Valentine’s Day. That one day of the year when roses become more precious than gold, chocolates double in value and couples buy into a day of romance. Not that love should only be celebrated on one day of the year. With it being so commercialised these days, you can’t not see or hear about it. For the people who haven’t been lucky in love, it’s a stark reminder of their single status but what about those who are single and transgender too?
Let’s be honest, coming out as transgender is scary. Making an important decision that will change your life for the better, whilst exposing yourself to the prospect of huge personal loss. A large number of trans people do lose the support of friends and family when they come out. It’s a sad reality. At such an important time in their lives, they are abandoned, left to forge their new life with minimal support. Whilst the sense of being freed from living a lie is overwhelming, the impact of such loss and abandonment can often go unnoticed. It burrows deep inside and starts to impact a person’s sense of themselves. Imagine being abandoned for being yourself and how that would make you feel when it then comes to looking for love? Being told that someone doesn’t want anything to do with you because of who you are, or because they are disgusted by the idea of you, is the foundation of why so many trans people often prepare themselves to be singletons for life. There are people who will insist it’s the trans person’s fault for choosing that path…but is it though?? Is it really their fault for wanting to live their lives as their true selves?!
As a trans woman, I was absolutely terrified when I first came out to the world, especially to my wife. We’d been married for 4 years at the time. I was already in a really dark place as I wrestled with my gender identity but having to face the thought of losing the one I love really destroyed me. I even wrote her an open letter to apologise. To my complete surprise, my wife accepted me and stood by my side. Three years on from that day, she’s still with me and our relationship is stronger than ever. You can read the original article about us here. Ok, I’m not going to lie, I was lucky. My wife is an amazing and open-minded person, willing to accept people for who they are. It’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with her back in 2013. Despite the increase in awareness for the transgender community, not everyone is as accepting as she is. Existing partners can often feel the same dilemmas of how they’ll be seen and accepted by the world around them. After all, the process of transitioning doesn’t just involve the trans person. Those around them go through their own transition too. They are not only allies for the trans community, but allies who proudly and confidently show the world that acceptance of transgender people also extends to being in a visible relationship with them. Visibility is what helps to break down barriers. Visibility is our weapon in fighting for acceptance and love. Show the world that it’s about hearts, not parts.
To any single trans person reading this, who may feel they can’t be loved or accepted…I want to tell you that you can, and you will. I, for one, love you for being who you are. Every relationship is built on trust and honesty and you’re all examples of that simply by being yourself and by being visible. The way I see it, if you’re going to trusted and judged, you may as well be trusted and judged for the real you. Even be loved for the real you. And whilst you may not have love on Valentine’s Day (which, let’s face it is just one day), you have the constant and unconditional love of an extended family – one that accepts and supports you with no questions asked, one that understands and shares what you’re going through: the LGBTQ+ community.
Btw…roses and chocolates are cheaper on February 15th, so treat yourself to twice as much!!
Main image: via Google