Can you tell me a little bit about when you affirmed your gender, and what that experience was like?
I first affirmed my gender when I came out at 17, I came out at school to all of my friends and the was a really big step to be seen the way I wanted to be seen and it felt like a big unburdening of all these feelings that I felt for 3 or 4 years that I had carry all y myself. I felt like it was all out there. starting hormones was a big step too, I felt as though my emotions started matching how I felt internally. it felt like there was a big incongruence that I sort of put to rest when I started taking oestrogen and it just feels right. Before this, I felt like I was lying to everybody about who I was, but when I came out, that feeling just disappeared.
hormones made it better to feel things, this could be partly social conditioning as I thought I wasn't allowed to explore my emotions, but with oestrogen, I felt like I could cry daily if I wanted to, so my emotions and feelings have come into line with who I am. It also helped me figure out how I look, how I dress, how I talk, how I want people to see me....it allowed me to feel more.
Tell me about your relationships and how they developed
I started hormones in April last year, in may last year I met my girlfriend, and I had only had one relationship in the past with a boy, and I was just figuring out my identity as a lesbian. its hard understanding my sexuality, and being a lesbian now because ice never done anything with a girl. it was a lot seeing another girl and the feelings we had for each other, I feel like having someone like Ruby with me has helped me with this journey. I feel like this sort of journey with figuring out who I am is tied to my relationship with her, but also my relationship with other people.
It was a long time before I started seeing other people. In about November I feel like my transition had come to a point where people started seeing me as a girl, and I started going on dates with other trans women, and it was kind of strange because ruby was the first person I had gone on a date with, and we really liked each other, and we were that we were both capable of loving more than one person at a time.
How does being in a PA relationship help you be the best version of you?
I'm in two relationships at the moment and seeing another person to see how that goes, and I think it kind of feels like more than a relationship structure to me, I don't think that being PA is a good relationship structure, but I feel as though it is part of my identity, just like being trans is part of my identity. I would not be able to date someone who was strictly polyamorous, but I feel like if I was only allowed to date one person at a time I would feel limited. it isn't like love is some finite thing, and obviously having more people is sort of like its own support system itself. it feels kind of strange, but to discover how my partners interact with each other, because I have two girlfriends at the moment, but I am excited because they will meet each other soon, and they are the most important people in my life, and I want them to know each other. it can be faceless when I talk to Ruby about Athena, and vice versa, then it will put a face to their names to connect us.
What is the best thing about being in a PA relationship and being a trans woman as well?
The best part, and I feel like a lot of my identity is interlinked, such as being trans, a woman, a lesbian, and in a PA relationship, is all part of my identity to me. I am a lesbian who is open to loving more than one person, it feels very validating of who I am. being trans is all about how I feel internally and how I want to be seen. There is a feeling of wanting to be seen with two of my girlfriends, and I could kiss them both, and be out in public together explicitly as girlfriends, it's about being seen and how that validates me is brilliant, just the same as when I go out and I am seen as a woman. being seen is such a big validating part of my identity.
If you have a message for anyone who is unsure about validating who they are, whether it's their gender or PA relationship, what advice would you give?
I would say that the main thing is being open to your feelings. we have a lot of pressure in society to push our feelings away and not to be so open about exploring. all identity is a journey about exploring who we are. to go on this journey in a pleasurable way, then we need to be open about our journey happening in the first place. Being closed off to ourselves is so hard, and being open to our feelings can be so scary and hard, but so pleasurable. Exploring our identity should be fun.