By Susan K. Thomas
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Susan K. Thomas is a lecturer in English at the University of Kansas where she spreads the good gay word through LGBT literature and first year composition courses. She is currently researching the impact of HIV/AIDS on the LGBT community in Kansas. She has two cats, Hannah and Hamlet (Ham).
Due to Milton Wendland’s inability to continue writing inQUEERies, Susan gracefully agreed to take on the task of the writing the column at Milton’s request. Diversity Rules welcomes Susan Thomas to its pages!
When my dear friend Milton W. Wedland asked me to take over his monthly column, I thought, “What can this little queer on the prairie offer all of the readers out there?” Milton assured me that I would have plenty to say (and I usually do!). So, here goes! This month’s inqueery comes from Kate.
Q: I identify as lesbian and have been dating an FTM [female to male] transsexual for about a month. I think he’s fantastic, and the relationship is going well. The issue is with some of my lesbian friends who now seem to be avoiding me because I’m dating “a dude.” How can I get my friends to see what a great person he is?
Well, Kate, here’s the deal. Not all people will approve of your dating a trans person, but that is their problem, not yours. There are options, though. You could just sign off on those people and forget about them (that is angry, venomous Susan speaking). Or, you could give them a chance and talk to them to find out what is going on.
Consider arranging a get together with your friends without your partner. I would suggest meeting with each individually so that you don’t feel as though you are under attack. You can then speak with each to learn about her concerns. Make sure that you prepare yourself for any number of things.
If your partner identifies as male, your friends might feel as though you have turned your back on lesbianism and now want to date men. This is a common misconception, and perhaps you have even questioned your own identity as well. Dating a trans man doesn’t make a lesbian straight if she still identifies as lesbian. If anything, it means that she is more comfortable with her sexuality than she may have realized. Basically, a person can’t help whom she falls in love with (and why place such limitations?? Life would be so boring!). But your friends just might not be comfortable with that reasoning. They may see a dude as a dude. It can be a sticky area for many lesbians (and not in a fun way).
However, if your friends are amiable to the idea, introduce them to your partner, perhaps individually at first so that he doesn’t feel any pressure. Help them to get to know him. Remember, you know him in a completely different way. Just be careful not to be pushy. Let them determine whether they like him as a person or not. They might surprise you and come around. And, if your friends aren’t comfortable with knowing him, perhaps it is just better to let them go, their loss. There will be other friends who will be much more supportive.
One option to meet new people if you live in an area with the resources would be for you and your partner to consider joining a trans friendly group. Find an active social group where you can meet a variety of new people who will be more than happy to accept your relationship. Surround yourself with people who won’t judge you for who you happen to be, a trans loving lesbian!
Keep me posted on how things go, and good luck!
“Inqueeries” is an interactive column. Readers are encouraged to submit questions for Susan to answer! Contact Susan directly at:
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