Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Katharine got me the most loving and sweetest card I could ever receive, and it completely made my morning.

I used to absolutely loath this day. I hated it as a child because it was a reminder of how different I was from everyone else. These days schools have policies to avoid kids feeling left out on valentines, but when I was a kid there were no such systems, and as the weird kid the only valentines day cards that I got were pity cards. I was Ralph Wiggam.

As a young adult I continued to despise it because it was an annual reminder that I was alone. I blamed this on my mother and her faith, because the JW restrictions on courtship made casual dating impossible and limited my dating pool severely. It wasn’t until I was 25 and completely out of the church that I was finally able to try to date for real.

You’d think that once Katharine and I were together, that would make the holiday more fun, right? Nope, the gendered expectations for the day chafed me severely, I hated that as “the man” in the relationship, I was expected to be the performer for the day. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to shower Kat with my love, but that I resented the fact that my gender demanded it from me. One year this resulted in an enormous fight between Kat and I, which she completely didn’t understand. From her perspective it seemed like I was just being lazy and using some kind of MRA nonsense as an excuse (my ADHD always making me forget didn’t help).

Today is my second valentines day as Jocelyn, and now the holiday has become so much more. Without the gendered components of the event it has become just about the love between us and our family. I still slightly resent the commercialism of the day, but Kat and I are able to be together now as a whole couple with no barriers between our love, and that makes it so much more special.

Last night Katharine and I sat and watched the live stream of TransIRL’s latest episode, which is all about transition from the perspective of cis spouses. It’s an amazing episode, and Kat and I found it SUPER relatable. I definitely recommend checking it out.