Is your partner, child, parent or friend transitioning, or questioning their gender?
If so, they are embarking on a tough journey, and it has likely taken a lot of courage to even tell you about it.
They are rebuilding their identity on foundations they are creating on their own terms.
They have to find their way through the minefield of society’s imposed rules about how it’s ok to express yourself.
They have to process other people’s reactions, judgements and prejudices around this.
It’s not hard to see that it’s not an easy path for them.
Nor is it for you.
Yes, you want nothing more than to be supportive, and love them unconditionally.
But why does it feel so incredibly overwhelming and weighs so heavy on your heart?
Because not only are you powerless to watch them in their struggle, you also have to get used to a new reality that affects you both.
And because they are the ones going through the more difficult journey, you may find yourself thinking that your feelings don’t matter.
Or matter enough.
Or matter enough right now.
But they do.
Your feelings are valid.
Your struggle is valid.
Struggling with a loved one’s gender journey doesn’t make you a bad partner/parent/child/friend – it makes you a human one. It’s what you do with that matters.
It can be an incredible opportunity for growth.
Make sure you gather a large dose of self-compassion and dare to ask yourself a question.
Why am I struggling with this?
Maybe you’ve been caring too much about what others think, and you’re ready to choose not to let social and cultural conditioning dictate who you love, and how you love them. Even though this seems like a momentary decision, this is a journey in itself.
Maybe you’re thinking ‘this is not what I signed up for’ and you’re finding the foundations of your own identity crumbling from under you – which makes you feel confused, or riddled with guilt.
Maybe you feel like you’ve lost the person they used to be, and you find yourself needing the space to grieve that loss as if someone had died – and no one else seems to understand.
It’s all valid.
And you deserve to be heard.
You may not be able to talk to the person who is going through the journey about your feelings. If that’s the case, seek support somewhere else.
Somewhere where you are not judged, but completely accepted – and most importantly, accept yourself through it all.
When you come out the other end, you will find yourselves in a new relationship – whatever that looks like for you.
If nothing like that exists yet, then you’re the first – someone always is.
Make your own rules. Love is worth it ❤️