Anna said that living in the South, especially, it is difficult to find open-minded professionals who are open-minded and competent. She said the most difficult part is watching her partner go through the "...the intrinsic bias of a medical field, government, and social climate that doesn't understand or accept transgenderism."
"As a counselor, I've seen clients who have lost everything -- job, home, parents, spouse, children, friends -- who had seemingly successful lives and lost it all in hopes of being able to one day live their truth, to be accepted by society for who they are mentally, emotionally, spiritually."
Finally, Anna had this to say when I asked her what she wanted people to know about being a partner to a transgender person.
"I want people to know that being transgender is absolutely never a choice. The pain someone must feel trying to wear a persona that isn't authentic to their soul is more painful than all the hate, discrimination and rejection in the world because they face losing everything and everyone in order to live their truth. The suicide rate among transgender people is at least 40 percent. One in 12 transgender people will be murdered. One in 8 transgender women of color will be murdered. 80 percent of trans students feel unsafe at school because of their gender expression." (source: www.transstudent.org/transvisibility)
For anyone struggling with these issues, this advice is for people who may be going through what Cait or Anna or her partner are facing every day. If you know or love someone who is trans, please pass this on.
"Find a community of other transgender and gender non-conforming people who can share the burden and provide a safe, understanding space to express the anguish, anger, despair. Hold those who accept you fully and unconditionally in your true identity close as you break ties with those who refuse to love you as the person you truly are."
"Communicate openly and have patience for those who truly wish to support and honor you in your journey. For partners of transgender people beginning or continuing transition, keep your mind open and your heart filled with love. Physical compatibilities are pretty easy to contend with as long as love and respect continues."
Read the full article by Dr. Tammy Nelson on The Huffington Post