This almost feels petty compared to what I wrote about last night but it’s a thing that’s been gnawing at me for quite some time, and looking at the little traces around the web of what others were saying about my partner’s death reminded me of it again. I’d mentioned it as a side note a month ago but while I’m feeling frustrated I’d might as well go into more depth.
I was, at least in furry circles, sorta-out as trans in 2011, although aside from undergoing laser hair removal I hadn’t been taking many steps towards altering my presentation. At the time I preferred it/its pronouns and people thought it would be more respectful to use he/him and call me his “boyfriend” even though I hated that. My real feelings were just “anything but he/him,” and “it/its” was mostly an attempt at reclaiming some transphobic language that I’d been subject to previously.
My fucking boyfriend would use it/its in my presence, but whenever talking about me to anyone else he’d refer to me with he/him. And before he died, the last thing he said to me out loud was, “You’re my boyfriend and I love you.”
And everyone else, when talking about me to curious/inquisitive people, would refer to me as “he/him” and “boyfriend” and even when I saw those things I felt like I couldn’t justifiably respond, because here were people trying to be nice and consoling to me, and why make a stink about this relatively-trivial thing? It felt like it’d be seen as me lashing out.
And even when he was still alive it felt like he was only gently humoring me regarding my gender. We had many conversations where he took the position that he wouldn’t want to do anything with a gender transition, so why should anyone else? And he’d try to respect me but it was always with a sense of bemusement, like I didn’t actually know myself. And maybe he saw this as part of a form of sexual immaturity and maybe that’s what attracted him to me in the first place.
I’d restarted HRT about a month before he died, and he didn’t really see why I should do such a thing. He didn’t actually prevent me from doing it, but he wasn’t particularly encouraging, either.
After he died, spironolactone contributed significantly to the medical emergencies I had due to dehydration. One of his other “close friends” was, at the time, incredibly toxic to me for a bunch of reasons, and when I’d ended up in the hospital they told me that I shouldn’t complain so much about something that was “self-inflicted.”
And I just remembered that when I was doing laser hair removal, I was incredibly shaken by an experience I had at the laser hair removal clinic waiting room, and I told him about it and he very much downplayed it as a thing to be concerned about. Like, what should I expect, being a male in a typically-female space?
The more I think about it, the more this seems like it was a pile of red flags. 2011-me was way less willing to establish boundaries around this stuff. 2019-me knows way better, and wishes she could go back in time to tell 2011-me – no, 2009-me – these things.
I fucking deserved better.