The transgender valentine. Is it time yet?

deja nicole greenlawBy: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist–

Welcome to February, the second month of 2012.

Here in New England, ol’ man winter is still around, but most people begin thinking thoughts of the upcoming spring. Visions of sunshine, green grass and flowers drift into our thoughts. Spring also may bring up other thoughts, like those of love. Remember the old saying “Spring, when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love.” Well, lots of us older peeps think about love too. It’s not just for young men anymore!

Two years ago, I wrote about the subject of a transgender valentine. Since those two years a lot has happened with regard to transgenders. Fifteen states (plus D.C.) now have laws that protect transgender rights, more and more transgenders today are living openly and just about everybody now knows about transgenders since Chaz Bono showed not only the whole nation but the whole world who a transgender is. Yes, we are beginning to approach mainstream status but we are not quite there yet!

Yes, we trans have come a long way, but sadly we are still not accepted as love interests in many cases except in transgender couplings. It’s when the transgender couples with a nontransgender that issues arise. Transgender/lesbian, transgender/gay and transgender/straight couplings are still not completely accepted yet, and there are issues to be dealt with before you can be as open as one of those couples.
Many transwomen identify as trans lesbians and many look for relationships with lesbians. Although there are some lesbians who are open to transwomen, most opt for other lesbians, so the transwoman/lesbian relationship occurrence is low.

Transmen, on the other hand, seem to be more able to couple with a lesbian as many of them may have identified as lesbian in a previous lesbian relationship. It’s not uncommon, though, that the coupling ceases as time goes on. At that point it usually evolves into a straight relationship and that may be the breakdown point.

Moving on to transwoman/gay-man couples. They usually begin as a gay couple but then one transitions from male to female. This seems to put a strain on the relationship as the male partner may long for his former male sweetheart.

Transwoman/straight-man couplings are not that uncommon but many are “under the radar.” By that I mean that this may be a couple where the transwoman may not be out to some folks. She may be living as stealth (living as a woman with no mention of ever being trans) and/or she just may find herself distanced from the straight man’s non-trans friends and/or relatives. When occasions arise for the straight man to see his non-trans friends/relatives she may have to find other things to do that day. There are, however, some folks who are completely open, but they are few.

Transman/straight man couples are virtually nonexistent. They may come from a straight relationship but when the wife transitions to male that’s usually when this coupling ends. Transwoman/straight-woman couples usually begin from a straight marriage when the husband transitions to female. They may stay together out of unconditional love for each other.  It’s wonderful when the marriage continues but in reality most of these couples do not make it.

So as a wrap-up, it’s still pretty hard to be in a trans/non-trans relationship today. There needs to be more time to pass by and the day will eventually come when more and more of us are finally OK with these relationships. To those who currently stay in these relationships I wish you the best of luck!

In the meantime, to quote Kermit the Frog, “It ain’t easy being green.” I respectfully add “that is, until green becomes the norm. Go green!”

*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has 3 grown children and works at a local Fortune 500 company. She can be contacted at


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