Just a fragment from one of the recent interviews with female partners of ftms. The person being interviewed has been a lesbian (her word) for 30 years, and has been with her FTM partner for five. The partner continues to identify as a lesbian, btw.
Interviewer: So I’m curious about how you understand your identity now. Do you see yourself as being straight or something else? How do you self define?
Respondent: I can’t. I can’t. And this has been a huge issue for me. Huge issue for me. Cause I don’t know what I am. Not only that, but I got, I was furious for the first year about how I was treated by the public as a woman perceived as straight. You know what, they liked me, they were friendly, they, and me and Bill together, we were just great and what a cute couple and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, you know what, all of you can just fuck right off. You know (laughs), seriously, you know. I remember we were walking along the lake one night, I think it was out in XX place. And you know how your eyes sort of meet somebody that is the same as you are, whatever I guess that is. So we’re walking along the beach kind of, I had my arm through his arm. And there was a straight couple, what I thought was a straight couple, a male looking person and a female looking person walking towards us. And the woman kind of caught my eye and she smiled at me and I smiled at her cause I smile at everybody. And we walked by them and they said nice evening or blah, blah, blah. And we said, you know, it really is and whatever. But, you know what, had I been with any other partner that I’ve ever been with, the experience would be totally, totally different. Totally different. And you know what, if they knew that I was a lesbian and he was transgendered, it would be, they would feel totally differently about us. And I just really resented that in the worse possible way. I just thought, you know what, I just, the hypocrisy of it all. It just really smacked me in the face and I just was really offended by it.”
And then from much later in the interview:
Interviewer: What would you say is the hardest thing about the transition?
Respondent: The hardest thing is giving up, is making a choice to give up my place in the women’s community. To giving up my friends and just the acceptance and the closeness that comes from being a room full of [lesbians/queer women.]
And then from much later in the interview [we’d been talking about the importance of friends in the context of homophobic and transphobic families of origin]
Respondent: So that’s, I guess, why my friends were so important to me, too. And I would say that that’s the hardest part. I mean, it’s hard, it’s hard to redefine yourself after you’ve fought so long to be one thing. All of a sudden the world is looking at you like you’re something else even though you know you’re not, which is even more confusing (laughs). And I never wanted to be a straight woman. And I don’t want to fucking hear any more straight women jokes, you know… I’ve never been invisible and I don’t like it. Not only invisible but accepted for totally stupid bogus reasons.