WonderWomanV5This is not my first time at the transition rodeo. My ex, who shall remain nameless as he lives stealth (meaning he is not out regarding his transition but rather lives as a biological male in a heterosexual relationship), began transition from female to male just a few months into our barely two year relationship. When Liam decided to transition, after a year or so of our reunion (we first dated in college nearly 30 years ago), I began to joke that my superpower was turning my girlfriends into men.

One needs a sense of humor about these things.

I didn’t intentionally date FTMs. In fact, when my ex and I got together it was the result of a personal ad on Yahoo: women looking for women. And Liam was still Lisa when we reunited; as far to the left of butch as possible but still female-identifying at the time.

It would be horribly egotistical of me to think that I was somehow responsible for the transition of two of my partners. However, I wasn’t surprised at either and I welcomed, embraced, and encouraged their journeys to live their authentic selves. I remember when I first met my ex, I noticed a distinct male energy about him even before he first hinted at not feeling at home in his body. We did all the research together and I came into this relationship prepared with a wealth of knowledge about transition. Liam and I talked fairly quickly about his ideas of being third gender and walking between worlds and that eventually led to a long process of discernment that has culminated in the decision to become what he terms “a new man.”

So of course I am often asked why I don’t just date men. Men who are born men. My friend Roxy recently said, “Though the gender identity of males born as males and males born as females is the same, their expression and the life that informs that identity are not.” And therein lies the difference. Males born as females have lived a life similar to my own—their experience forms an outlook on life that mirrors that in which I live. While I am not uncomfortable with biological males, I am much more comfortable with males born as females. I appreciate that, at least in the two instances I have first-hand knowledge of, they lived as lesbians and have had a somewhat (more so in Liam’s experience than in my ex’s) second- or third-wave feminist point of view (without all the gucky stuff that goes along with first-wave feminism but Liam has already addressed that here so I’ll move on).

After my ex and I broke up he told me that he felt we were meant to be together in order to lead each other home. He is at home in his body and my acceptance and support helped make that possible. He has a new life and a new love and I couldn’t be happier for both of them. I was lead back to Liam and I can’t imagine being with anyone else. Ever.

While I still struggle with my own identity (because I somehow feel I need a label), I am comfortable being the wife of a new man. No matter his gender expression, I am comfortable primarily because he is who he always has been and really, I have loved him all along. Superpower notwithstanding.