Is it time?

Hi,

How has this week gone for you? Here at Jones Towers we’ve been off work (in a lovely way) more than we’ve been at work. A two day working week? Ooo, it was a struggle! 🙂

Indeed coming back to work wasn’t as tricky as usual. Perhaps the lack of a commute nor having to hustle the kids through the school run keeps us all a little calmer. That said, I have been finding things somehow more frustrating. I am hoping it’s just a momentary episode of Grumpy Dad Syndrome rather than a byproduct of zero Lynn time. It’s the little things like you just do all the laundry and what feels like a moment later, the washing basket is a third full. First world problems, eh? 🙂

On a more positive note, I did have a good long chatter with two folk from Chams via Skype and the open conversation we had really helps. Perhaps that’s a large chunk of it – at least for me – is that there is a place where I can be all of me. There’s no mask or heavy lifting in pretending, I can actually let my guard down.

Oddly enough, I think not being in the closet works out best in the long term. I mean, as much as I’m dressed in Richard mode 100% of the time (okay, 99% due to showers and sleeping 🙂 ), I don’t have to hide starting a conference call with T friends. Plus, the Ever Lovely Mrs J talk about various things and sometimes it’s T-ish stuff. Maybe things either of us would like makeup or clothing wise, or what transgender issues there are in the news.

We didn’t get here overnight and I think it’s been a long – and amazing – journey to get here. Where things will go next, I don’t know.

So, I guess for anyone who’s feeling trapped at home and unable to talk with T friends or dress, maybe now is the time to talk to your partner about it. Sure, it’s scary, but the idea of hiding and keeping that secret forever seems far worse.

Maybe pick an afternoon when you’re both free. What about a letter or go on a walk? However you do it, if you can say you’d like to be honest and share something with them. Say that you’ll respect their views, their boundaries, and know that this will take time.

L x

5 Comments

  1. To tell or not to tell Lynn, requires the wisdom of Solomon.
    I observe that some of the indicators of the likely outcome include how able you and your partner are to talk, to share ideas. This is not as simple as how much you talk together. Long talking about the pandemic or family budgeting might well hide the fact that neither of you SHARE ideas about each other’s aspirations, challenges, life and death; whether you are intimate and caring together. Can you tell each other everything? Can you accept them telling you everything?
    If you are close and love each other and don’t argue and are a predictable couple whose marriage or partnership is stable, but no more than that then I think the results of disclosure can’t be predicted.
    To me that suggests you start with building enough trust and intellectual intimacy between you to be able to share and understand each other at that deeper spiritual or soul level.
    I think sharing your gender expression with your wife is the ideal and could deepen your joint understanding of each other but I believe it requires much consideration because it could prove explosive.
    While we have the luxury of more time together during our current lockdown, we are all more anxious in general about the future and less able to get away from each other if the result of “the discussion” go terribly wrong.
    This may not be the perfect time in history to play with petrol and matches kids. But it might be the time to build the level of real “I trust you intimately with knowing my soul” sharing.
    Stay well everyone.
    Geraldine

  2. “…requires the wisdom of Solomon.”

    I’ll get my coat 🙂

    Gib comments aside, is there ever a good time to come out? I wouldn’t disagree with your observations and suggestions. Reality, IMHO, is very nuanced and even with heartfelt discussions, can you be sure of the reaction?

    While there may not be the perfect moment, there are some situations to avoid. When folk are tired, stressed, angry, or if they don’t know what’s going on. Dare I say those times may be best avoided to help things go a little smoother?

    Equally, back in the pre-COVID world, was having the pressures of the day a blessing or a curse when it came to processing such change? Does the modern world give us distraction to let us work through things? Or, does it fill our minds with deadlines and duties that sap our energy and bring more stress?

    There isn’t an easy answer, I feel, and yet I think it may be better to tell than to be discovered. I’ve heard a few T folk talk about their coming out and each story is unique. Yes, there’s some patterns that emerge, but again, personal circumstances bring variance.

    What I hear less of is the partner’s experience. Although some have expressed their concerns in email or in person at Chams. Some of those worries are losing their partner (does everyone transition?), are they gay? (less common, but still heard), but the frequent one is ‘why didn’t they say sooner?’

    Going right back to your earlier comment about wisdom: there’s so much to investigate and inspect in a couple’s relationship before you could offer a theory as to why someone didn’t come out. Sometimes, a trans* person just doesn’t know, or if they do, they’re not ready to take that step. Some T people may be trying to stop, but that rarely goes well from what I’ve heard and read.

    It ain’t easy, but I do think a certain level of honesty helps.

    BTW, if there are any partners reading this who’d prefer to comment anonymously, there is a contact form and I can, if you wish, post on your behalf and with your permission.

  3. Geraldine’s thoughtful comment reflects my own feelings. I did wonder whether to make a suggestion in my own blog posts about this isolation period whether this was a suitable time to come out to family, but there are so many caveats I thought it best left. The extraordinary thing is how many couples simply don’t know how their partner will react to certain news, even after years together. That prospect of being overburdened by long-term secrecy was one reason why I have always come out to prospective partners within a few weeks of starting dating. Mind you, I have never married as a result and my being trans, though never directly causing any breakup, was always a sticking point. Hey ho! Knowing how to play it is one of the hardest things we are faced with. I am so glad that it has worked for you, though I am not glossing over how much hard work you have put in to reach a position that you and Mrs J can both work with.
    Hope you all remain safe, well and solvent. Sue x

    1. Thanks, Sue. Coming out to a loved one is perhaps one of the most difficult things about being who we are. I think we can bumble along and eventually find self acceptance. Maybe through time, reflection, reading, and/or help. Coming out, though. That’s a whole other thing.

      Ultimately, the decision on coming out or not is, IMO, both very personal and also your business.

      I think I can see both sides of it. Some might argue a T person is unburdening themselves, others might say they are being truthful. Some people have said to me that it wasn’t the dressing that upset them, it was being lied to that hurt.

      Is it possible to hide your true self ‘until death do us part’ and if so, what is the cost? Is wager mental health issues or unpleasant levels of dissatisfaction. If that’s the case, what effect would that have on the relationship? To that end, is honesty the best policy?

      It’s not easy, that’s for sure.

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