As a child I attended Catholic school. As with most Catholic schools we were required to wear school uniforms. The boys wore pants, a dress shirt and tie. The girls wore dress shirts as well, with either a skirt or a jumper dress. I remember thinking how unfair this rule was. I didn’t understand why we as girls had to freeze in the winter while the boys were toasty warm in their pants. Not to mention that running without your skirt flying up was a complicated combination of leg and arm movements. It made recess outside quite interesting.
“SINCE THE BEGINNING OF MY WIFE’S TRANSITION, I HAVE LEARNED THAT GENDER IS NOT AS BLACK AND WHITE AS I WAS TAUGHT IN MY CHILDHOOD.”
Since the beginning of my wife’s transition, I have learned that gender is not as black and white as I was taught in my childhood. There is a spectrum of gender, and we are all within that spectrum somewhere. One side is female with male on the other. I would imagine non-binary folks falling somewhere in the middle. Also, I could see how gender non-conforming people may not see themselves on the spectrum at all. Our children have always teased us and said that I was better at being the house handyman than my wife. Looking at gender on a spectrum, it now makes total sense to me.
It wasn’t far into my wife’s transition that I bought a pink dress. I hadn’t even noticed that I never wore pink until I was wearing it and a friend said to me, “You’re wearing a pink dress?” It made me think, “Why would that be a shock?” and then I thought, “Oh yeah, most of my wardrobe is black and dark colors.” I just always looked better in dark colors. As my wife’s transition went from weeks to months, I could see her blossoming into this lovely woman. All those strange mannerisms that my “husband” had were so very female, things that women do without thinking about it. Why didn’t I see it then? How could I have missed that?
“SO FOR ME, MY WIFE’S COMING OUT AND ULTIMATELY TRANSITIONING CONNECTED THE DOTS.”
So for me, my wife’s coming out and ultimately transitioning connected the dots. It made her make sense in a way. There we both were on that gender spectrum, with her more on the female side of things and me a bit closer to the male side. When you stop and think about it, how strange is that? Perhaps it’s the reason we were attracted to one another in the first place. I had never noticed it until transition, but I was always the more dominant one in our relationship. The structure of our relationship had undergone no real changes since transition. However, the other aspects of our relationship have.
What I didn’t know at the beginning of transition was how good she was going to be at being a woman. Her nails are always long and painted, her hair fabulously highlighted by a professional. She never leaves the house in sweatpants or without makeup on. So I find myself taking my time when getting ready to go out with her because I know that she will always look amazing, and I don’t want to look like a slob. (Which I don’t mind looking like when I am out alone running errands.) When we are out together she is constantly being hit on. To where I smile and say, “No thanks she is married, yes to me.” I have made an involuntary adjustment on the evolution scale all because my wife has become her true authentic self. What a strange thing to come out of all this.