Accountability & Responsibility
In order to be responsible and accountable we need to have shared understanding of safe and successful relationships, shared problem solving, conflict resolution and personal power and autonomy that reflect our actual lives and relationships. The past invisibility of successful and positive trans, gender diverse and nonbinary identities and relationships has made identification of harmful dynamics more difficult in our communities. Regardless, we all have power to make choices even when our options seem limited, and we also have responsibilities for safety and respect when it comes to sex, romance and intimacy. No matter what painful histories or past experiences we carry, these responsibilities don’t change. As an adult, it’s important to understand and reflect on how you have grown up and learned to get your own needs met, what ideas about ‘normal’ relationships you have been exposed to, and how this impacts partners and the people closest to you.
Understanding your role and taking responsibility for your behaviour in relationships is crucial for growing. Owning up to your actions and accepting how they impact your relationships is a part of accountability to yourself and others. In the long run, being responsible and accountable, especially if you have made mistakes or acted in a way that has hurt someone, will help you and others to feel safer and increase trust. This can be an empowering reminder that you have control over the role you play in your relationships. Showing your willingness to be honest, respectful and vulnerable in turn encourages your partner to be open and genuine with you too. Modelling responsibility and accountability can be a huge step in helping you to feel validated, affirmed and stronger in your whole self, and the right people will naturally reflect this back to you. It will help you to share and be comfortably yourself in intimate, romantic or sexual partnerships and encounters, and invite the same from others.