Having to Defend My Marriage to My Transgender Wife
By U. A. Nigro
These people have enough meaning in your life, that you let them in on the deepest of secrets. You poured out your heart and soul to them explaining the struggles of your spouse living life as a lie. You tell them the heart-wrenching story of the night your spouse came to you, scared, with tears in their eyes confessing these foreign feelings to you. You presented them with the proper information, pronouns, and name of choice. You attempt to educate them about what it means to be transgender and the issues transgender people face on a daily basis. You let out a sigh of relief when it is all over.
“LIVING AN AUTHENTIC LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS AN EASY TASK.”
The last part of the tour for me was coming out on my social media accounts. I made sure to continue to educate with accepted pronouns and my wife’s new chosen name. I included a paragraph on how very proud I was of my wife and her incredible courage. Living an authentic life is not always an easy task. I personally received some sweet and supportive messages through my Facebook page after I came out publicly from friends and acquaintances alike. I answered each and every one of them and thanked them for their support and kind words. However, it was the other messages and intrusive questions that really made my blood boil. How is it that people can be so impudent?
How does one muster up the nerve to ask me a question about my wife’s genitalia and whether or not she plans on getting any surgery? What business do you have asking me if I have an active sex life? I seriously despise people looking at me sympathetically like I have a brain injury or that I don’t have the skills to make any decisions for myself. When did the mental health of my children become important enough for you to ask me a question like, “What about your children, won’t this have lasting effects on them?” One of my favorite inquires is, “are you really going to stay together or will you just be best friends?” or “who wants to live like that, why don’t you just leave?” It all just makes me want to scream.
“SHOULD I ASSUME THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE LOOKS LIKE?”
We were together for almost twelve years living life as a cisgender couple before my wife came out to me as transgender. No one thought to question me about my relationship then. No one gave me unsolicited advice about my children or the state of my marriage. I think what irritates me the most, is having to defend my relationship with my wife to anyone. Sometimes over and over again to the same dense people. Why is it that they can’t grasp that I am in love with a person and not any one of her body parts? When I look into her eyes it’s the same beautiful soul starring back at me from all those years ago when we first meet and fell in love. She can decide tomorrow that she wants to wear a clown suit and live out the rest of her days preforming for the circus, but her strength, compassion, wisdom and love for me would still be there. Should I assume that most people don’t know what unconditional love looks like? Should I assume that their life is so mundane they need to interject into mine?
I don’t mean to ramble on. It just gets tiresome having some of the same conversations repeatedly. Maybe I should have a t-shirt made for myself that reads: I am in love with a beautiful person whose soul is eternally intertwined with mine. She loves me unconditionally like no one in my life ever has before. She takes care of me and keeps me safe in this sometimes-scary world we live in. And yes, she happens to be transgender. Get over it.