I am cis gendered and have been lesbian identified and out since I was 15. I am married to Wes and very much love him. I was not surprised when he told me he wanted to transition. There were times in our relationship when I saw how much pain he was in and I wanted to tell him what I saw and that I knew. Kinda like when people say “I wish someone would have told me I was gay”, but I waited because I knew he needed to figure it out on his own. I am glad that we are here at this point and he is beginning his transition.
I had an idea in my head of what transitioning would be like. I pictured testosterone shots and hair growth and voice deepening, and masculinity. I pictured support groups and new friends, and community. I pictured the same me and a different outside him but same inside him. I pictured doctors appointments and lots of money being spent. I found out that things that I pictured were wrong and that there is so much more than I had ever thought.
First, being a couple when a person is transitioning essentially means that both people are transitioning. and for awhile I very much thought I was being selfish thinking that. But for over half of my life I have been a lesbian identified cis gendered female. I have been fired from jobs, rejected by family, fought for equal rights, learned to be proud and come to terms with the fact that my identity is beautiful and I am strong and brave and have nothing to hide. And although most people perceive me as a straight woman unless my significant other was standing next to me, I was never closeted while at work, or anywhere else for that matter. One of the things I loved most was hanging pictures of the two of us around my office space. It made my day go faster to look at our memories and see us at our happiest.
I started a new job, it was almost perfect timing really because we decided that we would just use male pronouns from the beginning and eventually I can hang pictures. However it hasn’t been really as easy as that. We got married in September, and the people in my office really like me (for once, its amazing, part of me wonders if its because they all think Im a straight woman and can finally see me and not get hung up in the fact that Im queer) and have been really excited to see wedding photos, and want to know about my husband and have even made jokes to watch out and not get pregnant in the first year of marriage. I go back and forth on wanting to tell people, wanting to let them in, trust them. I have told 4 of my co-workers. The first woman is a lesbian, and although she is part of the queer community I still felt like I was going to throw-up when I was getting ready to tell her (I get a little nauseous when I get nervous). The second person I told was the person I share my desk with, and I felt the same “walls closing in, everything is getting black” feeling I feel when I have to speak in front of an audience. But I made it through. And she and the other person came to our wedding. Recently I told my dad. I had been putting if off because he and I hadnt spoken in 10 years and then just like that we had reconciled. There is nothing in this world that would ever make me pick anyone over Wes, and I was pretty sure my dad was going to be fine with the changes on the horizon, but it was the anxiety and fear of the unknown. The rejection. The having to say goodbye. Each person I tell, the feelings are always the same. I feel like I am coming out again. Its the same “hard talk” feelings, I feel very emotional like I cant control the tears, and I get a little faint, and nauseous. The conversations are usually about 2 minutes long. Like a shot, most of the pain is in the anxiety before.
Another thing Ive realized is there is literally no way to prepare for all the situations that are going to come up during this process. For example, we were swimming the other day as we like to do at the gym and I realized that 1. I like using the locker room with him at this time while he still appears female and will be upset when I have to use the locker room with a bunch of strangers I dont know. 2. What do we do before the top surgery? Which locker room does he use when he looks like a man but hasnt had top surgery. 3. Im nervous for him. Ive always been the person who protects him. I always stand up for him, I always tell people to fuck off if they treat him poorly, and what will happen when Im not there because Im a woman and he’s a man and Im not allowed in the bathroom or locker room.
Another things that has been very different from what I pictured is the community. For some reason I had an illusion that there would be a great support network for trans people and their families out there. But there isnt. We have gone to a few groups, and met a couple people. Some have been really nice and we have genuinely wanted to stay in contact and become friends with them. Other people we felt like it was best to keep our guard up and not let them in too close, which made us a little sad as it felt that was the majority of the people we met. Its really hard to get information on safe doctors and safe spaces, sometimes it can be scary trying to do that stuff on your own and it would be really nice to be able to ask someone.
For now, that is about it. Its been 4 weeks/4 T shots. I for some reason thought he would have a full beard by now. Silly.