10 years in the life of a Trans wife 

​Sparkle Talk 
It was 10 years ago that Diane came out to me. The tension had been building for days, weeks, months until one night she broke. I remember listening but staying quiet for what seemed forever, but soon my reaction turned to anger and rage. What was I scared of. I was scared of everything we spoke of today! Secrets and lies, selfishness, the family and neighbours, the icky bits. She was suddenly going to change! That person I married, how could I carry on loving her. I married a man, a man in women’s clothes was wrong! Or so that’s what the media and general public had taught me! This went on for days. I told her she couldn’t do this to me or our 3 teenage children.
What I did do from the onset was allow her to dress, but only behind closed doors in the safety of our bedroom. At first she was ok with that and said to leave things for a year. That year was probably the worst year of our marriage because the tension gradually worsened. Somehow we kept this up for the next 5 years, it kept coming up in discussions but ended up in arguments and lots of tears. One thing we did do during this time was make sure she saw her GP. 
No matter how much it upset me, I knew from that very first time we spoke I had to help her, I just didn’t know how. How did I know this?  From the very first time she dressed, I saw the happiness, the confidence, the release! Every time she dressed she became an happier women and not a man hiding in a boy shell. I had to find a way through the negativity and the what ifs. I had to support her through but I had to find my confidence first. 
One thing I needed was to find someone who I could hopefully get some answers from. I couldn’t talk to family and friends because they wouldn’t understand. Diane introduced me to Lisa and after chatting I realised we wasn’t alone. Lots of others were going through what Diane was going through. Through our regular chats, we became friends and I was able to find my confidence to carry on and support her. One of the first things she said to me was “It’s only the shell that’s changing, the squishy bit inside stays the same”. That squishy bit gets better. This quote stayed with me.
We started to attend all her medical appointments together and 7 months ago spent a week at the Nuffield hospital and Brighton were she under went Gender reassignment surgery. Once I accepted I needed to support her so I went out and did everything I could to find out the information I needed.
We came out to family, friends and neighbours together and everyone supported us. Our kids and Grandson continue to be amazing! It was once said to me that because we came out together, others had no choice than to support us both! 
This year we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and in that time we’ve gone through some tough times but with support we came through. We are just us now! We are both in a much happier place. We have friends! Transition was good for us both. All the fears I had were just fears, One fear I had was the staring. It was noticeable at the beginning but only because I went looking for it. Now they are just glances and once you pass they forget you anyway and go and look for another reason to stare. A partner needs support to. Don’t just throw your relationship away. Find support, someone to talk to, someone to confide in. Find other partners who have been through it, there isn’t many of us about but we are happy to chat. Try to show confidence in that you want support and not I can’t do this, I won’t do this. Talk to each other, be there for each other. My support comes from and continues to come from the Trans community. 

Advertisements
This entry was posted on August 4, 2017. 4 Comments

Are you phoning on behalf of your wife….

​Sat having tea and I sensed something was wrong (I knew without asking what it was).  Half way through the tears flowed. At that moment I wanted to take a photo and post it but I knew she wouldn’t let me even if I asked. One stupid phone call, one ignorant individual on the other end of the phone, one person who basically accused her of being a scam.
All because she’s a Trans women and her voice at that moment didn’t sound quite right. She said her name and she was put through mental torture. “Can you spell your surname”, the operator utters, “Are you phoning on behalf of your wife because I’m obviously speaking with a man here”. She had to come out to a stranger over the phone. She was treated like a fake, like a criminal.
Please give Trans women and Trans men a chance FFS. All her security checks matched, yet she still wasn’t believed. It totally sucks that you have to continually face incidents like this. I watched that evening as my wife broke down uncontrollably, questioning her being, questioning how the general public really perceived her.  This isn’t an isolated incident, it’s something that Trans people face every day.
Trying to get on with their lives but being scrutinised because part of them doesn’t appear to match their gender

This entry was posted on March 13, 2017. 1 Comment

IT’S ONLY THE SHELL THAT’S CHANGING……

It’s only the shell that’s changing, the squishy bit inside stays the same! Why am I writing a blog about this phrase? Why is this phrase so important to me?

Since the very first day Diane sat me down and told me she was Trans I knew that deep down I could do this, I just didn’t know how! At the time I couldn’t see past what was going through my head! People will reject us, we will be classed outcasts. We will lose all our family and friends. Diane will change she won’t stay the same person I have known for the last 20 something years!

For 6 years I tried my hardest on my own to deal with things, I didn’t want to talk about it to anyone. No one would help me anyway they wouldn’t have a clue how to deal with me. I agreed to go to couple counselling with Diane at the Gender Identity clinic. The first appointment we attended we ended up travelling on buses and trains to get there, only to be told when we got there our appointment was cancelled because our psychotherapist was sick. This devastated me. When we did eventually see her she was really blunt with me, I was upset anyway and she just told me “Diane will do this if I like it or not, so I either stick by her or leave” This wasn’t something I wanted to hear from someone who was suppose to be helping us both! This experience just sent negative thoughts through my head. What do I do next, the GIC wasn’t really bothered about my needs just hers!

Life went on and I continued to search for reasons not to do this but each time one came up I fought through it. We was walking towards the entrance to the GIC one day to another session. Another Trans women stopped and waited for us. This was Lisa who Diane knew. She chatted but I can’t remember saying anything, I was really nervous. She took my hand that day and wished us Good luck. I felt she was talking on both our levels. A couple of weeks later Diane took me to Sparkle for a day. Diane was in boy mode, again we met Lisa and I remember her saying she didn’t recognise Diane but she recognised me from that previous meeting. She chatted and I think I said a bit more this time. Again she took my hand and said everything will be ok. The day after I decided to set up a Twitter account. It was the best move I made! I got to know lots of new people and started to realise I wasn’t alone. I was sat one day and I had this idea in my head that I needed to chat with someone face to face so I asked Lisa if she minded meeting up, we live reasonably close to each other. She agreed so we went out for lunch. We chatted and she said to me…..”it’s only the shell that’s changing, the squishy bit inside stays the same” This phrase got embedded in my brain from that moment and I used it continually to help me. The first bit of the phrase is so true…the 2nd bit should say…..the squishy bit inside gets better. Since Diane became herself she’s become more comfortable and more content in herself. She’s a much nicer person and certainly more relaxed. I think that phrase has worked on me too. I’m a much nicer person who is more content in who I am!

It’s going on for three years since that day outside the GIC but it’s been the best years of our lives. All that time I struggled yet one simple quote changed my whole outlook. I look back on our lives together now and Diane is so much more content than I ever remember her being. Transition has brought along so much happiness and so many good friends.

If you are a wife who is struggling and feel you don’t want to talk to anyone about it, then don’t hide away. Get out there and find some one else on the same journey. Talk to them! It might help you it might not, but you’ve tried. I’ve said it before loads of times it’s not an easy journey but it’s a far better one than I ever thought it would be. Some of my best friends are Trans and they are the most loving caring people I know.

We are about to embark on the ultimate goal on this journey. A goal I never thought I would ever want to happen. A referral letter is now on its way to Brighton and I couldn’t be happier……it’s taken me 8 years to get to this place in my life but I got there!!

IT’S ONLY THE SHELL THAT’S CHANGING, THE SQUISHY BIT INSIDE STAYS THE SAME…OR RATHER IT’S ONLY THE SHELL THAT’S CHANGING, THE SQUISHY BIT INSIDE GETS BETTER!!

OH NO! WE JUST GOT STARED AT AND NOW ALL THE WORLD WILL BE TALKING ABOUT US!

IMG_20150110_114201When Diane first came out to me one of my biggest fears was how we would be accepted in society and would we spend the rest of our lives being stared at. I want to share a couple of incidents when this did happen and how i felt. At the end I’m going to tell you how I feel now and how I see those incidents differently…..

Although in both incidents Diane was still living male mode, I will be calling her Diane. To me now this is who she’s always been!

A WEEKEND AWAY IN WHITBY

Right from the start of Diane telling me she wanted to Transition she started shaving her legs. I used tell her she looked like a plucked chicken. I loathed her for doing this. I loathed it that much for the following 8 years or so my legs were lucky if they saw a shaver!
It was a hot day Diane was wearing shorts, I was panicking because of her legs being visible for all to see. We walked along Whitby harbour there were people everywhere. As we walked I noticed a family coming towards us. Mum, Dad and two kids. They got closer and the Mum seemed to be staring at Diane’s legs. She turned to her family and suddenly they all appeared to be looking and they broke out into laughter. I was on edge, I tried to speed up to hurry past them. After what seemed to be forever we did pass them and I didn’t dare look back to see what was happening. To me they were laughing at her shaven legs! For weeks and weeks this stayed in my head. Did they go on and tell everyone they met, did they tell the world about us…….

A NIGHT OUT IN BLACKPOOL

The years went past and it come to a time that I had to go out with Diane dressed in female mode. I needed to see how I felt, I knew I wanted her to Transition eventually. I didn’t want the first time to be near home because I didn’t want anyone to see us. Diane decided that Blackpool would be a good idea. A seaside town where we could find a show to go to and sit in the crowd. We travelled down booked into the hotel and then went to find food. Afterwards we went back to our room so we could get ready. It took me forever because I was terrified of what I though I was about to deal with. Diane got into her dress she looked beautiful. In the comfort of the hotel room that was fine, I could deal with it. But the thought of opening that bedroom door scared me! My only sanctuary this time was it was winter and it was evening. I had a winter coat so I could hide from the world in my furry hood! We took the first steps to leaving the hotel. I held her hand and we walked down the stairs. In front of us there was a couple. The man turned round he looked then turned back and something to his partner, they both turned and looked at us! They were talking about Diane. I was in bits! As we approached the exit to the hotel the couple went in the opposite direction to us. Phew! what a relief that was for me. We carried on with our evening, I was on edge but we sat at our table and watched the show and the rest of the evening went really well. Did that couple go on and tell everyone they met, did they tell the world about us……

HOW DO I SEE THESE INCIDENTS NOW

Did we really get stared at, yes we probably did. Did they talk about us between themselves, yes they probably did. Did they go on to tell the world, no they didn’t!
Have you ever walked passed someone who you thought looked different and had to look twice, yes you have! We are all guilty of it! Myself and Diane were walking through town once and a local Tramp was rummaging through the bins looking for food. Everyone was watching him, me and Diane just carried on. I’ve seen people laugh and point in the street at someone just because they had purple hair and their body has been covered in tattoos. The general public will always do stuff like this. What I have realised is that once they pass you they forget about you and they go onto talking about something else. The chances of you seeing them again are practically nothing! People really aren’t bothered about how you live your life.
I go down the street now I don’t even think about what people are doing around us anymore, if they stare they stare I don’t really notice anymore. I doubt I would remember what they looked like 30 minutes after so I doubt they would remember us either!
Just relax and be yourself, once you learn to relax and not care what people think you will realise people don’t care about what your up to anyway. They are all busy enjoying their own lives so don’t let them stop you from enjoying yours!

This entry was posted on January 22, 2016. 3 Comments

It’s not about missing him anymore, it’s about wanting her!

It’s only days away from Diane’s 2nd Birthday of going full-time starting to live as her true self.  Has time went on and she began her treatment her body started to change, reality hit me as a wife that things were never going to be the same again. The dynamics of our relationship were about to completely change.

In what way did it hit me the hardest. I saw her all day long, she was happy, she was female, she was mine and I felt so content and happy seeing her so happy! Has each day drew to a close and we went to bed reality hit. She was there laid down at the side of me naked. I started to tremble. He was there! He messed with my head! Wife’s dysphoria I called it. This happened night in, night out, but like accepting her transition I had to accept this. It wasn’t going to go away overnight. I had to close my eyes and find a way.

As husband and wife we had a really close is relationship, I couldn’t let something like this break us. I love her and she loved me. We had got through so much. I had to find a way to change our relationship dynamics to wife and wife. We had to be lesbians, we are two women! This was harder than I ever thought it would be. How can we be lesbians when the man is still there? Has time has gone on we have become closer I try and hide the man away, it works sometimes but odd occasions it doesn’t and it hurts.

This has been the hardest part of transition for us both. At times she thinks she’s letting me down but she isn’t. I love her more now than I ever have.

This year we will be heading to Brighton, she will reach the final obstacle in her Transition and the man will have gone forever. She will be complete. For me it really can’t come quick enough. I have travelled this journey with her and I really need this has much as her. I know we will have a close intimate relationship again as two women who have always loved each other.

This entry was posted on January 14, 2016. 4 Comments

Tracey’s TDOr speech 2015

Here goes. My talk from last night …..
Our journey began 34 yrs ago. Boy meets Girl. I was 16. We married had children and everything was good. Then 8 yrs ago my world was rocked. Diane told me she wanted the women she was born, to come out and be seen. I was devastated but all the time i wanted to find a way through. 6-7 yrs went past we argued, times I felt my life was over, but deep down I knew somehow I needed her to be Diane……I had to find a way to let her be herself.
A chance meeting with another Trans Women Lisa made me realise that we wasn’t alone. One of the first phrases Lisa quoted to me was “It’s only the shell that’s changing, the squishy bit inside stays the same” This phrase got me through. I’ve come to realise the inside does change, but it changes for the better. Through continued chats with Lisa and meeting others who are on the same journey I realised I could do this. The end of 2013 we started to put plans in place. The first 2 weeks of January 2014 were the hardest time, we began to tell family and friends. We realised everything was going to be good. Some people including our kids had already guessed, but kept it to themselves, which hurt me to find out. Everyone was amazing and so supportive.
On Jan 19th 2014 Diane’s deed pole was signed and she started living the female life she was born to live. Diane is living again! I’m living again! Life couldn’t be happier! It’s not an easy journey but to see someone be happier than you’ve ever seen them is the greatest reward. I realise I’m lucky, we are one of the 5% of marriages that survive this. We walk down the street no one cares, we are us! One of the best things that happened just recently came from our 20 month old Grandson, he called her Mammar(Grandma) for the first time, an innocent child who loves her unconditionally.
Lisa recently sent me this following email…….
When I first met Tracey, almost by chance, on a near deserted suburban street, outside the Gender Identity Clinic in Sheffield, she looked terrified and was physically shaking. I could see that she didn’t want to be there, didn’t want this to happen, didn’t want her husband to change.
The most recent time I saw Tracey, in a busy cafe in the city centre, she was relaxed and happy. Happy to talk about the challenges of our lives, happy for their future, happy to be with her wife!
Diane and Tracey are a wonderful couple. Diane, who waited for her wife in spite of the pain & compromise, and Tracey who saw through a boy-shell to a happier and stronger love. I wish them the most deserved, happiest future together.
It brought a tear when I read this, but Lisa’s words are so true smile emoticon I’m so thankful to her for the support she has given me. We both said recently that we have become great friends who support each other equally. I’m am thankful to all our family and friends who have been there for us. I realise now I married the person not the gender! There is a life after transition we are proof that marriage and families can stick together throughout this. Our daughter recently said to us when she was growing up she didn’t see us go out or have any friends. Now she sees two parents who have found each other and have lots of new friends who support each other…
TRANSITION ISN’T THE END ITS JUST THE BEGINNING

This entry was posted on November 21, 2015. 4 Comments