I'm in Love With a Transgender Man!
My name is Jessica, I'm 38 years old, have two children aged 17 and 19, and have spent my life as a straight woman. Today, I'm in love and engaged to an FTM transgender man.
My partner Nat came out as transgender last year, and after almost 30 years, finally has the chance to live out his life the way he's always been meant to, and as the true man that he's always been inside.
The Societal Dilemma
It took true and admirable strength for Nat to finally come out as he did, especially living in Ireland, a country and a community where it isn't as widely common, known, or accepted as here in the USA. It makes things more difficult to be as open and public as he'd like to be, unfortunately. There's so much more awareness, education, and knowledge to be shared there to avoid stereotypes and negative assumptions because being transgender isn't common where he lives; it's an unfamiliar topic.
In addition to that, the Irish Government won't allow the necessary surgeries under their public health system, meaning we're meant to pay for his complete transition out of pocket, making it a very real possibility that he might never accomplish his gender reassignment, and he'll have to live the rest of his life never being the man he truly is and always has been inside, and living the way he absolutely always deserved. Unfortunately, this is pretty common for those that are transgender and suffer from gender dysphoria.
For individuals not to be able to financially support their need/want/wish to transition to the gender they are truly in their hearts and souls but physically not born that way, is devastating. The entire process of transitioning which includes surgeries (including but not limited to: top surgery and bottom surgery) hormones, and medications, is incredibly expensive, and without health insurance assistance, most could never afford to complete their transition. Under these awful circumstances has it now become quite common for many transgender individuals and those that love them, to create fundraising campaigns as their last option and or only possibility to financially cover the cost of surgery.
Because of this, so many individuals go without, and never achieve what they so desperately deserve, and unless you are transgender yourself, could never truly understand living your life feeling and knowing you were born in the wrong body. None of us could ever truly recognize the struggle, the self-hatred, or anything close to what trans individuals live with on a daily basis in general. So, we couldn't even try and imagine how it would feel to try and live life knowing that transitioning to the gender you are but weren't born to may not be a real possibility, that you'll never have the chance to ever live as your true self, never finding true self-love, confidence, and happiness. We individuals born with our correct gender, take that very circumstance for granted, and don't realize that people born the wrong gender, in the wrong body, become forced and without any sort of choice, have to unfairly fight, struggle, take risks, pay huge substantial amounts of money for surgeries and hormones, just to be the man/woman they truly are inside and out, a circumstance we were given so easily and a blessing we never had to lift a finger for or even give a second thought about.
I just recently learned that Nat (wrongly) believes that he may end up being a "burden" to me in our future, because of his desire and need to physically transition, making a life together and our relationship more difficult. We have many hopes, dreams, and goals for our future together and it's going to take a lot to accomplish all of them. We hope to marry and leave the United States to spend our lives together there in Ireland, which includes its own separate and difficult processes with marriage and visas and obstacles to overcome in itself, just to physically be together. We've also decided that we want to have children together, using Nat's eggs and having my body physically carrying and delivering our babies. This process and all that it entails would be difficult enough, but even more so for us, because time is not on our side. I'm 38 years old, not getting any younger, and the more time that goes by, the smaller our window of opportunity, the less our chances are of me able to become pregnant and carry even one child, and the more likely I won't be capable of giving Nat children of his own, which would absolutely devastate him and break his heart beyond repair. Me making Nat a father with his own biological child is imperative for Nat and has become a major priority for us to get started with as soon as possible.
To make everything happen that we want and hope for our lives and future together, we have so many different processes to accomplish and obstacles to overcome, sacrifices to be made, risks to be taken, all just as difficult and just as precedent as the rest. However, I realize the steps we have to take to achieve everything we want together and the order in which they must be completed, despite the level of our priority, and I don't want Nat to put his transition on the back burner until we accomplish everything else, which is what I can see happening under our circumstance and financial situations. Plus, life happens and time passes us by so quickly, especially once a couple has children, and hopes and dreams suddenly become more distant and unattainable until they eventually end up being regrets and resentment because we wish we accomplished everything we put on hold while we had the chance. This cannot happen to Nat.
I absolutely refuse to allow Nat to sacrifice his need to transition, could never allow him to continue living with his crippling gender dysphoria for any more unnecessary time than he has thus far in his life, and having struggled and suffered as long as he has, he deserves the world! It breaks my heart to admit this, but I know deep down that until he has completed his transition, and until his physical body is complete FTM, his life will not have truly begun. I know wholeheartedly he'll never find his true and absolute happiness unless he completes the total gender reassignment process. I feel like in order for him to have that chance, to live the rest of his life out as the man that he truly is, I need to take control of our situation and do everything I can to make sure this all happens for him. This all weighs very heavy on my mind and heart on a daily basis.
Right now Nat and I are in the middle of the difficult and lengthy marriage and visa process just to get me physically to Ireland permanently and legally. Until that's completed, we obviously cannot start the process of having children. We also aren't yet able to begin the process of Nat's transition either, because egg retrieval needs to successfully happen before he begins his testosterone, which is usually the first step of physical transitioning.
Why This Story Is Important
I know I'm sharing a lot here about the two of us and our relationship and struggles, but I'm doing so on purpose. Yes, I am a straight cis woman preparing to spend the rest of my life with a transgender man. It's true, we have found each other and we both accept one another and our love and connection is pretty amazing. It's important that everyone knows that despite how you identify, once you learn to love yourself completely, you too are capable of having the relationship and life that you want for yourself. You just have to go out and get whatever it is that you want and be willing and capable of working really, really hard.
No one has a truly easy or perfect life but not everyone shares that, not everyone expresses or admits when they're struggling, and would rather portray the Facebook fantasy that most do, in my news feed anyway. Yes, Nat and I are a unique couple that most people (outside of our community) tend to either question or find interest in. Most people don't know anyone like us, or like Nat. So instead of letting them assume what they want, believing inaccurate things they hear or see online and in the media, we open the door and invite everyone in to learn and experience for themselves what they know and how they feel about relationships like ours. Our lives are real, our relationship is real, and our issues and struggles are all real, so what better way to learn and familiarize ourselves than through everyday normal people being totally transparent, open, and vulnerable about daily life?
By sharing the story of Nat and me and through inviting the world into our lives and being so open about our struggles, experiences, hopes, fears, and dreams, in allowing the public access to our private life and having this format to begin the conversation, having the reason and ability to share, and having others read and share, I also wholeheartedly and passionately hope to use this article and others like it, the story of our lives and others alike, to spread so much knowledge and awareness for the transgender and LGBTQ community!
My intention is to gain so much attention and support that those that follow this story also become aware of how much love, support, and generosity for our community there truly is, and how many people truly do care out there that one might not know or expect, that love exists everywhere. I also hope and pray that this reaches even just one individual who might feel alone and that needs to learn and know that the same support and love also belongs to them! I hope we find those that can somehow relate and could benefit from the realization of the unconditional and unexpected support that exists for them, and that leads them to any and all resources for them having their own opportunity and ability to make their own dreams come true!
I hope this reaches those that are unfamiliar, uninformed, or misinformed about what it truly means to be transgender and that it spreads knowledge and awareness. The more stories like this story of Nat and I that are shared, the more real, true credible information about the real people, real lives, their real experiences, and struggles that transgender people face, the more truth and knowledge is spread. The more our stories spread, the more people we reach, the more credible information gets shared, the more familiar and the more common, the more personal connections and experiences that are created, and the more relatable and accepted being transgender becomes. It's important to spread real knowledge, real stories about real transgender people and those they love and that love them, their struggles and experiences, shedding light and reality on the unknown for those unfamiliar. Because there are so many people without any genuine, real, personal connection or experiences with members of the LGBTQ community, especially those being transgender, the more negative and incorrect information and knowledge is spread and then used to create unrealistic and ignorant perceptions and portrayals of what it means to be transgender. When these negative and wrongful opinions based on inexperience and misinformation exist, it only helps to feed stereotypes, social stigmas, and discrimination, making being "different" actually dangerous! We don't live in a world where anyone should ever be at risk for living as their true selves and being unapologetically genuine and confident in who they are and we don't live in a time where there is any reason or excuse to discriminate against any other human for being different in any way, shape, or form.
Together let's make a change! Spread love, show support, and share knowledge and awareness! Use your voice to change lives! Let's embrace being different and celebrate that we're unique!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Jessica Murphy-Doyle