Contributing Author: Emma, UK
I am deeply humbled by the process of transition that my transgender partner, Kate, is undertaking to become her true self. To watch her coming to life and living her life in colour instead of black and white is quite incredible.
But this is not 100% easy. Her mood can swing downwards as she faces challenges and then upwards as she overcomes those challenges with an upsurge of excitement. I liken this to the painful contractions of a re-birth of her new self. It can be difficult to see her go through it, but we have noticed that just when things seem particularly difficult, everything begins to get better again.
What I am learning from this process is to take a step back from “doing.” I can be mothering in our relationship which is not equal, appropriate, or healthy. For example, I would pick up the phone and make calls on her behalf like a lot of partners might do. However, if she wants this transition, she needs to take the active role and do things to overcome the difficulties that she faces in order to grow
Sometimes we can smother people by “doing” too much for one another. We are givers and like to help, yet it can interfere and dis-able. We, ourselves, begin to fear and consequently transmit a message of “I don’t trust that you can do this” to the other. Instead, we should hold onto a space of love and compassion that says, “Yes you can!”
And Kate can. Now when she struggles, I take a breath and try not to chip in with advice (though old habits die hard!) I try to trust that she will find her way. And sometimes just when I am thinking, oh no, this is too hard, I find that she has, indeed, found her way through it!
I am incredibly proud to be walking by Kate’s side, and it is literally like watching her emerge from a chrysalis. By living into her true self, Kate has become more courageous and more determined. She has more fortitude, more beauty, and more energy as the strength of her spirit is making itself known. I have long felt that she was never truly fulfilled, but now I see her beginning to experience freedom as she spreads her wings and begins to fly. When people are true to themselves – when they are living with authenticity – it is an appealing, powerful, and transformational experience!