The Tug

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this. Between writing for other places and everything going on in our lives, this has taken a back seat. Time to get caught up.

In the past month and a half, Andy has come out to virtually everyone in her and our lives. There are still some stragglers in the form of extended family and professional colleagues, but they’ll all know very shortly. I wrote a bit about coming out to people here, so feel free to check that out.

Things have been almost entirely great. I’ve been absolutely shocked at the positive reactions. Aside from a very small handful of people, there’s been nothing but love and support. While not every relationship in her life has made it through this unscathed, she’s taking it like a champ and really keeping perspective well.

The reason I’m writing is because I realized today, for no particular reason and with no particular precipitation, that something has changed. If you know me, or have read this blog from the start, or interacted with me in other online communities, you know that despite my feelings for Andy, I’ve always felt at least some amount of unease. Whether a red flag from her or an insecurity in me, there’s always been something behind all the good, casting a shadow. 

But today, I realized that subtle undercurrent of terror I always felt is gone. It just…faded away at some point in the recent past and left without fanfare. This thing–this hesitation–always tugging at me, pulling me from the present and jettisoning me forward to think about all the ways it could go wrong…earmarking all the places where that proverbial other shoe might drop…making me take note of emergency exits, even when I didn’t care to…that reflex of recoiling when you sense someone about to sneak up on you…it’s gone.

Even when I’ve said the “I’m fine”s and the “oh I know you love me; I’m not worried about that”s, there was still that tug–that reflex–daring me to say it with a straight face. I don’t know when or why it left, but I noticed. I noticed today. I’m not being tugged anymore.

Maybe it’s just because I feel like we’re both being who we are now. Maybe it’s the sense of calm in her that’s been here since she’s been on HRT, allowing me not to constantly worry and extrapolate about what she’s thinking. Maybe it was her reaching over, placing her hand on my leg while driving home from a night out presenting as the woman she is, and telling me how lucky she is. Maybe it’s the solidarity and united front we’ve had to form in taking on the (few, but present) toxic, unsupportive voices. Maybe it’s the light exhale she gives and the peaceful look that crosses her face when I quietly interrupt her sleep with a kiss on the forehead when I leave for work. Maybe it’s all of that. Maybe it’s none of that.

Whatever it is, I feel grateful to know that I’m where I should be and where I belong without any quiet “but” to follow. I’m not sure when that happened exactly, but I’m happy to recognize and continue it.

Photo by Andrew Brannan

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