To My Partner: I Didn't Know I Could Be Trans And In Love Until I Met You

My old air conditioner struggled loudly against last summer’s mid-August heat. I was lounging on the couch, feeling nostalgic. A few weeks prior, my partner, Rowan, and I had celebrated our third anniversary together. They had just moved down the street with their other partner, and I was awaiting the beginning of my second year as a master’s student at McGill University.

It was a time of change. I was homebound after a major surgery, the last I would have in a while. Although a few years before, I barely knew that transgender people existed, I was now specializing in trans law, frequently contributing to public conversations about trans issues, and would celebrate the third anniversary of my coming out as trans a few months later. 

My transition felt like a success. I was finally happy, having found a sense of purpose in my identity. I funnelled into my work an energy that would allow me to become the first openly trans clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada — a position I am starting at the end of this summer.

The feeling that lingered with me the most was that I didn’t get there on my own.

I had a whole community to thank for it, but most of all I had Rowan, my fellow trans, non-binary love; Rowan, who loved me and helped me uncover a side of me I didn’t know. Rowan, without whom I wouldn’t have become the person I am today.

It was in that headspace that I set pen to paper and wrote this letter to them.

My life has continued to evolve in the year since I wrote this. I’ve continued to contribute to public debates and received recognition for my academic work. I’m at an exciting juncture in my life, between finishing my master’s, undertaking the one-year clerkship at the Supreme Court, and applying to doctoral programs for the following year.

If anything, my life is richer now than it was a year ago. I’ve made new friends. I’ve loved new people. I’ve lived.

Rowan and I are still together. They recently got engaged to their other partner. I won’t see them as much once I move away, but I still love them dearly.

We often hear about how difficult life as a trans person can be, but we rarely read about how amazing it can be. Trans life is hard, but it is also full of love, full of life, full of community.

We shouldn’t forget that. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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