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Last week, transbeautiful wrote a post that I’ve been thinking about since then. In it, she says:

When i started this blog a little over three months ago, i really thought it would be a somewhat linear story of a transgender boy who “found” himself, began his transition, and navigated his way through his happy new life. You’d think after living on this planet for nearly 42 years it would be impossible to be so naive, but i was! Instead, our life has been a meandering one step forward, two steps back kind of journey.

I think I’m having a similar feeling. When Ezekiel first told me he was thinking about wearing a binder it must have be February or March of this year. That seemed interesting and I was curious. Then really awesome things started to happen between us, and we felt so connected and started having sex that put our old sex life (which I thought was satisfying) to shame. As Ezekiel became more immersed in gender questioning, I tripped over a few issues (like my own sexuality) and I was sometimes frustrated by how my life was being absorbed into his navel-gazing, but overall I felt wildly happy. Very few people get an opportunity to fall giddily in love with the person they’ve been with for 11 years, and Ezekiel and I felt like teenagers with each other. I thought that if Ezekiel decided he was indeed a trans man, it would be more of the same — more fun, more sex, more Ezekiel. Sure it would be tough for him, but he’s good at tough things. No problem.

Instead, it isn’t quite that easy, and like transbeautiful I feel a bit naive. I know how to handle Ezekiel being a man instead of a woman because it feels right and I like him as a man. But how do I handle Ezekiel being so sad, feeling like he is destroying the lives of people he loves, and hating himself for it? Fuss at him for beating himself up? Demand that he stop? Tell him that it’s going to get better soon? Even as he reads these words, he’s going to be beating himself up for making my life harder. How do I handle the disorienting roller coaster of coming out, followed by self-doubt, sadness, anger, and a loss of a solid sense of self? How do I handle my own heartbreak when I encourage him to keep moving forward but inevitably that seems to bring pain?

I know that I have no control of the situation, but sometimes I just want to wave a magic wand and erase Ezekiel’s childhood spent being someone he really wasn’t. I want to erase his fundamental sense wrongness, and replace it with self love. I want to create a new male self for him and give it to him like a gift. But apparently it doesn’t work that way. Too bad. I can’t make it easier than it really is, but like the die-hard optimist that I am, I can keep noticing all of the many bright spots. Ezekiel and I have lots of wonderful moments together, with the kids, and with friends, and I’m looking forward to lots more. Sure, some of those moments come with shadow sides, but I believe we can both keep shining lights into those shadows and using them to keep walking a path to wholeness.