This month, August 2017, marks two years since my spouse came out to me as a transgender woman. While I am amazed at how far we have come as a couple and a family since that day, looking back now, I am in awe of my wife’s courage.
She must have been incredibly fearful of my reaction and how our lives would change after she voiced transgender to me for the first time.
And I understand why.
I didn’t understand the full picture of what being transgender meant. Obviously I knew that meant a person who changed genders but anything beyond that (the emotional turmoil, struggle, etc) was foreign to me.
trans (to move) + gender (being female or male) = transgender
After I heard the news, there was no telling if I would
- Grasp the concept
- Totally freak
- Or leave.
Damn, she must have been petrified to tell me. But she did.
It started as a routine conversation about her general dissatisfaction. She had been constantly insatiable since we met: always looking for something better or more exhilarating to fill a void within her. Overtime, I came to figure that she would always be a little disgruntled with the calmness of life and needed adventure to comfort her. She explored hobbies one by one with extreme depth from baking bread to piloting airplanes with one hundred in between. I thought our conversation that August was going to be a routine bickering between the two of us.
It began as
Michelle: I want more out of life.
Hailey: What more could you want?! You have a family, a job, and place to live…
Michelle: I want to be me.
Then she told me. She said that she was a woman and wanted to live as a woman.
After hearing the news, I
- Thought she had gone mental
- Empathized with her obvious emotional anguish
- Totally freaked about what this meant for our family
- And stayed.
Now, two years later, I have moved passed the hurt and confusion I felt the day she came out. The years have passed. Our family is coasting through her transition.
Recently, I’ve grown to look deeper at the person on the other side of the conversation: the anxiety and total fear in telling me.
The woman screaming to come out.
It took a lot of guts and I am so thankful she did.