Sadly, many of us in the transgender community have experienced losing a spouse as we continue our journeys towards living as our authentic selves.
Equally as sad is the fact for many the trip turns out to be a selfish and solitary experience. In addition, our spouses all too often have front row seats as we slowly slip away. First there are the clothes and the makeup, then comes the occasional trips to test the public’s eye and those turn out to be the simplest part.
In my case I have written often how my second wife (deceased) accepted me being a cross dresser but rejected any ideas of me transitioning into a transgender woman. It led me to sneak out behind her back as much as possible and into huge fights when she caught me. All of the hostility led her once telling me to be man enough to be a woman.
She unfortunately was gone before I transitioned and I will be forever interested in what she would have thought about the new person I became. I loved her very much and held on to the bitter end. Looking back, had she lived I am sure we could not have survived as a couple. The draw to live a feminine life was just too strong and felt all too natural. I can’t imagine her accepting me changing my name for example.
Having said all of that, I have several transgender women friends who have managed to hold together a marriage through a transition. Slowly and often begrudgingly spouses have decided to stay with their trans mates for any number of reasons, including children. Another subject totally. Some kids just seem to accpet more than others.
I can’t imagine if my spouse decided to transition to being a trans man. Of course I am biased and think there would be no problems but deep down I’m not so sure. Even though on occasion Liz is more masculine than I ever was even when I was trying to hide any toxic masculinity I ever had.
The whole process certainly puts us all between the rock and the hard place when it comes to our gender transitions. Deep down we know it’s something we have to do regardless of the number of years we have put into a marriage. I was at twenty five years and counting when my spouse passed away. We faced problems in the relationship when I was the girly girl of both of us. So much so, she asked me to help with her makeup on special occasions.
The whole process for me was similar to a slippery slope. The more I did as a novice transgender woman, the more I wanted to do. As I was finally syncing up my feminine soul with my exterior and exploring the world, the better I felt…for awhile until the pressure to explore again began to build on me. It was then I began to feel I was between the rock and the hard place. Having someone who love but not as my authentic self.
The whole process eventually led me to a suicide attempt. The rock and the hard place was a brutal place to be. As I looked over my gender cliff, I didn’t know where I would land and how soft the landing would be. New friends made it all a success.