Enjoy the life that is waiting for you 

Photo provided.

by Allison Blaylock 
Transgender Advice Columnist 

Dear Alli, 

My fiancé and I have been together three years; now engaged and are happy. We have normal issues; we help each other and occasionally exacerbate each other's anxiety.  

I’m a trans female who was closeted when she and I began dating. After 10 months, I came out. It took her all of three minutes to process it and accept it. Soon after, we went to Planned Parenthood where I started hormones and life went on pretty much as normal. We have never had a problem that seemed even remotely irreconcilable until recently.  

My fiancé has always identified as a straight female. She still identifies that way. I know her identity is simply a label but since learning she still labels herself as heterosexual, I cannot stop obsessing over “what that means”. I have tried talking to her about it but she finds the topic uncomfortable, simply replying, “it is just a label” and it doesn't matter now. But it totally matters to me.  

What does that mean? Has my fiancé never ceased to see me as a male? Is she really attracted to my body post-transition? Should this be bothering me this much? 

When my body image is at its lowest, her words help me through suicidal thoughts and wanting to self-harm. Now, I constantly wonder if she is just saying whatever it takes to make me feel good. No matter how often I try to address that concern, she cannot convince me she means it. Sometimes I tell her I feel better and pretend she helped, but later, I’m more distressed and in doubt.  

I am completely convinced my fiancé doesn't want to be alone and is willing to stay with me to avoid being alone. I am terrified I will never be happy and that one day one of us will wake up and hate the other. I know I should be seeing a therapist but can't afford it.  

I don't know what to do but the situation is unbearable. Please give me some solid advice, I have never felt so lost. 

Kelley from Cali 

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Your situation is not much different from others I’ve seen. I have friends that have been in strong healthy relationships and the fact of transition has not affected the future. Sometimes, it brought the two people together more than ever. However, some relationships ended. 

It is unfortunate that in society today that we put labels on so many things. Your fiancé may be trying to get over the label, but it sounds as if she’s still struggling with it.  

I would suggest that you stop focusing on the labels that society forces us to use and live happily as two adults that care and love one another. The other suggestion is to find a therapist that can work with you both. There are no doubt behavioral health centers near you that work with low to no income people.  

A therapist can help you discuss and work out the issues regarding the transition and the relationship. The one thing that you must remember; they are only as good as you allow them to be, meaning you must be willing to be open and honest about all things. Be vulnerable to get the best help you can. 

In the message, it sounds like she is a huge supporter of yours and that she has accepted you for being you. That is a major plus! It takes some people a lifetime to find someone that accepts them, let alone encourages and gives positive feedback on the transition. Her desire to hold you close and to keep you from bodily harm is a strong sign of that.  

Remember, we spend a lifetime realizing we are who we are. When we come to terms with it, we are already way past where those in our lives are. Even though they accept and embrace you, they are still working things out and making the transition for themselves. 

No situation has a perfect answer. There are multiple ways to solve issues. From the way you write about her, it’s clear how much you both care for each other.  

As transgender individuals, we sometimes tend to over analyze things. I run into this issue many times personally. I over-think what I perceive others are thinking or saying about me as negative and later find they were actually complimenting me. We each have to feel people do like and care for us and that the comments and compliments we get are positive.  

You will make it through this. It’s only a small speed bump in the road we travel on. There’s a quote from Joseph Campbell that I remember when I struggle: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  

Copyright The Gayly - 8/19/2017 7:10 a.m. CST