Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Answers From the Wife of a Transgender Woman

My spouse, Jean, transitioned about 11 years ago. We've been together for 16 years and will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary this spring. This has been a long journey for both of us.

We've had a very strong bond since the first time we laid eyes on each other. We're two halves that make a whole. This is not a bond that comes around very often. We literally complete each other.

To answer Sue's question about "maleness" is difficult. I mourned losing Gene when he first started talking about transition. I was scared out of my mind, as well. What is going to happen with us? Can I be strong enough to help him through this? Can I even get through this? These were just a few of the questions that went through my mind when he first told me he needed to pursue transition.

I didn't want to lose Gene, but he was getting too difficult to live with. He'd sink into sullen moodiness and strike out at me verbally, all because he was afraid of losing me. I couldn't stay in the dark regarding what was causing him such distress. I turned inward and started wondering what more I could do to help, to keep him from going into the depression that was crippling him. It didn't matter what I did, though; nothing helped until he transitioned.

When we first met, he told me that he suffered from high levels of testosterone. I think that was his first hint to me that there was something more going on. The problem, one Jean had dealt with for her entire life, was that she knew she was trapped in a male body. She was scared to death to tell me much of anything. We knew we belonged together, but she didn't know how I would react to her secret gender identity.