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Opinion In marriage, it is not a matter of dishes. It is about respect.

While masculine is in appearance, my wife and I admit that I am more sexually inclined than married men, something we believe plays a role in balancing the power dynamics in our marriage. I am more in touch with my female side and this has helped blur the line between what many couples traditionally consider a man-friendly behavior. – Steve Kaverman, Canon City, Colo.

I’m Fam, the oldest shemales, in partnership with Lesbian Butch. I grew up wanting to be in the “woman” place in many ways, and because my girlfriend meets many male traits, she enjoys the “man’s” job. But there is always an open dialogue between us because we are fully aware of the expectations that can occur. We work together on most things or we will ask for help from each other. We feel so comfortable doing it the way most of my friends don’t. – Elizabeth Gibson, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

I am a transgender man. My wife and I had to negotiate a change in social expectations from a “lesbian” husband to a “straight” husband. I have a long time job and before my move, my wife did most of the housework. Now those dynamics feel repressed. I have stepped up how much I do, but still the tension is that I can’t do more. When we were a same-sex couple, homework balancing was something we did together. Now, it’s not just about our relationship, it’s also about how we relate to sex and society. This is a lot of pressure to press the dishes! – Alex Corbett, Kaikoura, New Zealand

I am a transgender woman, still in transition, and my partner is a woman with special needs. Our relationship was mostly free of heterosexual power dynamics, even before I started the transition. Childcare and home ownership have not yet run, but I am proud of how we manage to divide our tasks. This applies to emotional work, too. Straight couples I know don’t share the burden of being an emotional center. That almost always falls on the woman. Mika Lily Osler, Manhattan, New York

I am in a heterosexual relationship (I am a white female, a black man). I don’t know if it’s because of our difference in race, but we frequently challenge gender roles and my partner cares most about my needs, much more than any white male I have been dating in the past. It is also the main detergent and is delicate in washing. We are traditional in some ways, but we watch each other closely and always work to help. – Holly Nelson, Albany, New York

My wife is in a wheelchair and has limited ability to do many activities. I do almost all shopping, cooking, dishes, bills and bookkeeping. I also do physical care. Our emotional lives, however, are balanced. It is a fearless communication medium and has helped me become one too. Sex can be frequent and restricted due to her condition, and is a source of frustration. But he’s also intimate, funny, and sometimes happy. Who would have thought that the best sex of my life would be with a woman in a wheelchair? We do what we can – and must – live together and love each other. Julian Gerstein, Brattleboro, Vt.

I am a man in a heterosexual marriage and I have two young children. I can prepare them for school, pack lunches, cook dinner, and go to parent-teacher conferences. But then my wife will feel failed or excluded. Sometimes men put expectations on women in relationships, but women can bring a lot of baggage in what they think they are supposed to do, regardless. – Andrew Inn, Queens, New York

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