Monday, June 30, 2008

RVing with the T Spouse

One of the Best Things about being married to a T is that they know all the things a guy knows, and they're learning all he things a gal knows. So, when you are in a tech seminar together at a huge RV gathering (Escapees RV Club 48th Escapade & 30th Birthday bash in Gillette, Wyo), she has no qualms about asking tough questions, correcting instructors, or answering for them when they get hung up! That is NOT the case when it comes to Keynote Speakers. In fact, my T got all teary eyed -just like me - when the speaker gets to all the warm and fuzzy stuff! Last night we had an excellent speaker talking about such things as finding the kid in ourselves again, letting go of our worries over things we can't control, and being as enthusiastic as children are. One of the things we did was the typical "say hello to two people you haven't met." That was just fine, as it always is. Then there was a major change: "Now greet two new people as if they were long lost friends." Wow! What a difference in enthusiasm, in smiles, hugs and backpatting. I think both of us will try to remember to greet more folks like that for now on. How about laughing? Kids, 4-5 years old, laugh approximately 400 times a day! Adults laugh about 7. Isn't that a shame? Let's change that! Laugh more often, worry less, greet everyone like they were long lost friends. Share more of yourself, and stop being embarrassed about little things noone will remember anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Having Fun as Your Spouse Transitions

If you have children, you know how delightful it is to watch them discover new things each day. If you have a spouse going through transition, you'll find much the same thing happens. Not long after Angela began hormones, she was out grocery shopping. When she got home, she was excited to tell me that "A man held the door open for me!" A few days later, at a visit to Home Depot, she reported, "Two guys helped me unload all my stuff into my trunk." Another shopping trip resulted in, "You'll never guess what happened! Someone whistled at me!" She was enthralled with each occurance. I shared in her joy.

Then there was the day she called me at work to say, "You'll have to come home and help me. I can't seem to stop crying!" She had watched a tear-jerker movie on Lifetime.

Yes, I went home. I did the required "There-theres," and the "It'll be all-rights." I did them for about an hour, while she continued to be teary-eyed and weepy. After that, I told her, "I'm afraid you're on your own on this one. You'll stop crying eventually." I had to return to work, and sure enough, by the time I returned home, she was over her crying-jag. We've laughed over that episode many times.

The biggest laugh came when she returned from an evening meeting. She said, "Did you know that women talk in the bathroom?" I couldn't stop laughing! Of course women talk in the bathroom. I didn't know that men didn't, but evidently, that's the case. It took her awhile, but she was soon able to carry on a complete conversation in the ladies room.

Now she accepts these little peccadilloes as natural. But they certainly were eye openers when she first began her transition.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Marriage is a special thing. Forty-two marriages happened in 1.5 hours in Fresno, California. Fresno is NOT in favor of same-sex marriages, at least not if one listens to our religious right. However, our largest church's pastor was kind enough to ask his congregation not to harass couples on their special day. That was kind of him. In fact, only one family came out to protest, plus a single, scowling man, who only accosted an 8-year-old child. No, he had nothing to say to anyone - except when an 8 year old offered him a bottle of cold water after he had stood glaring at the line of folks waiting to register for more than an hour. His words were wrong and hurtful, and baffling to the child - all about how her parents were using her for propaganda. However, he had nothing to say to the family who's children were on his side, running into traffic to show passing cars their pencil printed protest cards. No, he accosted a child who used a crosswalk to offer him a cold drink. He is a good Christian man, though, don't you think?

I'm always curious to know why many conservative Christians are quick to spout bible verses from the Old Testament against gay marriage while they ignore other verses in the same chapter. I'm curious to know why they choose to use the Old Testament as a weapon while ignoring the New Testament of love, acceptance and forgiveness. I'm curious to know why they spout bible verses from the Old testament, which is the history of many religions on earth, yet ignore the New Testament that is the future they so wish to bring about. I wonder what they think of "Judge not..."

Marriage, for the 42 couples united in that first hour and a half, was wondrous. There were many tears of joy shed; shed not only by the participants, but also by the very clerks and officers of the court that had only days before eagerly spoke to the media of how they thought gay marriage was wrong. Instead they smiled, shed a tear of compassion, and shared in the joy of the many couples that wed. Perhaps some hearts melted. I think so; I hope so.

Angela and I are married, legally, because we married as man and wife. Not even a national constitutional amendment would dissolve that marriage, although, some states might not recognize it, now that we are two women. That's a battle yet to be fought though. We join in the fight for gays to marry because we know what a real marriage is. It's not built on what others make of my marriage; it's built on what Angela and I make of our marriage. Other people don't threaten my marriage, and they shouldn't threaten any marriage. A real marriage is sure of its statue, of its rightness, and of its love. What my neighbors do, what they think, and how they view us, has no meaning to our marriage. If they choose to celebrate our marriage, we're glad; if they choose to disagree with the fact of it, that's their business, and they will have to answer to their own conscience. We will help fight for the rights of all who wish to marry in love, caring, and trust in each other. Join the fight. Vote for the ability of gays to marry. Let love triumph.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Part 3 re Your spouse's transition

You're going to have a teenager on your hands! I don't care which way they are going - MTF or FTM - they are going to go through puberty. This is a bit trying, but, it is also a lot of fun. You T will try out all sorts of clothing styles andf abrics - some will be outlandish, some too old for them, and sometimes (more often than not at first) their clothes will be too young for them! Remember - they didn't get to try all those teenybopper "fun Clothes." They'll also experiment with make-up. It'll be too heavy (including perfume), and it'll be the wrong shade sometimes, and they'll get frustrated with it. It'll almost always be overdone at first. Let them mimic you; you've been out of that stage long enough to know what is appropriate, and your T will look to you for guidance. Just remember, they are going through a teenage-emotional time, so they will be overly sensitive to praise and criticism! You may get some back-talk, and you'll probably feel like a parent rather than a spouse. That's okay. I felt like I was protecting Angela for a while, but as with all "children," you have to let them go and do their own thing. My initial concern was the too much phase when make-up was too heavy, hair too long, skirts too short, and heels too high. If you T is FTM, they may overdo exercise (to pump up their muscles), or they may want more facial hair than you care to tolerate. Angela's teen stage didn't last too long, and there were only a few instances where I had to say, "Go back and take off half the perfume or make-up, or change your skirt to something closer to knee length, if you want me to go out with you. It is an exciting time for them. Let them enjoy it. Laugh with them, not at them, and share the joy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Part 3 Things to think about re a spouse's transition

Skin: Angela is four years older than I am, but she looks 10 years younger! Why? Because she developed baby skin when she first went on hormones. Yep, it took away all the wrinkles and made her very soft to the touch! You'll like that, and so will she, no doubt. It was, initially, a source of wonder, because it made such a difference in how she looked. Remember she was in her late 50s when she made the transition. She really looked like she might be in her late 30s or early 40s. When we speak at colleges, universities, and forums, we joke about what a sweet young thing she turned out to be. It's true, though. So, be prepared. What's actually happening is she's developing that little layer of fat that women have under their skin that men do not have. Now that it's been 6 years since her surgery, and 9 years since she began hormones, she's starting to show some wrinkles again. I guess that's the bain of all humanity - as we age, we get wrinkles. So enjoy the soft touch, and let her bask in the romanticism of being far younger than she is.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More things to think about re a spouse's transition

Breasts: they're there, and they weren't there before, at least not the sort that poked out. So, one must deal with one's feelings about them. Additionally, you can almost bet that most men who are becoming women are going to want more than the hormones alone give them. Give up trying to convince them that they will be sorry later as they get heavier and don't stand up quite so well. That will NOT work. First off, it won't work because, face it, they are Men who are becoming Women, and most Men have at least some pluses in their minds about breasts. Just think of the fun you'll have making jokes about mountains out of molehills, girls(!) i.e. spouses, girlfriends and otherwise female acquaintances. Make peace with the fact they are going to be there, they are going to grow larger, and after surgery, if it's in the budget, chances are they are going to be at least one size larger than before surgery. Accept it as a given and as a fact.

They are going to go on meds that will make their genitals shrink. After surgery, there will be no testosterone, and if so their sex drive may also decline. I don't mean that their sex drive will go away, I mean it will not be a primary in their mind any more. Everything, literally, will be primary. There will be so many new things for them to experience that sex will fall down the list of priorities. This is the time you need to be making adjustments. We'll talk about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Things to think about re a spouse's transition

When your spouse transitions, things will change. They'll change gradually, for the most part, but some things will be quite different almost immediately. One day I told Angela that she was changing daily, and that that meant I was dealing with a different (although improved[!]) person every day. The first thing I noticed was that within three days of her beginning hormones she was noticeably happier. Her whole outlook brightened. Perhaps it was only the beginning of an adventure high most of us experience, but I am certain the hormones played a part in that. I also noticed the slightest nuance of a change in the way her kiss tasted. Soon her breasts were sensitive to the touch - very much like a pre-teen who's breast buds are beginning. Anything that touched her nipples sent a ripple of sensation through her. It was fun and disconcerting, a topic for conversation - funny and serious, and an experiment for both of us. Why do I say that? Because I had always slept with my head on his chest, and that was now uncomfortable for her. We had to adjust. Then, of course, the breasts began to grow. I will admit this was more difficult for me. I just hadn't worked out how I was going to deal with actual breasts.
More tomorrow:

Monday, June 9, 2008

The purple dog

Okay, it's Gay Pride week, so to celebrate our eldest dog, Kathryn the Great, decided to roll in the fallen mulberries! She looked like a purple tie-dyed dog! Of course, when she did that, we were still up to behinds in plumbing problems and did notice. When I did discover her shenanigans, the purple color had dried and was well soaked into her hair. (Bichons don't shed because they have hair instead of fur.) Anyway, I cut most of her stained hair off, gave her a long bath, and then did a good grooming - I.E. I evened-out her clipped hair. She still looks like a Bichon, but a closely clipped one, that's for sure. Perhaps I should have left her purple for the Gay Pride parade. All three doggies walked the route with me. Of course, the baby, Cassandra stole the show. Many people came out to give them a pat our two as we walked the parade, especially when I stopped to give them water. I'm sure Kathryn would have been the hit of the show if she'd still have been purple!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How lucky I am

When a man transitions it does change his brain somewhat - he becomes softer in thought, more emotional, and more joyous - but any knowledge that was there is retained. Thank goodness for all of the above. I am fortunate in so many ways, and one of those things I'm fortunate about is that Angela is capable of fixing nearly anything that breaks. Just this last week she's fixed two sprinklers and a major plumbing problem! The plumbing problem involved the water main from our well to our house. It was quite a project. Yes, I helped by holding this and that, handing her tools, and generally adding an encouraging word when something seemed difficult. She did all the real work though, and without her knowledge and expertise, we'd have paid a small fortune to a plumber! So, if you are looking for Best Things About Being Married to a Transsexual, THIS is one of them! She's also helping a friend with his computer (she's a Novell engineer), is designing a bookcase for another friend, and she helped our daughter and son-in-law lay gravel and bark in a nice design in a mid-sized flower area near their front door! She's creative, inventive and very good at fixing almost anything!