When love takes you by surprise
When I first met the woman of my dreams, it was love at first sight. She radiated kindness and comfort: her kind eyes, her beautiful beard, her warm and touchable body in her beige and blue cardigan. I felt like I was home, like I wanted to hold her and never ever let her go again.
Now, I have to admit that at that time, I didn’t know she was a woman. She introduced herself to me with a name that is typically given to boys, her presentation was “male”, the pronouns everyone used for her were he, him and his.
The importance of trans understanding
We fell in love and within six weeks she came out as trans, to me, then everyone else, and started to express her femininity through gendered clothes, hair and make-up so that her surroundings would learn to read her as a woman and for her to fully embrace, explore and realise her femininity.
I wasn’t sure if this would work. I had no experience with dating women, be they cis or trans, although I had crushes on a few before. I just knew I loved her.
First, I wasn’t sure why she ‘needed to change’ gender, name and pronouns. I didn’t know a lot about trans issues yet and I assumed it would be enough for her to feel like she could express in any way she wanted, while sticking with her assigned gender, given name and he-pronouns. ”Yes,” she said,
”I know I could do anything I want, regardless of my gender or how people read me, but I am a woman. I know it just like you know that you are one. The group of women is the group I belong to.
I just know that I am female and I want to be treated like any woman would: addressed with a female name and pronouns, treated in all the ways society treats females: I don’t want to be invited to a bachelor’s night, but to the ladies night at the moviesI don’t want to be expected to wear a suit and a tie at a funeral and I don’t want to be asked to leave when I feel like I should be at the same event as all the other girls. I want to be addressed as “she.”
I have always been a feminist. And I want to be understood as part of the group, not as an ally.”– Alice
I started to understand. Being a trans woman is not at all a decision. Not something you choose. It is the discovery that your core belongs to the feminine field, and therefore you do. I started to read, watch documentaries, join forums and support groups.
One rule does not fit all
I realised that the development of the brain and the gender development of all other organs of the body happen at different times during the fetal development and that we think too simply if we think that genitalia are the indicator for gender. I realised that it was just as normal to be trans as it was to be cis and that our understanding of biology that says “People with penises are male“ mostly came from making a rule for many that only applies for most, but not all. I’m so sorry, it took me a while … well, I am cis, that’s my only excuse.
It was a revelation to grasp that everything I always thought determined gender, didn’t necessarily need to be there for someone to be a woman.
I started to discover physical indicators on my partner as well: Her body’s smell was sweet and subtle and not at all like a cis male’s smell. Her hands were small and her eyes … her eyes just said it all. Her eyes truly revealed who she was.
Then, the magic happened. Because we learned to see beyond the indicators that society had told us determined a person’s sex (and therefore implied gender), we learned to sense each others’ essence and soul. We learned to connect on the deepest level of what was inside of us. We searched our souls and found unlimited universes inside. The deepest love. The most mind-blowing sensual and sexual connection. The purest beauty in our unique and powerfully feminine relationship.
Why prejudice is still a problem
Still, three years later, we face prejudice every day. We still encounter many people that think that being trans is a political move, an attempt to betray the public of what they learned in biology classes when they were ten. Or maybe a clever strategy to be in a women’s bathroom. Everyday people misgender her and show her that to them, she is not a woman at all. Well, I see her every day. And I know that she is real and valid and not crazy at all.
How love shaped my future forever
I decided to change the focus of my career. I had always coached people, guided, accompanied them in difficult stages of their lives. As a counselor, I now specialise in trans issues, love and relationships.
Every day I speak to trans people, who have just been abandoned by parents, a spouse, or friends. Who hear “It would be easier for me if you were dead” and “Why do you have to do this to us?” Many of them have been deeply disappointed by mental health professionals they sought help from, have been suggested to that they are “just cross dressers“, “in a phase”, “on an ego trip,” “a man in a dress,” or “needed to see a psychiatrist.” Society has a lot left to learn.
We have been together for almost four years now. Last year, we got married. Her kids were our marriage celebrants. We live together and enjoy every minute of every day. And we experience gender euphoria together. It’s a gift that we got to meet. And that we are who we are.
Amanita M. Nomi
Amanita became a life coach for people who transition and their environment, she is the founder of #TransTalk and the host of the transgender advice column “Ask Amanita”.
You can find out more about her work here.
Together, Alice and Amanita organise www.transatschool.com: They offer (distance) diversity training for schools that realize they need to become safe spaces for their trans and non-binary students as well as other students of the rainbow.