Sometimes, it may well feel like it’s all we care about. But, when something distresses a person, they will do their best to understand what that means to them and that can take time to work through.
I would, however, politely disagree that it’s all we think about. I will say with gender being such a core part of who we are, then when we do question it, it can cause a lot of introspection, exploration, and even distress.
Please know that such things are temporary and matters will settle down. You may be wondering, well, how temporary? The quick answer is as soon as the trans person gets their head around who they are. They may need time, space, and some freedom to explore. This can be distressing for you, and that’s understandable. If, however, you keep talking openly and try to be supportive of both of your needs, you’ll get there. Conversation is key and it may take both of you to try and look at things from each others point of view. That can be tough but if you pick quiet times and private places, you can both be yourselves.
Do you have to get involved? No, not if you don’t want to. You don’t have to see your partner dressed up. You don’t have to go out or do anything you don’t want to. A relationship is a partnership, not one partner getting their own way because that implies a winner and therefore a loser. Making things a win/fail situation doesn’t do you any favours.
But what if you did dip your toe in the water? Would it be that bad? Sure, you can’t unsee but if you can work on this together, could you agree on boundaries or what both of you want from things?
Being able to talk about it really helps. No, really it does. It’s more about sharing what’s going on between you and if you buy your trans partner some small item – a lippy or a bracelet – or let them know you’ll be out until 6pm (“Make sure you’re in boy mode when I come back…. and don’t forget to Hoover!“), chances are they will be very grateful.
If you’d like a bit of help, maybe to find out how other people like you deal with it, or maybe just someone to talk to; there are a growing number of partner forums and websites out there. I don’t have any recommendations because blogs and sites come and go. I’d recommend a look in via a search engine of your choice and see which are the more active ones.
If you have any suggestions about the above – maybe some advice of your own or some links, then please do get in touch.