When my wife had started her journey to becoming her true and authentic self, there were no real resources in our area for transgender folks or their families. There was only a weekly meeting for transgender folks that families and partners could attend once a month. Our local LGBT center was no help at all. It was as if the T was silent. So we set out on a quest to start a resource center just for transgender people and their cisgender allies. Having a vision and making that vision a reality are two totally different things, but we were determined. Watching our weekly meetings grow from five people a week to over thirty people a week has been spectacular.
"WE HAVE BEEN WITNESSES TO SOME WONDERFUL TRIUMPHS, AND SOME OF THE DEVASTATING HARDSHIPS OF TRANSITION."
Helping my wife run the center has given us both many opportunities that we didn't have before. We have met so many amazing people and watched friendships form from having this one particular thing in common. We have been able to reach out into the community with resources that were never there before and touched the lives so many in need. We have been witnesses to some wonderful triumphs, and some of the devastating hardships of transition. This past weekend, we all got to meet a member of the group who has been coming to meetings for a few months, for the first time.
When this soul came through our doors, they didn't even know whether they were just a cross dresser or if they were transgender. With their wife by their side being a loving and supportive partner, they started to open up and explore the feelings that they had been having for years. Personally, I cannot even imagine what it must feel like to question your own gender. To have such strange feelings that you don't even understand them yourself. I could see the inner conflict written all over their face, and I can assure you that it is not very pleasant to witness. With the love and support of our little group and this person's wife, they started down the path of self-discovery.
"THERE IS NOTHING IN LIFE LIKE HAVING A PERSON THAT YOU TRUST WHO CAN BE TOTALLY HONEST WITH YOU."
There is nothing in life like having a person that you trust who can be totally honest with you. One night after a meeting, one of our members posed a question to this person that sent their brain on fire. This was what they needed to hear at the exact time in which they needed to hear it. They took a long and serious look at themselves and were then able to answer some of these questions they had been grappling with for so many years of their life. They were in fact a transgender woman, and they were ready to live. We had a gathering last weekend at my house, and we all got to meet her. She was gorgeous with the look of contentment all over her face. It was a true sight to see.
If there were one thing that I can relate to families and partners of transgender people, it would be the first smile. It is the first time that a transgender person feels like their authentic self and their smile comes from deep within. It is a wondrous sight to see and highly contagious. For me, seeing her enter the room as her confident self was a proud Mama moment (as I refer to myself as the group's other Mom). To be able to watch her journey down this road to finding her authentic self is priceless. She was glowing with excitement and everyone in the group practically stormed her and showered her with love and complements when they saw her. It was not easy for her to get to this place, but I hope that she feels like all the ups and downs were worth it. There are so many reasons to keep on fighting and everyone deserves to find their own happy in this life.