The Growing Pains of Transition
By U. A. Nigro
However, her happiness was more important to me than any doubts I may have had at the time. Not to mention that in the past when we were faced with adversity, we always banded together and it made us stronger. Knowing the people that we are, I imagined this would be the same. With no guarantees, we moved forward. My only option was to take it one day at a time. Looking back at it all now, the fog doesn’t seem as thick as it did then. Distance sometimes gives you clarity.
“I KNEW FROM THE START, THAT HER TRANSITION WOULD BE A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW FOR SOME.”
I knew from the start, that her transition would be a hard pill to swallow for some. With patience and kindness we not only tried to educate, but we also answered lots of questions from friends and family alike. Changing pronouns was the first hurdle and it did not happen overnight. As she began to feel more comfortable in her own skin, her mannerisms started to change. The added swish to her walk, her legs always crossed when she sat down, a bend in her wrist when she spoke, were just a few. Once I started to see the woman inside of her coming out, it was easy for me to change pronouns and say she and her. When those pronouns were introduced into our everyday lives, many other family members started to follow. Of course it took some people longer than others.
It was about a few months into her transition that I noticed myself getting over protective of her. It was as if I was her wife and her body guard. No matter where we were, I wanted her to feel safe. Whether we were out in public or just visiting with people we knew. I was not about to stand by and let her be bullied. Of course not everyone was supportive of us. I had to answer the question, “so what are you going to do now?” more times than I’d like to remember. “This is the person I am in love with,” I would proclaim, “and our love has nothing to do with any of her body parts, that frankly are none of anyone’s business.” Not sure if that was the answer people were expecting, but this is my life and I will live it as I choose.
Most people just needed time to absorb the news. Get over the initial shock. Others did some research and reading about the subject on the Internet. That made me feel like they cared about my wife and wanted to know more. Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner for being so public with her transition, we were able to explain this news to my wife’s grandmother. She is still sharp for being in her late eighties, but it was a benefit for her to have seen a story like this on TV. Then there were the people who just couldn’t wrap their heads around anything other than what they learned growing up. Boys are born with a penis and girls are born with a vagina. They are happy to live in their own ignorant and hateful world. I don’t lose a single night’s sleep over them.
“TO SAY THAT WE HAVE GROWN TOGETHER AS A FAMILY THROUGH THIS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.”
To say that we have grown together as a family through this is an understatement. When I watch our girls out in the world living as kind, intelligent, excepting individuals I feel so proud of the young woman they have become. It makes me hopeful in the next generation to eradicate prejudice of any kind. Together we have met many challenges since my wife’s transition has started, but through it all our love and respect for one another keep us moving forward. Deciding to stay and honor my commitment, for better or worse, was not an easy decision to make, and many partners struggle to get to that place. For me, my wife is worth it. To see her happy smiling face enjoying the world and living her truth, it’s worth it.