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.