When this author fell in love with a transgender woman, her life was changed. Here, she shares some of the intimate details of a transwoman’s struggle.
—This article was originally published by our friends at elephant journal; we’re republishing (with permission!) because we love it… and them. Enjoy.—
For obvious reasons, the names have all been changed and this is being offered as an inspiring/mindful story, not a work of journalism. ~ ed.
This is truth I thought I’d keep to myself.
But as the media is abuzz with all things “trans” these days, I can’t hide it any longer.
When you first see me, you will notice a quintessential “cisgender” woman. I am in my 20s. I grew up in a Christian household—Baptist, to be exact—and attended Christian schools for a good part of my life. I sometimes wear pink, have a soft voice, have purchased the book Weetzie Bat a few times and have more Chanel lipsticks than I can count. I am also a single mother. I identify as straight, having dated men all my life, including men in the military.
Just a few months ago, I was at a time in my life when I wasn’t seeking a relationship, until a young, handsome, brilliant medical doctor came into my life.
He had an unusually astute mind and an analytical way of thinking that was immediately noticed by academia in adolescence. It seemed like he had it all, with more honors and recognition than most people I knew had ever achieved in their entire lives. He was tall, had very typical masculine physical features, and a deep, commanding voice—the image of a pure alpha male.
But I would soon find out that “he” was a “she.”
I was introduced to “Vanessa.”
Vanessa had a great smile, was confident, loved wearing dresses, loved taking care of children, and wanted so badly to have a pedicure with me. In all her selfies, she shined and struck a pose, her long black hair glimmering in front of the camera lens. She was down-to-earth, affectionate and showed no ego about her job whatsoever.
Her male self, on the other hand, was extremely depressed, even suicidal at times. In photos, his eyes were sad; he looked like he was going to cry, even when he wore the flashiest custom-fitted suit. This male self was what the world knew, and what her conservative family wanted and accepted. It did not help that her parents had arrived in America from a country whose culture included a strict, traditional, even patriarchal view of gender. It did not even matter that she grew up in Los Angeles—her family ruled with an iron fist, and so did the culture she was a part of.
Despite all the awards that constantly put her male self in the spotlight, Vanessa never bragged about them to me, and was deeply unhappy. What made her happy was thinking about being a woman and having a family of her own. However, she told me she could never live as a woman because she did not want her family and community to reject her.
It was even more frustrating that she was only attracted to women—and finding a woman who could accept her real identity was generally a challenge.
Vanessa is not alone in her struggle. There are many transwomen who are still transitioning and who still want a wife, lamenting about not finding that one woman who will accept them for who they are. On the other hand, it is still rare on the internet to find cisgender women like myself—especially those who are generally straight—who are actively open about dating those who identify as “crossdressers” or even those who claim to be entirely transgender.
But, I was in Vanessa’s life. I was not put off by her feminine side at all—I was in love with her real her and not the false image she was forced to project. I wanted to get to know the real her. She was the first romantic interest I could be my true self around. And as someone who survived an abusive relationship prior, it was a relief to find someone who loved my poetry and who encouraged me in my writing—that, and it didn’t hurt that she had great taste in clothes and art.
Follow us over to elephant journal to continue reading “I am a straight woman who fell in love with a transgender woman.” and have a happy day.