When I went to the gender clinic last week, I hadn’t told my husband yet. Not a word. I didn’t want to tell him, “Hey, dude, I’m transgender.” I was being a chicken.
However, he knew I’d been to the hospital. And that it took me all afternoon and part of the evening because it wasn’t our local hospital. When I came back home, he asked to know why. I told him I was tired – which was true enough – and didn’t want to talk about it. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide the truth from him for very much longer.
The next evening, I told him. Frankly, I was pissing my pants, but a man’s got to do what he’s got to do, and putting it off wasn’t gonna help me any.
To my surprise he took it very calmly and seemed most worried about how our relatives were going to take this news. His fears are not unfounded. I have the exact same ones. We know our folks well enough to be 99% sure that this is not going to sit well with them.
Then he asked, “But what’s this going to mean for our marriage?” Another valid question, and the outcome is that, since neither of us wants to be in a same-sex marriage with a guy, we will be getting a divorce. Even though we may still choose to continue living in the same house for at least a while. The house is big enough, and we’ve been sleeping in seperate bedrooms for ages already.
He didn’t even object to the possibility that I might eventually marry a nice woman after my transition.
A little later, seemingly out of the blue, came his next question: “But what’s wrong with being a woman?”
Right. He didn’t understand. And how could he? I’d been grappling with my gender identity for decades, but he probably never once even suspected anything of the sort. So he, probably quite naturally, thought that I felt there was something wrong with being a woman, which of course is utter nonsense. And so I told him.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a woman. Not as long as you really are one. But when the gender you were born into is not your true gender, then you’ve got a problem.”
What he was really asking, of course, was not what was wrong with being a woman, but rather, he wanted to know why.
- Why is this happening?
- Why are you transgender?
- Why is my life being turned upside down?
And you know, I don’t really have the answers to those questions. Though I do have a pretty good idea about why some people are born transgender, but then we’re talking technicalities and that’s for another post.
I don’t know why this is happening to us. I don’t know why I have to hurt him and other people I love. I don’t know why I have to turn so many lives upside down. But I do know I cannot go on living in denial. And I also know cupboards are no places to live in.