HEY BESTIE: I want to change my gender. How do I break it to my partner? I want to stay with my partner but I can’t hide who I am anymore.
Thank you for having the courage to ask this question. Gender transitions take a great deal of time, medical intervention and often the best outcomes are when you have a great support system around you.
Trans and gender diverse people comprise an estimated two per cent of the Australian population.
There are some great support organisations dispersed across Australia – my first recommendation would be that you reach out to them and start getting peer and professional support.
Having a conversation with your partner to let them know that you are planning on transitioning your gender is a serious conversation that requires a safe space and a calm environment.
This is not a conversation that should be rushed, done in public or when either or both of you are busy. Make the time to have the conversation together.
The first step to having this conversation with your partner is being fully honest with yourself about what you want and what you need from your partner.
Be mindful that your partner may or may not have seen this coming.
They may or may not be willing or prepared to have or continue the conversation. They may or may not be supportive of your decision.
They may be experiencing a raft of conflicting emotions. . .and all of that is fine. You may have to revisit the conversation a second or third time.
When it comes time to tell your partner, try explaining everything in full while being prepared to explain in small chunks and to repeat yourself.
If you want to remain with your partner through the transition, it’s important to let them know but also be prepared for them to not want the same thing as you. Once you begin the conversation, be prepared to experience a rollercoaster of emotions.
You might find that your partner is very supportive of your decision, will remain with you and be fully supportive through the transition and beyond.
The transitioning road is long, very long, a bit complicated and just when you think it’s done, there’s usually a few more things to do such as update your details with Services Australia, your passport, work details, etc.
Having a supportive allie or group of allies to be there, to support, to listen, to help
Because after all, everyone deserves to feel loved and supported, especially when transitioning.