Question: Excited, but mourning

Anonymous asks…

A female friend of mine recently started binding and is exploring a more genderqueer identity (as opposed to her previous completely cis-woman identity). She was a woman I was in love with in the past. I respect her choice to express herself however she wants and I’m excited for her to explore this new part of herself. At the same time, I can’t deny a feeling of mourning about losing part of the woman she was. Has anyone else experienced this? Can anybody relate or give me advice?

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on May 5th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Question: Excited, but mourning”

  1. Corbyn

    You aren’t really losing her or really losing a part of her. You are only gaining another part of her. She also feels comfortable exploring this part of her with you around which should make you feel honored. Her exploration is just another part of her you just haven’t seen it yet. She is still the person you love you just now are seeing the whole person.


  2. Sadie

    I think mourning is an important part of change. Any change. To fully embrace your friend as masculine, I think it is healthy to feel a little sad and recognize things are going to change. You can’t stay in the sorrow too long though. Because you ARE gaining a new aspect of your friend. Mourn the “death” of her cis-gender-ness and then when you are ready, embrace the “birth” of her genderqueerness!


  3. Lyn Aven

    Keep in mind that being genderqueer doesn’t exclude one from one’s birth sex. (Being trans, of course, does, but if that was the case then the person wasn’t likely to have been a “woman” to begin with.) I, for one, am bigender, and I’m still the man I always was, I just happen to be a girl sometimes.

    Also keep in mind that one’s gender identity does not define who that person is. You haven’t “lost” anything at all; your friend is still the same person ey always were.


  4. KD

    I haven’t experienced something exactly like what you’re going through but I can relate. I was good friend with a guy for a few years, then we slept together. But then I decide that we don’t connect on that level. He quickly got really sad and disappointed, and didn’t talk to to me for a while; said that he’s hurt and need space. That made me question the motive of his friendship from the beginning. So I refused to talk to him for a good while. Your mourning is kind of like my friend’s disappointment. Later on, I realize that such feeling is understandable, but with reflection, it can change. I realize that when we care for somebody a lot, we don’t just like one particular part of that person, the whole is more than sum of its parts. If I was in your situation, I’ll try not to think in term of exclusive binary.
    My friend and I made up. I’m really glad that he was persistent in being friend again when I was angry at him. He’s one of my most loyal friend, and I really appreciate someone like that. So, look at your friend as a whole person rather than past/present or woman/man. Your friend will probably appreciate that.


  5. Jessica

    I have known several women for whom their physical self was a curse – women who were often envied by their peers for exactly what they did not want. There were two routes that were typically chosen: a) withdrawal and b) disfigurement. Either was a shame and a loss. I felt great sympathy for them and also an almost total ineffectualness.

    In the time of my life I am thinking of, I was unaware of genderqueer. I assumed then that what you were
    “naturally” was the ideal and that departures from that were always counter-productive and sometimes wrong.

    Many women carry the torch for this outmoded pattern of though and consider counter-biological behaviors and aspirations gender treason, even if they don’t put that idea into those words.


  6. Samson

    I’ve been here with a former girlfriend. I had a feeling of mourning too. One day it occurred to me that I’d been doing the same thing as her–we were both dipping our toes in a more genderqueer presentation after having presented as more or less cisgendered in the past. That made me wonder if she was feeling the same sort of grief about me, which made me think–I’ve changed in a lot of ways since my presentation has changed. We’ve known each other a long time, and in that timespan we’ve changed a lot; what we used to be hasn’t been “lost” per se, it’s just the history of what we are now, and doesn’t need to be grieved for.

    I’m still a little sad to lose the person I thought she was, the one that I was in love with, but that sort of put it in perspective. I can’t come back to someone I haven’t seen in many years and expect them to be the same as the person I remember from the past–so in the same way, I can’t expect that of someone I’m still in touch with, even though I’ve missed seeing a lot of the ways she’s changed just because they’ve happened gradually right in front of me.


  7. Zan

    I have only experienced this just once. My exgirlfriend is transitioning. We are now no longer speaking—his choice, due to unrelated issues… but, I feel as though I’ve forever “lost” my ex-girlfriend. I mean I can’t refer to that person as a “girl” anymore, and when the transitioning first began I was feeling like I was also losing a part of someone I could relate to being genderqueer myself, although not transitioning. We no longer had the ability to talk about similar things… It’s almost as if the Girlfriend is dead… and that’s the part that makes me really sad. The only thing left is just a memory.


Leave a Reply

Can I show your picture? If you have a Gravatar associated with this email address, it will be displayed as your photo. If not, I'll just put a picture of a fork next to your comment. Everybody likes forks.

Be nice. Judgmental comments will be quietly deleted and blacklisted. There's plenty of room for those elsewhere on the web.

For legal reasons, you must be age 13 or older to post a comment on Genderfork.

You can use some HTML tags for formatting, e.g. <em>...</em> for emphasis (italics) or <strong>...</strong> for strong emphasis (bold) or <a href="http://(url)">...</a> for links.

Back to top