On numerous occasions I have had the opportunity to hear stories of both men and women coming out to friends and family. I listened intently when my wife came out to me as transgender. At about five months into my wife’s transition it dawned on me that at some point I too would have to come out. Me, come out? What would I say? What would I come out as and to whom should I come out to? I had some things to think about.
The first person I told was my younger sister. I simply told her that my “husband” told me that “he” was transgender. Her reply, “what are you going to do?” “I am in love with my spouse and that hasn’t changed,” I told her. “I am in love with a person, not any of their body parts.” “I am not going anywhere.” “I guess I will live out the rest of my life as a lesbian.” She seemed to respect my decision and swore that, other than telling her husband, this news would stay between the two of us. She never held up her end of our agreement. One by one she told my other three siblings, their spouses and my parents. All I would be left with was damage control. Remember, you should never out someone unless they ask you to specifically.
After that ordeal, I decided the next time I would come out to anyone, it would be all on my own terms. So as my wife was fighting with her job about how and when she would be able to come out at work, I waited. I work for several dance studios in my area, so there are lots of people that I deal with on a daily basis. Not only do I have my bosses, but also a majority of my students on social media and several of their parents. What would they say when pictures of my husband disappeared off my page and were replaced by pictures of me with a woman? I couldn’t imagine having separate conversations with every friend and acquaintance in my life. I surmised the most efficient way to handle the situation was to use social media to my advantage and get it all out there at once, to everyone I knew.
“I HOPE EVERY PERSON I TALK TO GETS SOME EDUCATION ON TRANSGENDER ISSUES AND REALIZES THAT THEY ARE JUST AS NORMAL AS THE REST OF US.”
Some of the partners that I have spoken with feel no need to come out at work. No one at their place of employment needs to know that their husband will one day be their wife. Or, maybe they are dating a transgender person and they feel it’s nobody’s business. They feel as though their private lives are just that, private. I feel differently. I hope every person I talk to gets some education on transgender issues and realizes that they are just as normal as the rest of us. Whether I am working at a studio, a supermarket or a daycare center, I am fairly an open book. Perhaps it’s the line of work that I am in or maybe it’s just a part of my makeup. But, if my wife surprises me with a weekend getaway, I want to be able to talk about it. Just like when one of my children wins an award at school, I want to be able to brag about it.
My wife chose a date to come out on her social media. I decided that after she put up her post I would do the same. I also resolved myself to loosing people in my life. It was a clear cut decision for me. If you could not be supportive, I didn’t need that kind of negativity in my life. So I wrote a post about how proud I was of my wife. Proud of her courage and conviction to live out the rest of her life as her authentic self, and how very much I loved her. Under that, I shared her post to my page. As I’m sure that my words might have confused some people since I had been married to a man for many years. I received several private messages after that. Some were amazed at my courage, some very positive, some slightly jealous of the love we have for one another. While others sounded as if they felt sorry for me. I replied to all. Thanking them for their love and support, and letting them know that I was perfectly happy.
“EVERY DAY I AM PROUD OF OUR RELATIONSHIP AND THE DEVOTION WE HAVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.”
Today, June first begins LGBTQ’s pride month. This will be our second year celebrating pride since my wife’s transition began. We will be attending several pride functions and a parade or two. However, every day I am proud of my wife, our three children and the courage we all have exhibited through this transition. Every day I am proud of our relationship and the devotion we have for one another. I am proud that she gets out of bed and lives life as herself, and proud that she puts herself out there to help the transgender community. Find some time this month to be prideful of yourselves and the journey you have chosen to take with your partner. Most could not make such a commitment. Happy Pride Month!