The Spaces Inbetween

Someone wrote…

My partner likes crossdressing, which is awesome and sexy and empowering and wonderful. But my partner only wants to be seen as one gender or the other, to pass in either direction. I want to be allowed to love and embrace the spaces in between, but they find those parts – those points where there’s neither perfectly male nor perfectly female – really disorienting and unfitting and weird and not what they want to see. What do I do?

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on December 6th, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 2 comments »

2 Responses to “The Spaces Inbetween”

  1. Lane

    I’m a bit confused by your wording. Is your issue that you are attracted to your partner when they look in between, and they are uncomfortable with that? Or that you feel sexy yourself when you look in between, and they don’t affirm that? The two have different answers.

    In the latter case, it really sucks that how you want to be seen isn’t being affirmed. Try talking to them about it. Tell them you love feeling androgynous, and that you really need them to at the very least not treat it as off-putting. If you can’t come to some agreement there, maybe you aren’t the right people for each other.

    In the former, however, put yourself in their shoes. Its not bad that you find androgyny and ambiguity attractive. Its awesome. But, if your partner isn’t comfortable expressing themself that way, you shouldn’t make a big deal of how attractive that is to you. You don’t need to lie about liking it, but don’t do anything that is likely to make them feel pressured to present themself a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Its not affirming, any more than reassuring a trans man that he is a beautiful woman is affirming.

    Either way, affirmation means making the other person feel like they are accepted for being the person they want to be, not the person you wish they were. All kinds of beauty, masculine, feminine, androgynous or none of the above, are worthy of appreciation, but no one should be made to feel like they must be a type of beautiful that is uncomfortable for them.


  2. Sam

    It’s strange how much I feel like I’m the one you’re talking about because I feel like I relate so much to how your partner feels. It sounds like you love them no matter how they’re expressing their gender for that particular day or moment or whatever and that is wonderful.

    For me, I need the most love when I feel those weird moments of inbetween, so I suggest you just keep on doing what you’re doing in supporting your partner in however they’re feeling. They may not believe it when you tell them that they’re beautiful in every way, but they’ll appreciate hearing it. And maybe one day they’ll learn to love those weird points too.

    I think you’re doing a really great job in your relationship.

    Good luck!


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