The woman said if she told her family, she would be “completely isolated from everyone she’d grown up with”. (Envato)
A woman whose partner came out as trans has asked for advice on how, or even if, to tell her conservative family.
The woman Buzzfeed advice columnist Stephen LaConte how she should approach telling her family that her partner was a trans woman.
She said that her partner was planning to start hormone therapy this summer, and added: “It’s not a huge problem for me since I’m bi, but my family is quite conservative so me telling my family would result in me being completely isolated from everyone I’ve grown up with.
“I want to be supportive, but for that and many other reasons I’m really struggling.”
She added that her partner was “getting impatient and upset” when they discuss telling her family, and that she was not sure what to do.
LaConte said: “I don’t know whether you should tell your family about your [partner’s] transition, but I do know this: Deciding not to tell them — even if that’s ultimately the right decision — will likely spell the end of your relationship.”
He said that it was difficult to see how their relationship could progress if her partner was forced to stay closeted, it “could inflict serious (and in some cases, life-threatening) damage”.
“Your [partner] wants to live [her] life openly,” he added. “It’s vitally important that you honour that decision, no matter what you do next.
“None of this is to say that you have to tell your family, though. The repercussions you describe if you tell them — being ‘completely isolated’ from everyone you know — are severe and worth considering carefully.
“I’m so sorry your family has put both of you in such a difficult, unfair position. Of course, I want to say, ‘Just tell your family the truth!’ — but I know that in certain situations, that is simply not possible to do safely.”
LaConte said if their relationship was “otherwise solid”, the couple should take some time to evaluate and figure out what the best way forward was.
Although she has been getting “impatient and upset”, he told the woman that her partner shouldn’t be “pressuring you to make major, consequential life decisions before you’re ready”.
At the end of the day, the advice columnist said, it is okay to walk away.
He said: “You owe your partner respect, empathy, and care in this vulnerable time. But you do not owe [her] a romantic relationship if the situation is no longer right for you.”