That awkward moment when people think your relationship isn’t real

It’s a really bizarre feeling to have people disbelieve your existence, or your reality. Back before gender was really of any concern to me, my biggest fear regarding my relationships was that I would face homophobia for being with a woman. You know, not being allowed to kiss in public, not being able to adopt children, not being able to get legally married, etc. Then I fell in love with someone who was assigned male at birth, and for a long time, we got all the privileges that came with a cis, hetero relationship.

There were people who questioned us at first, because people always assumed Vi was a gay guy. I find it amusing that people were okay with the fact that I was at the time an out lesbian dating a guy, but they couldn’t comprehend a straight identifying guy who they just assumed was secretly gay dating a girl. But anyway…

In 2014, Vi came out to me as bisexual and our relationship – and Vi herself – changed very rapidly. We almost immediately became a much less cisnormative couple, and gender roles became almost nonexistent for us. Vi began to express herself and her gender fluidity and it was beautiful to watch. She very quickly became completely androgynous, fully distancing herself from masculinity. I loved it. She was so much happier.

Naturally, many people just thought that they were right about Vi being secretly gay, and assumed that our relationship was basically a sham and I was totally oblivious or in denial. Girls flocked to Vi and were eager to have her as their token “gay boy” friend, which was really disgusting to watch from afar. People would ask us things like “do you actually have sex?”

They also seemed to think that we were a fake relationship or that Vi was a subpar/nonexistent partner/parent. For instance, one time Vi was hanging out with some friends and talking about our impending move to Las Vegas, and one of these people actually asked her if Caoimhe and I would be coming with her.

Try to digest that for a second. She was implying that there was a chance that Vi was just planning on leaving us and moving to Las Vegas by herself, completely abandoning her wife and new child. When Vi explained that of course we were coming, this friend expressed shock that we were going to remain a family and live together. Why people had and continue to have such a bizarre inability to comprehend our relationship, I seriously do not understand.

This only got worse when Vi came out as trans. People seemed to think that despite the fact that I’m so gay I used to identify as a lesbian, Vi’s transition would somehow nullify our marriage. That either she would want to leave me for a man or I would want to break up because I didn’t want a trans wife.

So, let me make something very clear. VIOLET AND I ARE JUST AS VALID AS ANY OTHER COUPLE. Just because people don’t look or act the way you expect doesn’t mean they can’t love each other. So please stop being assholes.

These days, we are honestly happier than ever before. I think that Vi coming out as trans was probably the best thing that could have happened to us. She is so much kinder and empathetic now, and we are so much more relaxed. Having a wife feels so much more “right” than having a husband did, and she has blossomed as a woman and a mother.

We have to face the dual discrimination of being a queer couple and also a gender nonconforming couple, but it’s absolutely worth the happiness we have now. People still often seem bewildered by us, though. Whenever we go to the doctor with the kids, they will ask us if we are friends, or sisters, never reaching the right answer until we tell them. We receive questions on Facebook from people we barely know along the lines of “No offense but how does your relationship work?” We hear from friends that people question them about us all the time.

It’s strange to know that we are such a close-knit and loving family and yet people question our existence. But I guess that’s what you get for being different.