One Partner's View

Lia shares her views about being in a relationship with a crossdresser.

To be transgender means:

A person has been born with a disconnect between their anatomy and perception of self. This results in a feeling that their body does not live in harmony with their brain. A boy dreams of wearing dresses, jewellery that sparkles and make up. A girl wants to play rugby, change flat tires and leave the toilet seat up.

I love someone very deeply in this predicament. Their gender is far less important to me than their humanity.

If you are learning, perhaps belatedly, that you too love someone tormented by transgenderism, then please remember: it is not about you.

No one wishes to create pronoun dilemmas for friends and family just for a bit of fun. For many in this rarified situation these feelings come with an acute inner turmoil that can be a supreme challenge with which to cope.

Some fall into depression or succeed in drowning their desire to live as the opposite gender by being incessantly busy or numbing themselves with harmful habits. The goal is simply to Deny at all cost that which could cause loved ones upset or jeopardise a career, thus putting livelihood or achievements at risk.

To be transgender is not a crime. Yet the person born with this condition is in fact a victim. It is often given the label "gender dysphoria" so that those subscribing to the symptoms might access helpful services.

Putting labels aside, it is what it is.

I so very much wish that those who must one day learn someone they know is transgender - maybe even are related to such an exotic person - that they are able to see clearly that any period of time where they did not know has nothing to do with a desire to deceive or fool them.

How can a transgender person share such information when they do not accept or understand their own feelings?

Denial has everything to do with fear. A real sense of terror that for reasons poorly understood (biology can easily baffle with its intricacy and exceptions) some people are born to live within the body of an incompatible gender. Most every single day in ways small and large and to varying degrees, a sense of anxiety, loss and frustration is felt.

These feelings are because the outside appearance is not congruent with their inside identity. And then one day something snaps or breaks or awakens.

Inspiring loved ones, colleagues, acquaintances, friends and neighbours to be asked if they can please please please forgive this very apologetic and anguished person for being brave enough to become the person they so desperately dream of being.

It takes so much courage to be vulnerable and to risk rejection from those who mean so very much to someone unable to live their entire life in Denial. Often this takes half a lifetime when reminders of mortality are less easily ignored.

You choose your reaction when learning new thing - attitude is always a choice.

Importantly, if you know someone transgender and they have shared this reality with you, please see that you have been given a precious opportunity to show that you care more about beauty on the inside than a sense of fashion on the outside.

Life is truly short.

Says the genetic woman devoted to her partner's happiness and unconcerned with the approval of anyone who lacks an appreciation of her size 12 heels. Nothing lights up a room more brightly than the smile of a transgender male dressed in all the exquisite fun that femininity affords and masculinity eschews.

How can apparel, like gift wrapping, be a genuine problem?