Young trans women often appear as sissies to their peers. For boy, the crime of not fulfilling the masculine expectations is punishable by intimidation, aggression, and violence. Moreover, femininity itself is punished through their lifetimes through by fathers who want to “beat it out of them,” by peers who target them with “politically incorrect” jokes to help them “man-up”, and by corrective rape. The dominant social structure of manhood in the US is a hierarchy created and maintained by one’s ability and willingness to dominate others. In male social spaces gender policing always goes hand in hand with misogyny (you throw like a girl) and homophobia (don’t be gay about it). How are trans women supposed to feel after a lifetime of taking in messages that they are weak or emotional or any of 1,000 other negative messages “like a girl”, and then they realize that they are in fact a girl?
I don’t know how to mesh my secret into our lives together. I think it’s impossible. Should I let you go and let the secret out in full? It will be painful. We will lose each other as partners, as lovers, probably even as friends. What about the kids? They probably have secrets too, but kids are amazingly resilient. I think they’ll be okay in the long run. It’s you that I worry about most, you know. You are gorgeous, industrious, smart, and witty, you are everything I’ve ever wanted in a partner. You are unquestionably the love of my life. But my secret will destroy us, in fact it has already.