This is a guest post from my loving wife. Here she adds her perspective.
A few years ago I had been wondering what was wrong with my boyfriend. Over the period of a few months when I would prod him he refused to tell me why he was so depressed. Finally, he told me he had decided to see a therapist to figure out what was wrong.
A few days later, with trepidation written all over his face, he told me he needed to talk to me. The look on his face made me wonder if he was going to tell me he was gay. Instead he told me that he thought he might really be a “woman” inside. Over time we’ve figured out that this doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have to get a sex change, but that his gender lies somewhere in-between male and female.
As soon as I knew that he was transgendered, I was mortified about all the times I had lovingly made fun of him for “acting like a girl” or “being a girl”. Even though he said it wasn’t that big a deal, I realized that I had been sexist and had probably hurt him each time without realizing it. Knowing that the person I am now married to transcends gender (isn’t that what “transgender” really means?) is actually a blessing in my life for a number of reasons.
I am not as sexist as I used to be. I am probably still sexist every now and then, but I find myself now being more likely to defend men as often as women in situations that are unfair to them or be gender neutral in conversations that have normally centered around one sex or another.
I am more feminine and take better care of myself. I have not necessarily been a tomboy all of my life, but I have most certainly not dedicated myself to being pretty or wearing the latest fashion trends. Having someone who appreciates femininity in my life, and appreciates my feminine side like Mattie does has made me realize that I should “own it”, if you will, since I was born a female. I have grown to enjoy being feminine, and feel it is fun to dress up sometimes.
I am secure in my relationship. I now know that most of the time when my husband is looking at a beautiful woman that he is probably looking at her and appreciating her beauty, and not sexually fantasizing about her. These days, if I see a beautiful woman, I’ll tell him about it and say, “Oh you should have seen this woman. She was wearing this, and her makeup was like that. I was so jealous.”
I love my transgendered husband, and am grateful that he finally let me in on the secret. I know that there are a lot of wives out there that don’t know about their husband’s crossdressing or that they are transgendered. I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t easy for me, and it still isn’t sometimes, but I would much rather know, because I can take action on the knowledge I have. What I mean is, if I don’t know that my husband is transgendered, how can I be there for him when he needs to talk about it, or wants me to help him pick out makeup (or when I need help picking it out for that matter), or needs help shaving his legs that first time?
What I really want to say is good luck to all the boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, and wives who have already made the decision to take that step and divulge this part of you, and good luck to those of you who are still waiting a while yet.
Image credit: mrhayata.