Could it be? Detente? Yes, it appears so.
A kind of peace, at the very least, brought upon by the discovery of something unexpected: my wife found an old photograph, and a website she’d not seen before, or wanted to see.
This is the website:
And this is the photograph:
It was the first time since I was a teenager that I wore women’s clothing and makeup. My friends were stunned, especially the young woman I was dating. Someone who didn’t know me commented that it didn’t truly resemble a costume, and asked if I did this all the time. The answer was no, but it was strange to discover after nearly 15 years of male hormones coursing through my body, I could still pass.
I never thought about that experience again, until the changes started more than a decade later. It was 2005, and I showed my wife this photograph and others from that party, in a discussion of what was happening to me.
Another seven years later, it’s the present: my beloved rediscovered these pictures, not recalling at first that I had showed them to her. There was suspicion at first, and when I answered truthfully and without evasion, she then considered the significance of the timing; she married me just two years after that Halloween party, never knowing about my buried past. It wasn’t something I kept from her as much as I kept it from myself, something to be forgotten along with old girlfriends’ phone numbers and dating disasters.
If there was a connection between my modeling days, that party costume and the changes I have experienced, I hadn’t considered it before. But she did now. This discovery, and what she learned from the APA website about transsexualism, truly opened her eyes more than anything I could have said. She realized who I really am.
I’m not saying she was no longer broken-hearted, but at least we both felt as though we could go forward as allies, instead of enemies.
My wife’s one demand: she considered it imperative that I accepted a fact of life. That instead of seeing myself as a heterosexual male with a transgender condition, she wanted me to “own” that I am in fact a transgender female and a lesbian. No more hiding.
I was a little taken aback. I told her I wasn’t ready to move THAT fast! I really have no idea what it’s like to have a totally supportive spouse; I imagined it would take some getting used to.
So what was to happen now? I reminded her that my feelings for her hadn’t changed; that if she had feelings for me, too, I could survive as a “non-op” (someone who chooses not to have surgery to transition from one gender to another). Pulling my iPhone from its dock in the total darkness, I showed her a website:
She didn’t have her glasses on, since we were in bed, together. So, as we cuddled next to one another in front of the tiny illuminated screen, I read it aloud, in particular the part about MtF’s who choose to not have surgery so they can stay with their wives and children. There was silence when I finished.
A moment passed, and I could sense a relaxation in her tense, naked body, as she lay so close to mine I could feel her breathing.
And that’s when she attacked me. Kissed me full-on, right on the lips… and the rest I’ll leave to your imagination.
I should note, my transformed body can only do so much without medical assistance, and with a sufficient interval to allow a certain prescription to work. So, don’t jump to conclusions as to what went on, but know this: it was great, for both of us.
I think we’re on the road to somewhere. Hopefully, together, for at least awhile longer.
And I think I’ll hold-off on that whole idea of “owning” anything and just live in this moment, for now.