Question: I’m not femme.

Elijahh asks…

I love my girlfriend with my whole heart but she feels threaten by my masculinity and she misses my feminine side. How can I tell her this is me, the real me, that she sees now?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on February 3rd, 2011 at 04:00 pm

Category: questions 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Question: I’m not femme.”

  1. Jessica

    The more feminine you was you, too. People grow and change. It is part of the life process. You can’t make her like the you that you are becoming. If you have a mutual commitment, then the onus is on both of you to work together to be together. Either it will work or it won’t.

    If you are really becoming someone that your girlfriend dislikes, then to be true to yourself you must accept this. You should also ask yourself if you’re being drawn to this more masculine you that she does not seem to want as a way to blamelessly end the relationship?

    Chances are she’ll get all used to the new masculine you just in time for your inner pendulum to swing back the other way so you go all girly on her… :-)

    Good luck.


  2. XylophoneGender

    My advice would be to give her space and acknowledge that this is a change for both of you. While someone may love you regardless of your form, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be attracted to all your forms. There’s a school of thought that each of us has our “types” determined fairly early on in life, some with more wiggle room than others. (see “love map”)
    Right now she’s confronted with the task of figuring out if your more masculine form that was underneath is something that fits within her range of attraction. If it doesn’t, that’s not her fault and that’s not your fault, it just sucks. And it may take her a while to figure it out. Please get her someone to talk to if you can find anyone who’s been through something similar, since it can be very isolating. Please give her the room she needs to come to an honest conclusion on her own, instead of accidentally guilting her into feeling that if she doesn’t still find you attractive that she’s a bad person. Please give her support, but please take care of yourself as well. I’m sure the last thing either of you want is for her to feel like her innate attractions are being trampled or for you to feel like your newly open, vulnerable self is rejected.
    Also, does she say what exactly she feels threatened by? If it’s not a matter of attraction, but just a matter of a shifting power dynamic, that’s a whole different game. The best remedy would probably be lots of communication and openness on both sides to compromising how you interact with each other.


  3. Clare

    Ought we to accept that ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are two ends of a spectrum, and are defined socially anyway?
    The problem, at least for men, and possibly so for women, is to accept that ‘given’ traits of a particular gender can show themselves from time to time -we now accept that women can be very ‘masculine’ – determined, goal-focussed, aggressive etc and that this is part of their true persona and to do with particular careers, and place in the world of work. BUT its always been there and just needs the right situation to bring it forward
    . For men, femininity may be more tricky, as it strikes at a long-established, ingrained gender role.
    The trick (not an easy one…) is to learn to balance these things in how we are, on a daily basis – and to become more completely human as a consequence.


  4. Samson

    I had a nagging suspicion sometimes that I would’ve been more attracted to my last partner if I had met him pre-transition. It is a terrible, terrible feeling (it honestly makes me want to vomit just typing that out); it also feels terrible to admit to, so props to your girlfriend for her honesty.

    Also, what everyone else said.


    Jessica replied:

    And props to you for your honesty, too!


  5. thesnakegod(dess)

    I met my last boyfriend before I realized I was genderqueer, and at first, when I told him that I thought I was gq, he was really supportive. After that, though, he would randomly get upset every time I’d act outwardly masculine (I’m biologically female). This led to an argument where I pleaded with him not to continue treating me like his girlfriend, until he yelled that I was “sure as hell not his fucking boyfriend.” I wanted it to work, but it didn’t. This was just another complication in an already problematic relationship, however, and I don’t think that it necessarily means you can’t work this out with your girlfriend.

    He made me really uncomfortable and nervous about being ‘out’ about my genderqueer-ness, and that lasted until I broke up with him. After that, I felt comfortable enough to tell my friends, and was surprised at their immediate acceptance.

    Your girlfriend and you might very well be able to work all this out, but just make sure that you don’t let her hold you back like I allowed my ex to.


    Jessica replied:

    I just love it when people say, “Let it all hang out, be honest, be yourself” and then come back at you with “but not like that, that’s too honest.”

    Men, I have found, often have misplaced feelings of possessiveness about women – often without any conscious knowledge of exercising ownership over you. Even good people, who are not intentionally manipulative and controlling can be in a place in their life when they feel like they have very little control over big pieces of their life, so they’ll try to control you so they can feel in control of something.

    I suppose, having said that, that there is no particular reason women cannot behave in precisely the same way and for many of the same reasons. But I think most women usually manifest ownership and control differently.

    Sometimes the dynamics of relationships are easier to see in others than in ourselves. Of course, we have a lot less to lose if we’re wrong about other people than if we’re wrong about ourselves.


  6. Nick

    Maybe show her that all the things she misses are probably not that tied to gender. That masculinity isn’t about agression and emotionless toughness. That you as a man (or however you identify) can be gentle, and caring, and vulnerable, and silly, and able to let your guard down.


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