365 Days With Her
By U. A. Nigro
My workweek was stressful, trying not to slip up and use the wrong pronouns in front of the wrong person. On the weekends we would go in search of remote places where we could just be and hoped that we would not bump into anyone who might know us. I just felt like someone had shoved me into a closet and told me to keep my mouth shut, when all I wanted to do was shout from the highest rooftop. It was a difficult time full of what-ifs and who knows. Many questions and not enough answers but I was excited to introduce my beautiful and happy wife to the world. Even if I didn’t know what their reaction would be.
“THERE HAVE BEEN MOMENTS OF LONELINESS AND MOMENTS OF PURE JOY, ALL OF WHICH I WOULD NOT CHANGE BECAUSE EACH OF THEM HAVE HELPED ME TO GROW. “
My wife planned her coming out using social media and my thought was to follow her on my social media accounts. I wanted everyone to know that she had my full support and the support of our children. That I was still very much in love with her and that I planned on continuing my marriage. She decided on a day and wrote a lengthy but beautiful post including her preferred pronouns and new name. She and I both received many messages. Some were full of confusion and questions, but many were sweet and supportive as well. That was the beginning of my 365 days.
You must be an incredibly strong person to take your whole life and flip it up side down. I have told my wife on many occasions how very proud I am of her strength and conviction. There have been moments of loneliness and moments of pure joy, all of which I would not change because each of them have helped me to grow. Living with and being married to a transgender woman has inadvertently made me an activist. It’s a place that I never saw myself, however I get great satisfaction out of helping others. I strive to be the kind of support that I wish I had found in the early days of transition. There are days that I worry about her safety, her mental health, or overall well-being. There are days where I miss being looked at as a “normal” couple and there are days that I barely remember that guy.
“I FOUND LOVE, STRENGTH AND COMPASSION FROM A COMMUNITY FULL OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.”
We have lost friends and family along the way, but in the same breath have meet some incredible people who I couldn’t imagine not being a part of our lives. I have found a new identity through healing my childhood wounds and a voice I never knew that existed inside me. I enjoy the sunrise like never before and thank the universe for every day. There was a time when I thought that the world was too dark, but learned to use the light within my soul to brighten the way. Three hundred and sixty five days full of everything from mourning to dancing in the street. Many lessons learned and progress made in all directions. I found love, strength and compassion from a community full of beautiful people.
My wife’s “first birthday” has caused me to think deeply about where we have been and where as a couple we are going. So far I am elated at our continued committed love for one another and our lives together. I hope that every week my words somehow, somewhere help someone. And, that together as a community we all work toward informing and educating the world that people come in many shapes, sizes, and genders. This week I celebrate the journey that my wife and I have been on and thank each and every one of you for coming along for the ride. Peace and love always.