So You are Married to a Transgender Woman-UA Nigro-Trans Partners-Transgender Universe - Dealing with the questions you get when people find out you are married to a transgender person. – Trans Partners by U.A. Nigro

Brace yourself my friends. Once you are totally out to everyone including on your social media, prepare yourself for questions like, “So you are married to a transgender woman? Are you staying with her? What is your sex life like now?” and, my all time favorite, “Has she gotten surgery yet?” I am not sure in what universe people think it is acceptable to ask such personal questions, but I try to be a good sport about it. After all, I am an open book here in this universe. So if the question is not too personal, I try to answer as best I know how then follow up with a little etiquette lesson. I let them know that transgender folks and their partners get offended by such questions. So try to be respectful when meeting and talking to other people like me.

“Hearing the words ‘I am transgender’ was never on our list of things to do together.”

For over ten years I went to bed and woke up next to a man whose face I could describe to you with my eyes closed. The day we got married I knew that he would be by my side until the end of my days on earth. It was a feeling that I never experienced in my first marriage. It was pure bliss knowing that I had this amazing man who loved and accepted me with all my craziness. And, anyone who knows me can tell you that I am well stocked in the crazy department. I am not even sure I can adequately represent to you in words what that kind of security feels like. We knew each other inside out and despite any shortcomings we were perfect in one another’s eyes. Hearing the words “I am transgender” was never on our list of things to do together.

So You are Married to a Transgender Woman-Trans Partners-Transgender Universe - Dealing with the questions you get when people find out you are married to a transgender person. – Trans Partners by U.A. Nigro

For years I watched as my spouse fell in and out of depression. “Something is wrong with me and I don’t know what it is,” she would say to me and there was nothing I could do to help her. Nothing I could say to improve the quality of her life. Feeling alone and helpless in your own marriage is awful. Until she became aware of what it was and let those words pass through her lips, nothing that I said was valid or even helpful for that matter. Following that awakening is when the real work started. I watched as the man that I loved and lived with for years melted away before my eyes. Each and every day there was something new and I was committed to assist and support her in any and every way I knew how.

“How can any partner who claims to truly love their spouse, stop them from transitioning?”

The first thing to go was the body hair, and then we tweezed her eyebrows, added to that some make-up, and I could see her peeking out at me. After a few months on hormones her body started to take shape and her old clothes no longer fit properly. As her spouse, it was a bittersweet transformation to witness. She began to smile more and I could tell she finally felt at home in her own skin. Her happiness was contagious and I could sense contentment. How can any partner who claims to truly love their spouse, stop them from transitioning? How can they shut the doors to utopia on a person they claim to care so much about? The challenges are real. Dysphoria is a bitch, and some people are just plain ignorant. But somehow, every day we forge forward.

We all hope to obtain a deep loving connection with one special person in our life. We want to love hopelessly and feel that in return. To have a connection between two souls that cannot be described using the English language. To share a desire that is so secret that we never reveal its true nature. Yes, I am married to a transgender woman and although some days are harder than others, I would not have it any other way. Somehow she has taught me to love on a deeper level. To be so venerable as to let another person into the tiniest crevices of your mind is somehow freeing, and the process has brought us closer together. I am proud of her courage and her strength. I am proud of her spirit and the beautiful person she is inside and out. And, I am proud to say that she is my wife and yes, she is transgender.

  • Quiet Dignity

    U.A., I know that it couldn’t have been easy for you to face your wife’s transition, but it is so amazing to me that you have become so supportive. I’ve experienced the more typical flip side of that after coming out to my spouse four years ago, and now we’re parting ways after nearly three decades together. I’ve never felt lower in my life. Someone who can view their wife struggling and actually care about their well-being makes all the difference between finding your spouse quivering on a ledge, and moving forward in harmony. Regardless of whether a couple stays together, there has to be a willingness to still care about each other.

    • Stacy Sedgewood-Curran

      I can only imagine what you are going through. My wife and I are supporting each other through my transition, but there is a deep rooted fear that once she begins to see ‘her’ coming through (I am a tomboy, and even at 37 I ‘passed’ for someone younger, so I will basically pass as a masculine girl), she will want to leave. Reach out and make sure you have the support you need during this time…

  • Rinn

    How can any partner who claims to truly love their spouse, stop them from transitioning? How can they shut the doors to utopia on a person they claim to care so much about?

    Well put. Of course, sometimes folks who may even really believe they “love you” — doesn’t have to be a partner, it can be other family members, or even close friends — refuse to let themselves see that your ultimately facing up to what you really are, giving up the social pretenses of trying to be something that you are not, and addressing the dysphoria through transition is all vastly beneficial and absolutely the right thing for you. Which is why…

    The challenges are real. Dysphoria is a bitch, and some people are just plain ignorant.

    …if you happen to be one of those people (whether one of those in my life, because there are certainly a few of you, or in someone else’s), I wish you would especially pay attention to this, and the very last bit in particular.

    Ignorance hurts. Sometimes it even kills. Ignorance is, as Mark Twain put it, not simply “not knowing,” but “knowing what aint so.” So for example, if you think you just “know” that transition is “wrong”, or that we’re “delusional”, or that being transgender is something a person can be talked, “therapied” and/or medicated out of; or really, if you think in any way that you are in a better position to know us better than we know ourselves, which is what you’re really doing when you suggest that transition is the wrong thing to do, or that we’re somehow really not the women or men (i.e. trans women or men) that we plainly tell you we are — that is seriously ignorant.

    A transgender person can take the challenging steps to help themselves through the vastly freeing benefits of transition, whatever shape that takes for them. They can (and most likely would love to) kindly take you along with them, if you allow it, because whether you realize it or not, that transgender woman (or transgender man) is absolutely the very same person they have always been — the same one with whom you have always had whatever form of relationship it is that you do.

    The one thing we simply cannot do is cure your ignorance. Only you can choose whether to do that or not. Articles like this one can really help as a starting point. And thanks so much to the author for putting this out there!