When reading about long-term relationships that survive a gender transition, it is more common to hear from women who stayed with their male-to-female partners. Already underrepresented, male partners of trans men can find themselves grappling with sexual identity, and “often feel rejected or misunderstood by both the straight community and the LGBT groups that would typically provide support,” writes Roni Jacobson in New York magazine’s “Science of Us” column.
Jacobson approached Accidentally Gay blogger, Lucky, and his husband (formerly wife) Jello, to ask them about the experience of Jello’s female-to-male transition, 20 years into the couple’s marriage. Jello describes the process he went through on his way to deciding to transition, describing the moment when he first felt able to raise the possibility with Lucky. “We were in the bedroom and Lucky had just come out as probably being not 100 percent straight,” Jello said. “So I thought this was my chance. And a bit later I said, ‘You know, I’ve been playing with this gender thing, and I don’t really think I’m a woman, and I don’t think I’ve ever been.’ Then I said, ‘What would you think if I transitioned?'”
The couple reveal how they moved forward, what it was like to share the news with family, the (sometimes disorienting) physical changes Jello is going through after two years on testosterone treatment, how their sex life has changed and their relationship has evolved, and how they are treated by others. On the question of why it is more common for women than men to stay with transitioning partners, they had this to say:
Lucky: It seems to me a lot of women are told to put up with your partner, take care of them, work with them, whereas most of my male friends are told there’s plenty of fish in the sea. If she doesn’t do what you want her to do, go find someone else.
Jello: Yeah, I think women are definitely socialized more to take care of others and to look at it from another side. Whereas there’s a lot of male privilege saying, “You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
Read the full interview at New York magazine’s The Science of Us.