Your Wife is Trans? And Other Boring News…

So I kinda love this brief piece on Medium which is kind of a big yawn’s take on someone’s spouse turning out to be a woman, and yet I kinda don’t like it too.

Let me explain: there have always been partners of trans people who are a-okay with their partner’s transitions. It’s not news; there doesn’t have to be tragedy; some people adjust and move on.

For others, not so much.

And sometimes when I read pieces like this one, by any partner, which flourishes the NBD as a kind of fanfare of its own, I wonder: why? Were you forced to write the piece? Do you need to point out that those pitiful wives who do have a hard time making sexual and other adjustments just aren’t as liberated and groovy as you?

Mind you, these are all things I have been accused of. I’m in a glass house here — I’ve heard many times that I am (1) a cheerleader, (2) a gatekeeper, (3) an exploitive asshole, (4) a doormat. (I’ve never worked out how I  can be all of the above, to be honest, if anyone wants to help me work that out.)

So yay! It wasn’t a big deal for you. Trans women in particular should know that it’s not impossible to transition from within a relationship. I will honestly say that my wife and I wouldn’t have made it – not only because I was already gender-y or because I’m awesome (she would say I’m both) but because my partner valued our relationship to such a degree that she was willing to include me in her decision-making around her transition.

That is, it’s not so much about winning the partner lottery for the trans woman; often it’s about the trans person considering the other person and the relationship as much as they consider themselves. And sometimes it doesn’t work out because it doesn’t; relationships don’t, a lot, and that’s okay. A big change like transition is a lot to get through together. No one has failed if it doesn’t work out.

More narratives by more partners, please. And let’s all honor each others’ stories, struggles, and lack of struggles.

4 Replies to “Your Wife is Trans? And Other Boring News…”

  1. I wish you’d written this months ago. Or even yesterday, before my FTM spouse and I decided to end our marriage. Nearly a year ago, they announced they were going to begin taking steps to transition. No conversation. No including me in the decision-making. And no idea why any of that would be important to me. I mean, I know I don’t get a VOTE in what they do with their body, but at least I should know what’s happening.

    I bullied my way into the doctor appointments (I’m not proud of it, but it was the only way I’d get to find out what was going on). We got through top surgery a few months ago; yesterday they said they don’t want me at the endocrinologist appointment. No more fighting about it: I don’t want to be anywhere they don’t want me to be. Including, it seems, in this relationship.

    Tons of support groups for our trans partners. No resources I can find for people like me.

  2. Your words are thoughtful, but straightforward, as always. I have a lot to learn about how to respond to blogs (or rather, responses to comments in blogs by the author) that send me to the moon and back.
    My ex-wife (MTF) and I are closer, and more loving toward each other now, three years after we divorced, than we ever were when we lived together. That’s because we both decided to follow our respective life paths, and we both worked through our respective—and authentic—feelings regarding our own sudden transitions. We remain dear friends and companions in separate homes, but still spend a great deal of time together.
    Thank you for the reminder that there is no right way or wrong way to be true to ourselves while supporting those we love—and that compassion is necessary for everyone involved in the transition process.

  3. The blog that sent me to the moon and back was not yours. ;-]] Rather, it was the link you posted in Medium. Just wanted to clear that up!

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