When I married my wife, ours did not seem like a groundbreaking relationship. Yes, she was twice my age; yes, we met online, on a local bulletin-board system (because this was before everyone had internet). Still, we appeared to be one man and one woman… and marriage equality hadn’t yet reached the mainstream consciousness, much less acquired any positive-sounding names.
Ten years later, in the midst of a midlife crisis, I revealed to my wife my deepest, darkest secret – that she had married a woman in a man’s body. That was a hard year, full of soul-searching and tears and cautiously getting to know each other again. In the middle of that, we “celebrated” our tenth anniversary; it was the last time I went out in public in an unequivocally male persona.
At the end of that year, I changed my name; a year later, we moved closer to my family (I came out to them during the first year, and they were supportive). Today, nearly nine years after I started my journey, we are still together and we are stronger than ever. I’ve gone back to school and earned a law degree; my wife is retired. We have way too many cats, and a bunch of nieces and nephews who think we’re the coolest aunts ever. As hard as that year was…facing up to who I am has been the best decision I ever made, and I could never have made it without the love and support of my wife.