make it seem like I am fetishizing a trans relationship, but there is a difference.

Just like being with cis-men is different than being with cis-women, regardless of what power balances and equal opportunities are offered to all.

There are just particulars. Especially when it comes to certain people’s identities and desires. They have social impact and repercussions.

I’m always willing to pay. But I’m not always willing to play. There are times when I just have to do different things, be in different places. And unfortunately, I just did not have all the tools necessary to conduct a smoother transition into a “timeout” between myself and them.

We just drifted apart. We had plans, we had desires, we had been intimate before. But we didn’t take it further. Even though I want to. But just not right right now.

There are complications that exist with their life and my life that make it one of those things that you put in the to-be-continued file of life.

I just didn’t have the vocabulary to tell them. I didn’t have the vocabulary to even tell myself what was happening with some of our sexual, emotional and intellectual complexities.

I wasn’t sure how to articulate my issues with their one negative personality trait, something that I’m sure was sharpened and hardened by years of defending their honor and identity in difficult situations. I felt conflicted about even criticizing this aspect of them.

I had not conducted many relationships with trans women, so how would I know the issues of what happens in some of them? It’s not like there’s not things that come up.

In interracial relationships in North America, things come up. Between black and white people? They’re LUCKY if they don’t have any problems in public or with their family or friends. Some places are much more accepting and evolved than others, but it’s still true—there are places and people where interracial relationships are still not accepted in 2016. Same with inter-faith/inter-cultural relations.

I’m not even sure what some members of my family would think if they knew I was dating an openly trans person. Not that I care! But it’s something that I would be happy doing… and they would not be happy seeing.

And how do we all talk about this?

Imperfectly. Honestly. Brutally. Respectfully. Compassionately.

I think that’s a start for all conversations that we can have around transgender relationships, and all the stuff we don’t have the words for.

In love,
Addi Stewart

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