explaining what my being “transgender” means to a suitor

I’m getting to know a man I really like, who claims to know that I’m transgender. But I need to ensure he really knows what my being transgender means before we become too serious, so I wrote this description for him. It applies only to me, not to other transgender people.

What My Being Transgender Means

I was born and raised male, and chose to become a woman early in my life. I had my beard surgically removed over a 15-year period, had my face surgically altered to feminize its features two years ago, and have taken feminizing hormones for 2.5 years. The hormones have moderately reshaped my body (I have breasts now, albeit small ones), and substantially expanded my emotional range.

However, I currently still have a penis, and will for at least another one-to-two years. My medical team is working on getting me prepared for vaginoplasty, but it takes a while and there is a huge waiting list in my health insurance company.

I’m legally female in California, and will get a female passport from the State Department soon. “Emily Marie Williams” is my legal name. The legal change in gender and name happened on 14 July 2015, which is now a very special date for me.

I’m also culturally female, anywhere in the world. I use women’s restrooms and locker rooms. In India I used women’s airport security search lines and participated in women-only bridal activities. I’m rather brave about this when travelling—went to Kashmir as a single woman, which is an extremely risky place for a transgender person and for an American to go.

I identify as a “woman” first and as a “transgender woman” second. But I’m proud of being transgender and do not hide it. That identity and the related experiences form a big core of the music and prose I write. I expect my partners to not be ashamed of my identity.

The only time I hide my transgender identify is when my safety is at risk or when talking to strangers.

Talking using a feminine voice is very difficult, and sometimes deeper tones and deeper resonances come through, especially if I am tired. To prevent straining my vocal chords, I sing with my natural (male) voice and use my natural male voice at work. (At work everybody knew me before I became Emily, so there is no weirdness there).

I’m very “girly” in my presentation. Very feminine. But I’m also a rude punk rocker on stage. (But I’m kind elsewhere!).

While gender identity and sexual orientation are completely different things, it sounds like a good idea to me to explain my orientation. I identify as bisexual—happy to have satisfying long-term relationships with both men and women. I’m not confused, as many people assume bisexuals are. Rather, I simply like people!

Regarding sex with men, I prefer to be on the bottom and receiving.

I hope this provides you some insight into what you are getting into!

Let me know if you have any questions!

the one person whom I will permit to call me “he”
first date

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