Gender mismatch and "When love goes wrong."
"When loves goes wrong." Something about genderfluidity... boy meets boygirl.. transperson meets boy, girl, tranny meets anyone, love goes wrong. Or, as the directions they gave to me put it, "when gender becomes fluid, the path to true love becomes slippery."
Well, yes, that's I thought too, maybe it's a lube joke, you know, path to true love, slippery, ho, ho, ho.
Oh, obviously, there's the assumption that love will go wrong whenever the nature of the gender or gender expression of one or either partner is enough to possibly challenge the gender expectations either partner has of themselves and/ or each other... But isn't that every relationship really? Negotiating roles, splitting up tasks, and sometimes compromising one's druthers for the sake of each other? Learning that we aren't quite like what we thought we were? Maybe finding out we're more like our parents that we'd have thought humanly (or humanely) possible?
But that's the nature of a relationship; It teaches more about ourselves, and so a close domestic or romantic relationship will reveal genderfluidity to us. We learn who we are in relation to the other, and negotiate this, perhaps subtly changing to meet the other's expectations or needs, fitting in together in a dance of Yin and Yang.
Who's washing the dishes tonight? Who takes out the garbage? Who changes the sheets?
Who's turn is it to initiate sex? To get the condoms? To fetch the tissues?
In some couples these roles are set, and in some, those tasks, those roles associated with gender, are interchangeable. And they often change with age.
Two bottoms in a bed is only a disaster for the unimaginative. Like the stupid queen who said "I don't understand lesbians. How do they fuck?"
It’s not gender that stops these people experiencing love, it’s lack of imagination.
Gender is a relationship, and we are constantly renegotiating relationships, even if we are just reaffirming our expectations. If you're in a relationship with another consenting adult, then there is a Yin and a Yang, a shifting give and take, I'll take charge of this, you take care of that, I'll play mother, you play daddy, whose turn to cut the roast?
So, what is this about,"when gender turns fluid, love goes wrong". Well, maybe in the fanciful imagination of some transphobe, and but that's about it really, unless we are confusing infatuation with love, perhaps.
Love is not pfft.
It's the most powerful force imaginable to human drive and motivation, it's the glue of human society, it's why we got presents every Christmas as a child, it's why we clean the cat tray, it's why we were out till 7AM at the Taxi Club. In search of it, or in despair of it, or to drown the guilt we feel because of it.
Put your cynicism aside for a moment. Let go of your fear of being vulnerable for just a second. Feel your heart beat. Go on, take your right hand, place it over your heart, and feel it beat. Take a breath in, feeling your heart beat. Let the breath go back out, feeling your heart beat. Breath in and let a smile come, if you feel like it.
There's something wonderful, something magical, about the energy, power or force that makes your heart beat.
It's not pfft.
It's the most powerful force in human affairs, and it's not going to "go wrong" just because one partner's pre-existing script is not exactly the same as the real life relationship. I mean, if that is what causes love to go wrong, that wasn't love. It was pfft. Infatuation. Romantic love, not true till-the-end-of-time love.
Sure, romantic love goes wrong for transmen, goes wrong if it's two butches, loves goes wrong for men and women and genderfucking angels all the time, but it's not because of anyone's gender or gender role; It's for the same reasons romantic love goes wrong for any of us.
I couldn't stand his drinking. She couldn't stand my cigarette breath. His politics are just fucked, man. She slept with my sister, dammit. He doesn't love me anymore. You keep interrupting me. He keeps interrupting the Simpsons. We've got nothing in common. I need some time to myself. She's changed too much. He blew the rent, again. I just don't think this is working. It makes her feel bad more than it makes her feel good. The things I like about him, I REALLY like, but the things I can't stand, I REALLY can't stand.
Oh sure, sometimes one partner makes out it's because of the one’s gender. One boyfriend broke up with me because he didn't want his parents working out I was a pre-op tranny girl, but it was OK for his gay flatmate to keep sucking him off because that was secret. But that wasn't about MY gender, it was about HIS expectations, sense of identity, and fear and self loathing. And it wasn't love, it was just expectations about what love should look like. Two sets of expectations that failed to meet.
And then there was the boy who saw me through my sex change, and dumped me before I was allowed to use it. So, was it because maybe the little bit extra had been that important to him? Or, was it because he realised out I had fallen in love with him only after and because he had cared for me through the medical recovery? He didn't break up with me because I'd lost my willy, he broke up with me because his feelings were hurt.
And I've lost trade because they didn't expect me to be a tranny, or affairs have ended when my trans nature became known. But these affairs weren't love. They were desperate attempts to feel love, fear of loneliness, or just the sort of horniness that wears off in twelve hours.
I mean, that can be fun, but it's not love.
Or in longer affairs I've put up with shit because who else would love a tranny like me, and then the shit got too much to put up with, or I dared to raise my expectations of what I deserved. These relationships didn't end because of my gender, they ended because my needs and expectations shifted.
I'm sure it wouldn't take too much effort for me to look back on my relationship disasters with the back of my hand plastered to my forehead, oh it was because I'm a tranny, oh it was because I wasn't a real woman, oh it was because I wasn't busty enough, because I can't have children, oh woe is me. Anyone who's been called too short or too bookish or too vivacious or too different; Well, we can all play victim, and blame our circumstances for our unhappiness. But at least in my case, it was only because I was choosing lousy partners, people who could help me recreate how I felt in my earliest dysfunctional relationships, or maybe weak people because I didn't feel safe with a strong partner. Gender may have been the excuse this love didn't last, but it was never the reason. Immaturity, or differing levels of maturity, had a lot more to do with it.
I mean, sure, when I look back, I can blame the end of some relationships on me being a tranny, but none, not one, since I totally accepted being gender diverse, without expecting to have to apologise for it, without any concession that being trans made me in any way worth less than anyone else. Since I stopped believing shit about myself, I stopped getting shit. Had I then been rejected before for gender reasons, or were my partners just faithfully reflecting back my own insecurities?
Oh look, maybe I'm just an old out-of-touch eunuch, maybe solid stable and matching gender is an important part of love for other people, but it that's not what I see reflected in loving mature relationships. I see my parents over the years shifting their roles, giving ground, finding new ground, growing around each other. I see that in any couple (or threesome, or other combination) that lasts longer than a year or so. And I'm sorry, if you only stay together long enough to pop out a baby had you been heterosexual, that's not love, it's just a breeding behaviour; Enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t think when it ends that it’s true love that you’re lost.
True love doesn't care what gender or sex I am. True love never goes wrong. If you get dumped because you're a tranny, if you were dumped because she would rather be seen with a blond, if you dump him because you're worried about what your mates would think, if he dumps you for being too assertive, or you get dumped because she's really frightened of intimacy, or because he's really frightened of commitment... Well, if it's the first time, it's a shock; You get your heart broken; You move on; You fall in love again. If it's for the umpteenth time, it's a pattern; You do it again, or you get your head fixed.
But remember, with or without a partner, you always have love. It's what makes your heart beat. It's what makes you breath when you're not thinking about breathing. It may not quite be the same as the dizzy intoxicating infatuation of having a fantasy played out when you "fall in love", but the Love that makes your heart beat is much more powerful; It sustains the really important things in life, and you can never really lose it, no more than you could the air that you breathe.