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How do I help my partner face judgement for dating me?


Adrian Doyle

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Today, my boyfriend told me that he got into a huge argument over trying to explain transgender to one of his closest friends. Apparently not only does his friend not accept his exploration of more “feminine” interests, but believes that I’ve been filling his head with “new age term bs”. He’s an extremely close friend of his, and I don’t want to ruin a friendship that he’s been trying to improve lately. However, I don’t want to push him to put up with that sort of treatment from close peers because of how long he’s known them. I don’t want him to regret bringing me into his life, but I want to help him figure out what he’s been trying to understand about himself lately. I honestly don’t know what to do. I care for him so much! I’m trying to find a way to help him without hurting him. I told him that he can just say that I’m his girlfriend, but he doesn’t want to do that. I cannot express how much I appreciate that, but I don’t want him to lose his friend circle because of me.

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And I’d like to clarify that not all of his friends are being rude and unkind to his current exploration, but the ones that haven’t been have been raised a certain way and are struggling to understand him without making jokes about him for it. Some of his friends are really nice to me, but I don’t want them to think I’m taking him away from them or “brainwashing” him.

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1 hour ago, Adrian Doyle said:

However, I don’t want to push him to put up with that sort of treatment from close peers because of how long he’s known them.

That's a key, and important, point you make.  "Putting up with" abusive or hateful speech from *anyone* is counter-productive, often leading to mental distress and angst, sometimes quite serious.  It's rare that coming out, for anyone, results in all of their relatives and friends being supportive.  We undertake our journeys over years with caution, often filled with doubts, but knowing that we cannot wish away our gender identity, and that suppressing it is self-harming. It's quite the opposite of filling our heads with "new age term bs".  Which means, sadly, that there are some -- particularly those not interested in learning, reading, and actually listening -- from whom we must turn away.

 

With best wishes,

 

Astrid

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Thanks Astrid. I’ll be sure to update if anything happens in terms of this, but for the past two days we’ve been sitting away from his friends (we typically sit with a whole lunch table of them) out of fear that not doing so would cause fighting. Now, one of his friends is quite supportive of my boyfriend, but I don’t know how he feels about me. I told my boyfriend that I could just sit with my friends at a different table in the morning, but he hated that idea, especially since we don’t see each other again until 6th period. I don’t want him to have to choose between me or his friends, and I’ve told him this, but he says he’s choosing what’s making him most happy and comfortable. I hope that his friends learn to accept us, or at least the one friend that started this problem, because I’m so scared that I’m gonna cause world war three between his friends over my being trans and I just can’t do that to him.

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Hi, Adrian!  Glad to hear that you two are adjusting to what can be a dynamic and changeable situation.  And the situation may turn in unexpected ways.  Should any stuff hit the fan, you'll soon see who's supportive and who's not.  

13 hours ago, Adrian Doyle said:

he says he’s choosing what’s making him most happy and comfortable.

And that, in turn, should make you happy and bring comfort...he sounds like a good guy! ?

Good luck!

Astrid

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