This one is specifically for trans folks, but cis folks can listen in if they want (and they should).
My dear ones,
If I could tell you one thing and make you believe it it would be this: You are beloved and worthy of love. Not in spite of your transness or your body or your identity but because of it. Because you are amazing and whole just as you are. Because you are a gift to the world.
I know there are a lot of narratives out there about how hard we are to date. How hard our very existence is on the people around us. How difficult our living into our truth makes it for other people. But you know what? All of that stuff is bullshit. It is! It’s bullshit that is passed on and around in order to make cisgender people feel better about their transphobia. It’s designed to make us, an already marginalized people, continue to feel badly about ourselves so that we will give up our power.
These messages are designed to wear us down. They are designed to make us feel insecure. To make us feel unworthy. To make us feel less than. And these messages do real harm to our community. Because we hear them all over and we can’t help but to internalize them.
How does this play out?
We feel we are unworthy of love. That our bodies are disgusting and less than. That we are missing parts (or have extra parts) that no one will ever love.
We stay in relationships that are harmful or abusive or even just less than ideal because we feel that’s all we deserve. That if we leave these people that we will never find anyone else. That this is what we deserve because we are freaks after all. That maybe this is as good as it gets.
And cisgender people prey on our insecurities. They reinforce them. They tell us at every turn that we are lucky when our cisgender partners stay with us (even as they use a wrong name and pronoun for us, even as they dead name us, even as they tell us how hard our wholeness is on them). They tell us that since it’s so hard on them we need to be patient (even as they do nothing to get it right). They tell us that we have to stay, we have to be nice, we have to listen to them say hurtful things because after all we’re the ones who messed things up by transitioning. But what if it didn’t have to be like this?
What if you could really, truly believe that you are worthy and good? That there is someone out there who will love you for all of you? That there are people who won’t make you feel bad for living into your truth, for embracing your identity?
There are. Really truly. They are people who will love you and cherish you. There are people who will do their own work of healing, get their own therapists, and want you to be healthy and whole as they are healthy and whole.
What if you could stand up in your truth and say “I am worth more than this. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of being desired. I am worthy of having a partner who is moving toward wholeness as I am also moving toward wholeness. I am worthy of respect: of being spoken to respectfully, of having my name and pronouns respected, of having my boundaries respected.”
We don’t have to settle for less than. We don’t have to listen to these narratives that say we’re hard to deal with and hard to date. We don’t have to prioritize cisgender feelings over our own feelings, not even the feelings of our partners: not even if we’re married and have been married for years.
Look, might your cisgender partner have a tough time with your transition at first? Sure. Then they need to get a therapist and deal with that. They need to make a decision about whether or not they want to stay. And if they want to stay they need to get on board and quick. And if they don’t? If it’s clear that they are refusing to do the work necessary to love you really love you not in spite of your transness but because of it, then you have every right to leave them. No matter the length or the depth of the history between you. Because you do not deserve to be treated with disrespect. You do not deserve to be with someone who won’t work on their own trauma and toward their own healing. You do not have to be a caretaker for emotions that your partner refuses to deal with. You deserve better.
When you decided to embrace your truth and live into it, you took a step toward wholeness. You deserve to be with someone who is also taking those steps. You deserve to be with someone who celebrates you and your identity. You deserve to be with someone who thinks you are the bees knees. Because you are.
You deserve love and every kind of happy ending. You are worthy of it. Don’t settle for less.
PS: Cisgender folks: Trans people are amazing. They are beautiful and funny and resilient and strong. They are loving and fierce. They are brilliant and sexy. They are the real deal and if you are lucky enough to date or marry a trans person? You have got to do right by them. Because this community is one of the most incredible anywhere and you are lucky to get to even be adjacent to it. And if you can’t celebrate that? If you can’t realize how incredible trans people are? Then you don’t deserve us. Because we are incredible.