I first want to apologize. I'm writing this while my partner is asleep and the events of tonight are still fresh in my mind. Tonight was pretty stressful for everyone in my house, so I'm sorry for any incoherence.

I'm a young man—just about to turn 25—living in California. My partner is the same age as me and is a MTF that I fell in love with 5 years ago. This past evening, after sending me out with our roommates to dinner, she tried to kill herself. We didn't find out until we got back home and found her, alive, but very drunk, with scars over her chest where she was clawing at herself. It took all of us several hours to calm her down enough to say more than "I'm sorry." Eventually, I was able to get more of the story. Through her sobs, she told me she believes that she'll never be thin, pretty and pass as a female. This is almost a week after she has made the commitment to be nothing else except for at work. Her counselor has already written her carry letter. I'm including a picture. I think the outside assessment of someone who hasn't seen her before would help. She's also been on a pretty intense diet for the past year and has lost 40 pounds already. So she is already making progress toward her goals.

My partner is bi-polar, and her hormones are currently not where they should be for someone with a complication-free transition. But this is not the first time she has had suicidal thoughts. According to her, she's been having them since long before she was diagnosed with GID and decided to transition. She has seen multiple counselors and therapists, but she is firmly convinced that she is permanently broken.

All of our roommates and myself have told her repeatedly that we will do anything to support her and I always try to make sure that she knows I know that she is the most beautiful girl I have ever met. But I don't really have the tools, or the advice that will make her see the woman I see whenever I look at her. I love her with all my heart and it tears me up that I can't make things better. One of my roommates suggested that I write you.

Just Trying to Help in CA

JTTHIC wrote me more than a year ago, and I responded to him privately and briefly. After the jump: the email I sent to JTTHIC last year and the followup email that arrived from him today.

Honestly, JTTHIC, I looked at the photos before I read your letter—force of habit—and thought, "woman," not, "MTF." Your partner has lovely eyes and an inviting face and carries her current weight very well—she's not a stick figure, but she's not an obese mess. She's very attractive. She has to learn to love who she is and accept herself. But that's something she has to learn to do by and for herself. You can offer your love and support—and so can your roommates, and good on all of you for doing that—but ultimately she's going to have to find the resources and strength inside herself. She's likelier to find both with the love and support she's currently getting... but she may not, not everyone does, and you can't see it as your failing if she doesn't pull out and pull through.

I hope she continues see counselors until she finds one she can work with and responds to positively.

Also, she needs to understand, in her heart, that thin does not mean pretty and pretty does not mean thin. And, yes, she passes. easily.


Hi Dan,

I wrote to you about a year ago asking for help with my partner, who was at the time going through a massive depressive episode regarding her transition and her acceptance at work and with her family. I just wanted to say thanks for your advice a year ago. Things are a lot better now. My partner was able to get the help she needed, got connected with a good counselor, and since she started taking medication, her bi-polar disorder is under control. She just recently finished the long process to having her name legally changed, and her family has overcome their initial reluctance and expressed interest in getting to know their daughter.

Last year you said a bunch of stuff that I had been saying for a long time, but she really needed to hear the voice of someone she hadn't heard before.

Thanks again.

Still Trying in CA

Hearing from you made my day, STIC. Thanks for writing.