Dr. Date: How do I tell my partner I’m experimenting with gender identity?

I think my gender is my school presentation and I left the flash drive at home — how do I explain that to my partner of two years?

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Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date,

Like many people, I’ve started exploring gender identity during quarantine. Without having to worry about the crushing weight of being perceived on a day-to-day basis in real-time, I’ve started experimenting with clothes, media and pronouns. I adjust my expression between different meetings or people I know personally, but so far it’s been one of the most freeing times of my life. 

I just haven’t told my partner of two years yet. She goes to St. Cloud State and has a full work schedule, so we don’t see each other all that often in person. She’s noticed my change in clothes (and has been very supportive!) but I’m so nervous to tell her about my new pronouns. How do you think I should go about this? 

Signed, 

Theyz’d and Confused


Dear Theyz’d and Confused,

New changes of the self can always be scary to accept and adapt to. It’s so cool that you’ve begun to explore this way, and I wish you all the luck with that. 

As far as how this factors into your relationship: I think it’s okay to take things at your own pace. You don’t owe this experience to anyone, and it’s valid to need some time to yourself. This is often a journey-based experience for folks that changes throughout their whole lives. Why not see where it takes you for now and wait until you’re a little more comfortable before bringing it to your partner?

It sounds like she would be supportive of you, but remember that this is your life and your identity, and you don’t owe it to anyone. 

Best, 

Dr. Date

Are you romantically bewildered? Are you sexually consternated, and is your relationship status a little too complicated? Want advice from the Minnesota Daily’s in-house love doctor? Email Dr. Date at [email protected].