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  • Writer's pictureAriel Tovlev

Trans Love is Miraculous

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Anyone who has been in love knows how otherworldly the feeling is: the out-of-body feeling of weightlessness, the in-the-body feeling of groundedness. For so many, love is the most natural thing in the world. But for others, to experience love feels like a direct contradiction of nature.

You might have seen people say that queer love is revolutionary. In a society constructed to set up cisgender men with cisgender women, to deviate from expected pairings is to create new pathways of love. For many queer people, creating these new pathways is new and takes more effort than their heterosexual counterparts. But the air is ripe with possibility.

When I saw myself as a cisgender queer person, I too felt like the possibility to pave my own love path was within my grasp. It was not inconceivable that someone would love me. While I knew that it would not be easy, that it would take time to find someone and it would take compromises within the relationship, I didn't doubt that it was a possibility.

Things changed when I came out as trans. It seemed like even in my small queer pool, all of my prospects for partners vanished. The queer people I had been in community with previously now saw me as a member of a different queer community, one that did not involve them or their love. Their newfound refusal of me was a "preference" that I needed to respect. Even as a bisexual person, my options felt pessimistically low: straight cisgender women wanted straight cisgender men, queer cisgender women felt weird about our relationship appearing heterosexual to strangers, and gay cisgender men did not consider me a viable option because of my anatomy. While I'd heard of straight cis women or gay cis men dating trans people, I had never personally met one. Even the bisexual people I met tended to be afraid or at least apprehensive about dating a trans person.

So I mostly dated other trans people. Trans people are somewhere between 1-3% of the population. Not only was my dating pool so small, but within that small sliver of the population, I still had to find someone that liked me, and would accept me as a religious Reform Jew.

I tried for many years to meet someone. I was active on dating sites, I was serious about meeting new people, I read books and articles about how to meet the one. I went on a LOT of first dates. People either had problems with my gender, my politics, or my religion. I couldn't catch a break.

Then I found someone who was accepting of my gender, my politics, and my religion. After trying to find someone for 5 years, I decided that this was good enough. Being accepted was enough, since society had told me no one would accept me. Years of seeing first hand how no one wanted to date me made me desperate. I had to have a serious consideration: is it better to be with someone you don't love, or to be alone forever? For a while I thought the former. And I was in an unhappy relationship.

I needed to come to the realization that I would rather be alone forever than to be in a relationship with someone I didn't love. I developed the self love necessary to accept that I shouldn't be punished for society not accepting me. I shouldn't have to settle for less because society says I'm undesirable. I shouldn't settle for stability just because society has said happily ever after doesn't include people like me. I broke up with the person I was dating, and I focused on loving myself.

When Ze'evi came into my life, ze entered as a friend. I told zem a bit about my struggles as a trans person dating, and although ze wasn't out as trans yet, ze understood me. Ze had tried to come out, but was discouraged from living zer truth by a partner who was scared of what that would mean for them. Trans people everywhere, closeted or out, are being told that our identities are difficult for those closest to us. We get it of course from family, friends, and co-workers, but we also get it from partners. How our identities might affect them, or be difficult for them. About how they never saw themself with a trans person, and are unwilling to adjust. How they never asked for a trans partner, and therefore all the difficulties that come with being trans should be suppressed for the benefit of the partner. How the partner is making a sacrifice just by being with a trans person, and so the trans person should bend over backwards to make it easier for their cis partner.

I was done with feeling lesser than, I was done with feeling like I should be grateful for a neutral experience, I was done feeling like otherworldly love doesn't happen for people like me. If I couldn't get that feeling from someone else, I was gonna give it to myself.

Ze'evi and I have said to each other that us finding each other and falling in love was nothing short of a miracle. Yes, people find each other and fall in love all the time. But for most of those people, the odds are not against them. Queer people have it harder than straight people, but with dating apps, clubs, and a growing queer community, as a cis queer person, I never felt like it was impossible to meet people. As a trans person, I had to resign myself to the possibility that I would be alone forever.

Ze'evi had resigned to the possibility that ze would never come out, because ze wasn't sure ze would ever have a partner who would accept zem. We found that in each other first as friends. To have that COMPLETE acceptance: I see you, I acknowledge you, and I accept you for all that you are; to have that complete acceptance, beyond just your identity but encompassing your whole soul, to have that complete acceptance is that same feeling of weightlessness combined with the most stabilizing groundedness. It is exponentially expansive. It is like a sudden wind filling your soul balloon to capacity, and finally being aware of how large your soul could swell. Never again will you feel tiny or small, with this expansive soul energized and enlargened by acceptance.

Queer love may be revolutionary, but trans love is miraculous. In a world that tells us we are lucky to be alive, we have elevated each other to move beyond our gratitude for existing in a hostile world. We can strip away the prejudices and expectations, and sit with each other in our own sincerity, and connect as humans.

I don't know that everyone will find this. But I want to say, if any trans person reading this has felt like they had to settle for someone just because that person accepts your trans status: you are so much more than your trans identity. Others may not have even accepted that, but you deserve to be accepted as a whole human. If someone can accept your identity but not accept your soul, and you accept that, what are you telling yourself about your own worth?

And to the cis people reading this, who might have preferences of your own, how does it make you feel to see that accomplished, kind, intelligent people feel utterly unlovable because their identity deems them undatable to most people? How can you say people like me deserve to be loved, if you yourself wouldn't be willing to give us a chance?

Until society changes, many trans people are going to be alone, and most cis people won't understand the loneliness and self-hatred that often comes with being told you're not what someone is looking for over, and over, and over, and over...

But as we push society forward, and more trans people find solace in each other, let it be declared with pride and purpose: trans love is miraculous.

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1 Comment

Dec 14, 2023

Hi Sage, Happy Hanukkah! I read your post, I admire your courage, & tenacity.

And your certainly have a talent for the written word..

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