But respecting your partner’s changing identity is key to maintaining a healthy relationship, and my girlfriend has been learning to embrace her partner’s feminine identity as it develops alongside their masculine identity. Correct people who misgender your partner I run into this issue a lot, because my partner uses they/their/them pronouns, and many people are not familiar with using the singular they as a gender-neutral pronoun for people they know. I talk about my partner with the correct pronouns, but most everyone knows I’m queer and automatically uses “she” to refer to them because they think I only date female-identified people.
Sometimes this happens with people I’ve only just met.
Recently, though, they have started to identify as transgender.
Hello there, There is no clear-cut answer to this, as it very much does depend on the individual.
For example, I am in a relationship with someone who has identified as straight, while I identify as gay / androphilic (I’ve been attracted to gay and bi men, which has been my usually preference, but men overall more generally).
Even so, no matter how awkward I feel, I always step up and tell people to use the correct pronouns to talk about them.
If it’s awkward for me, I imagine how much worse it is for my partner to have to correct people about themself.
One’s own sexual orientation need not hinge on who they have usually been attracted to in such a way where they are closed off from finding people who do not fit that mold attractive.
If this happens, it is possible to expand their frame of attraction to also include people or a person who were not in their previous framework if they find their attraction shifting or expanding in this way - this may mean new words, or not giving a name to what they’re feeling at all if they don’t want to.
What is not problematic is finding someone attractive who is different from what one’s “usual” course of attraction has been - this need not result in personal chaos as it so often does.
There is so much pressure around picking the right words to describe things, which, while it can be validating and nice to find others who may identify similarly or go through similar experiences, sometimes letting attraction just happen and is good too.
We have decided that it is not particularly necessary to view our relationship as queer or straight - we are just two people who are happy to be with each other, and maintain our own sense of identities meanwhile.