Anna (acm28) wrote in partners_of_ftm,

Just Starting Transition

Hello all,

I'm not sure how active this community is, but I need some help and I don't have anywhere else to turn to. I am cis-gendered female and attracted to men, women, transmen, transwomen, genderqueer, etc. I use the word queer to describe myself, and bisexual to clarify, since a lot of words don't seem to cover exactly who I am.

Anyway, I go to a womens college, and recently started dating someone in my class. After three months together, she told me that sometimes she felt more like a man, and in private I began to use masculine pronouns (just to try it out, at first). He is coming out to more and more people (close friends, family) and I'm becoming more and more comfortable with calling him my boyfriend instead of my girlfriend. He had already changed his name from a very female name to a female version of a male name, so I haven't had much trouble adjusting to spelling his name slightly differently.
The thing is, he's still not 100% sure that he wants to transition. He's scared that people won't treat him like a "real man" and will just consider him "a girl that thinks she's a guy." I disagree, I think that with top surgery and on T (both things that he said he wants if he decides to transition) it would be super easy for him to pass. He's seeing a therapist and working through it, but I'm not really sure how to support him other than to answer the phone when he calls and listen to whatever he needs to say.

Another wrench to throw in the works, we're both going abroad next semester. We'll be long-distance for the next six months, with one planned visit (we'll both be in Europe, but travel isn't cheap or fast and our schedules are quite busy). If he decides to go on T he wants to as soon as possible, possibly starting it while abroad. I've heard that T can shift your sexuality and also increase your sex drive. He's already told me that he has sex with men and can have one night stands (or boy toys, or friends with benefits) and not get emotionally attached. I'm scared that with me so far away and his sex drive in overdrive, he'll fall for someone else. I'm especially scared that his attractions will shift from women to men, and I just won't be attractive to him any more.
It's probably worth noting that this is my first healthy intimate relationship, the first time I've been this emotionally invested in a relationship, and I have a pretty intense fear of losing him (but what if I'm too clingy or too needy and that scares him away, etc.)

I know that everything's personal, depends on the guy, etc. but can anyone speak from personal experience here? Am I going to lose my (temporarily long distance) boyfriend to T? What can I do?
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For me personally, I was with my partner (now husband) after he started presenting male but before hormones. I can definitely understand his worry that he won't ever be seen as a "real" man, but to be honest, once you're on hormones for a while, once you've had top surgery, no one can tell unless you tell them. So honestly, once he gets to that point, he's not going to have anything to worry about unless he makes a habit of getting naked in public (or unless he tells people)

When my partner went on hormones, his sexuality did change a bit, but I'm not sure how much of that is the T and how much of that is being 16/17. He went from having no sex drive at all to having a little bit of a sex drive, and from being mostly bisexual to favoring men. But that didn't happen over night, and took a couple of years, so it might just be part of his growing up process.

Being open and honest is good. Let him know of your fears up front. It can make a big difference to know that your partner knows what you're afraid of.

First off, I can totally identify with the fear of "What if his taste changes when he goes on hormones and he doesn't find me attractive anymore?" My partner is presenting male but pre-T, bisexual, and has expressed a lot of interest in men recently, so it's a conversation we've had a few times before. Really, my only advice is to be open with him about these concerns you're having, and be open about what you need from this relationship, and ask him to be open with you. It might make you feel a bit more secure, and it's always just a good idea to be open. My boyfriend and I are long distance normally, so I can tell you that emphasizing communication when the distance has been especially hard has been really helpful.

I think you're doing what you can to support him; keep listening and keep being there for him as he tries to work this out, and don't be afraid to admit when you're a bit lost or to ask him what he needs you to do to feel supported.

Also, and I know this wasn't really a part of your question but it concerns me: I'd suggest you look into your intense fear of losing him. My boyfriend is my first intimate relationship as well, and I entered with a lot of similar fears, which made me act intensely needy and jealous, which only made me more scared he would leave me, etc. It became a vicious cycle, and our relationship was a mad roller coaster for awhile because of it. Not saying that could happen to you, but it's always better to be approaching a relationship from a confident, secure place where you aren't motivated, consciously or unconsciously, by fear.

So long story short: Are you going to "lose" your boyfriend to T? Nobody knows. What can you do? Keep talking to him about your worries, listen to his, and be open and loving. Good luck!

(Also I poked around on your profile when you mentioned women's college, and MHC and Russian love! ♥)