My Partner is Transgender: 5 Communication Topics for a Lasting Relationship

Before COVID-19, back when we could still all gather in large groups, I attended and presented at The Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference on Effective Communication with your Cisgender Partner. I gathered my main points from my presentation and added them here for you.  These are sticking points that I have found with couples when one partner is cisgender, and one partner is transgender or gender expansive or non-binary.

Family:

If you are the partner of someone who is transitioning, it can be difficult to come out to your parents about your partner’s transition.  You might want to be the one to come out to your parents about your partner.  You will need to decide if your partner will be present when you let your family know your partner is transgender or non – binary.  You will need to decide if you want to come out to your family by phone, text or email or in person.  And, you will need to decide when during your partner’s transition you want to come out.

Intimacy:

Intimacy can change when your partner is transitioning or when you are transitioning.  It may become difficult for you to have intimacy with your partner.  It’s best to keep communication about intimacy open with your partner about your wants, needs and dislikes.  If you begin hormones, sexual functioning may change, and this is a conversation to be had with your partner. Your partner may be curious what your transition means for their own sexuality.

Finances:

Transitioning can be expensive depending on what you decide to do for your transition and any insurance coverage.  Even socially transitioning could require new clothing purchases and possibly beauty items. If you begin hormones, or have surgeries, these can also be expenses your family did not once have. Having a conversation about finances can be helpful as sometime finances create fights with partners.

Sexuality:

You may have changes to your sexuality and attraction. Your partner may need to accept changes to their sexuality and attraction that they once did not have. These are good conversations to be had. If your partner has always thought of themselves as gay, straight or a lesbian, they may have feelings about dating someone or being married to someone of a different gender. You may start to feel different attractions than you once did as well.

Children:

When you transition, if you have children, you will need to decide when to come out to your children and tell them you are transgender.  If they are young, there are several children’s books that can help them understand.  If they are older, they may have feelings about your transition that may need to be addressed.  If you start hormones, or have surgeries, you will need to think about fertility and if you want to have children in the future.  You may want to think about if you want to carry your children or if you want your partner to carry your children if you choose to have them.

Seeking Help

There’s lot of things that can be discussed to have effective communication with your cisgender partner if you are transgender or non-binary. There is also a lot to discuss if you are cisgender and your partner is transitioning.  Sometimes it is best to have these discussions during couple’s therapy and sometimes working through your own stuff is best during individual therapy.  These are just some starting places for discussions.

If you are looking for a therapist for yourself, your partner or as a couple, I can help.  I have experience working with couples and individuals who are transitioning and afterwards.  You can reach me at 404-948-6186 or by using the contact form on this page.

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