Letter Two: To K


Dear K,

All those times before suddenly make sense. People had “misgendered” him before, and I watched him slowly stop correcting them. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, because we should have been proud of who we were as a couple – lesbians, not afraid to go out in public, especially in such a conservative state. With people misgendering him and him not correcting them, it made it seem like he wanted to hide who we were together. But now… I understand. They – complete strangers – were getting it right before anyone truly knew, even him. They were giving him affirmation that his subconscious needed. People calling him sir instead of ma’am made him happy. I didn’t see it then, but I do now. It means so much to me that he could, and still does, gain happiness from people calling him the right gender. I’m getting used to doing it in my head, so hopefully I can surprise him by getting it right all the time when he tells me again.

Before he got the courage to talk to me about it, I’m not even sure the word “transgender” even occurred to him. We’d laughed at the idea before! One example pops into my mind: He and your mother were watching Mulan, and your mother asked him if he, as a lesbian, identified with Mulan pretending to be a boy. He’d just laughed about it and corrected her, but it turns out she was absolutely right. That’s a mother’s intuition for you, I suppose. You two are siblings – brothers. I have to wonder if you share your mom’s intuition about him. There is nothing obviously different, after all.

In fact, nothing should be different at all. He is the same person he was before, just more… himself. He was born in the wrong body, and he was coming to terms with that. As his partner, my feelings about the subject are definitely valid, but I absolutely should not have reacted the way that I did. I should have at the very least shown him support. I didn’t even do that, and now I have to wait out the days before he tells me again. The way I reacted was a major violation of the trust between us, and I have to wait for him to gain his courage back.

The most frustrating thing about waiting for him to confide in me again is that I can’t share my feelings about the subject with him. I can’t tell him that it’s okay, that I overreacted. I know you think my reasoning is silly, but as i said before, it’s important for him to come to terms with his identity being important. There’s no better way than for him to gather the courage to tell me again, right?

I know this is repetitive, but it’s been months since he told me, and he hasn’t mentioned it again once. I truly must have scared him, he withdrew from me and I can tell it’s eating at him. We’re supposed to share everything with each other; he did that, I responded poorly, and now we’re both paying the price. I just want to reassure him about my hesitance, but I believe it’s so important for him to come to me again. It’s part of his self-acceptance, for him to give the world his true self no matter the cost.

That’s what I tell myself, at least. But really, I’m still chasing down my doubts and fears. I know my feelings for him, and those haven’t changed, don’t worry. What I am still struggling with is my identity. What am I, if he is who he is? Can I still identify as a lesbian, or is that taken away from me? I only just recently came out with my true self, and I don’t know if my identity can align with his. Does that make sense? I can’t choose my identity, and he can’t choose his, but I still love him.

Even if my identity and his clash, our souls are still the same. Our souls drew us together, made us grow fond of each other, and destined us to be together. Our souls still know each other, even if he is changing his identity to match his true self. My soul knew the whole time who he was, it just never shared that with either of us. Jerk.

Maybe I’ll just say I’m queer, to make it easier on people. An umbrella term that is still technically the truth, but not the precise term. Or maybe I’ll stick to lesbian, and just confuse the hell out of people. Whatever works.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but… it helps to write it all down.

Sincerely,

Hayley

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