This is Hannah from Denmark. This is my first post. I am not new to Transgender Heaven, a month ago I joined this amazing site and left a couple of weeks later due to some personal issues triggered by my best friend calling me a monster. I have since rejoined but have taken it slow this time. Taking this time has been beneficial; I came out to roughly two dozen people, and except one, all the men rejected me, and again except one, all the women accepted me. It took me so much time to process and scream that I hadn’t changed, but to them, I wasn’t familiar, I was a stain of xenophobia they needed to wash off with the detergent of denial. But that was the necessary step 1: a small act kinda like the small town opening band before Metallica shows up. The big day finally came when I had to come out to my wife.
I have recently come out to my wife, the most important person in my life. The whole point of this article is that she now knows that I am transgender – no longer a husband, but just a wife like her. So many labels, but she sees me still as the same person, even though she can’t bear to be around me.
Have you ever tried to hold in the urge to pee where you just can’t and you find the best place you can and just let it all out and see that suddenly there is an audience of nuns and Sunday school teachers observing you in disgust? That was my wife’s reaction.
It has been a week since I told my wife and she is still all over the place. I haven’t slept in over a month, agonizing over this decision. I made a friend on this very site who held my hand through this traumatic stage in my life (hat tip @swolinsky), but in the end and when I decided to come out, events still felt as though things had all wrong for me.
The major concern for my wife is that I am simply not transgender and have confused myself as a result of being physically/sexually abused as a child by my dad. No matter what I say otherwise, it is simply of no value to her. I remember a friend on this very site who had been similarly gaslit by their wife, and I wondered how women can be like this to their husband, but now I know! They can’t face the magnitude of the change and the reality of the broken marriage according to them.
In my wife’s case, the pain isn’t that I am a different outer package – it is that I broke the social contract she had come to count on. I was to protect our child while she raised it, I was to mend the fences when our little dog went through them, I was to mend the walls and yell for the plumber when the house broke down as all houses do. Right now, we have no child, no dog and no house yet – and it is her fear that we never will. I have tried to tell her that I will still walk the dog in my heels, still protect the baby with my life and handbag, and still mend the walls with my long nails and still yell for the plumber in my feminized voice.
I think she feels that I will not be able to do as a woman what I could as a man. The fact that I was always a woman cuts no ice with her. Stereotyping at its finest. There are clouds that look ominous but never rain and then there are clouds that look friendly. But the clouds that rain always looks ominous. Such has been my story. I knew she would react like this and it did happen like that. But my knowing did nothing to prevent or erase either her or my pain.
There are those among you who read this who have supportive wives, my thought to you is to hold on to those gems as tightly as you can: you didn’t get just a partner, you got an angel. The rest of us got humans, unfortunately, with all their vagaries and recriminations. I don’t grudge my wife and the love of my life – she will take a bit longer but she will get there. At least she is planning to stay and I thank God for that blessing.
I am married but single; have come out but am locked in. I am a new woman but an old man; I am free now but a prisoner to my pain. I am looking forward to the future but forced to confront my past.
This is my reality. I wanted to share this with you today.
Love from that little old girl in Denmark,