Fergus and I have been engaged for just about a year and a half, and we’re planning on getting married August of next year, 2017 (sort of a slow timeline, but comfortable for both him and I).
Anxieties over the wedding were a problem for me in the past, especially around the time that Fergus and I set the date. I had a hard time describing what my problem was, and it was before I came out to myself. I tried to explain it to Fergus’ mom by saying that I didn’t want something fancy, and she suggested a tiny wedding with regular size reception (regular for an event involving that huge family, anyway), but that wasn’t it. I tried to explain it to Fergus as I didn’t want to wear a dress, and he reasonably suggested that I wear pants or whatever I felt like, which didn’t feel like it quite solved the problem (again, this is before I came out to myself and especially before I decided to transition). There were some times that my worries were bad enough that I lost sleep. It wasn’t the details, it wasn’t the money, it wasn’t a problem with weddings in general or marriage as an institution, it wasn’t worries about Fergus or the relationship. I knew it had something to do with people and me, but that was as much as I had it figured out at the time. Since it was a long ways away, I decided it was a problem for future me, and I put it out of my mind for the time being.
Now, in the current time, with me out to myself as trans and actively planning on transitioning, my feelings are very different. I saw a friend’s pictures on facebook of his wedding, with him in a waistcoat and tie, and I thought, “I want to get married like that.” And then today, I was walking through some foresty paths to get home after an errand and listening to mushy Beatles music, like “In My Life” and “When I’m 64”, and I was imagining myself as a man dancing with Fergus to it. I realized that I didn’t have the anxiety or embarrassment I had had before thinking about the wedding. And then I knew how to label my negative feelings about the wedding: I was anxious and embarrassed and ashamed thinking about being seen as a woman at my wedding. When I think about presenting myself as male at my wedding, it feels fine and dandy (ha, dandy).
I’m so relieved to have made this connection. I’m also wondering if other bits of people-related anxieties I had would also turn out to be partially caused by gender dysphoria. How much has my past default of poorly squishing myself into the female label affected my perception of social situations and my ability to navigate them?