Hi everyone! I also posted this for the members of CDH. If you want my backstory, please visit my profile. This is the story of what happened when I visited my daughter and her bride in Maryland over President’s Day weekend and came out to her.
I’m in my 4th month of spironolactone (25% drop in total T so far) and I started estradiol last week. I have been a closeted CD for almost my entire life, with stints of activity interspersed with purges that lasted for several years or more. I always felt awkward as a boy and man, and never felt at ease or like I fit in. I had difficulty dating, mostly because of my shyness and terror that someone would find out I liked women’s clothes and wished sometimes that I could have been born female.
I eventually married and we have one grown daughter that will turn 30 this summer. I can’t believe so much time has passed! My wife and I passed our 40th year together last August. It was only a month earlier that I finally revealed this side of me. We are struggling to come to terms with it and how to stay together. Since our daughter was getting married to her long-term partner (a couple for four years) in November, we elected to wait until I was about to start estrogen to tell her that dad is a transwoman.
I spent several weeks after the holidays trying to figure out how (and how much) to tell her. We picked President’s Day weekend so there would be time to discuss what questions she might have. My wife and I both had a bullet-point list of things to say, but I just kept my face down. My approach changed after we all went to dinner the first night. Both the girls talked about volunteering and giving back to the community. My daughter said she might like to work with seniors who are LGBTQ because they are so isolated. Her wife added how sad it is that people of my generation feel like they have to hide who they really are. Bingo! That’s my intro!
The next morning my wife, daughter, and I sat down to talk. Using the previous night’s discussion as a starting point, I asked my girl what she would say if I told her I am in that group and on HRT to transition. Of course, she did a double-take, but then said she supported me 100%. I figured she would. She had two obvious concerns: my wife and our marriage being okay, and my personal safety. We assured her we are trying to stay together and I am looking after my safety.
The funny part of this is she said she got a text from me a few months ago with a picture of me en femme! I must have accidentally had her on a text of a photo I sent to my wife. She had thought it may have been a joke or a WhatsApp thing and didn’t say anything. She was waiting for me to bring it up! So all the delay and anxiety of planning my reveal was pretty much for nothing (giggle).
But it did take the shock out of it, so not a bad thing. My wife expressed how incredibly hard this is for her – to see her husband fading away and a strange transwoman beginning to emerge that she never knew, didn’t marry, and doesn’t trust much. We said we have four options: stay together as a married couple (my hope), stay together but be roommates, live apart but stay married for economic reasons, or divorce (our worst-case option, we think).
So, my easiest conversation has started, but many more difficult ones still loom like shadowy specters, haunting me and threatening to steal the joy of transitioning. Additionally, the marriage hangs by a thread of love and closeness built over 41 years together. That thread can break at any time. Still, I don’t have a plan B. Only a threat to my health would make me okay with stopping HRT. I would be disappointed, but I can live with that. Stopping because someone else objects is not okay with me, because then I am denying my own identity in order to make someone else feel better. My wife understands that and is supportive, but for exactly the same reasons, can she be a wife to a transwoman? Only time will tell…