Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday to Angela

Today is Angela's Birthday - well, one of them. It's the Anniversary of her SRS. There were a few years when she celebrated her "real" birthday, the date she began hormones, the date she began to dress full time, AND the date of her sex reassignment surgery. As you might imagine, being a woman, she expected gifts for each of these occasions. I indulged her initially, and then I began to whittle down the dates until it was just two - her natal day, and her arrival day. After we retired, she elected to maintain only her original birthday, as that is when her family celebrates it with cards, letters, and gifts.

I can't, however, let this day pass, because it is important in ways far more noteworthy than merely a date on a calendar. Officially, for sixty years, she existed in the wrong body. She hid herself. She hid from her parents, siblings, relatives and friends, and then she hid from her wife and daughter as well as more friends and colleagues. She became withdrawn, depressed, angry, and more and more unhappy with each passing year. Finally, she confessed to me. She was sure I was going to leave her, divorce her, and take our daughter with me. She was sure she'd loose her family and all her friends. Instead, she found - and freed - her true self.

She became a woman somewhat gradually, starting out as a closet cross-dresser, and then, after her dramatic revelation, she dressed openly. We joined Tri-ess, got counseling, and discovered that Angela's belief that she should have been born a woman was real. We began to follow the Harry Benjamin Standards as we moved towards her SRS. We had the help of excellent professionals, particularly our councilor and psychologist, Sally Hunt.

Her surgeon was a marvel, and we certainly recommend Dr. Brassard from Montreal, Canada. His clinic and staff are wonderful, and his recovery lodge is delightful. We both wish all who make this transition an equally outstanding medical team.

Now, Angela is ALL woman! She wears blue jeans and sweatshirts sometimes, and she isn't always in heels. Inside her, though, she's dressed to the nines - or even the tens or elevens, if you ask me. The reality is that she is happy. She IS Angela, and she's all mine. If this transition hadn't happened in 02, we would have been divorced, and both of us would have been unhappy. We would have lost our soul-mate, and we would be without our true selves. We are individuals, but we are part of a team, a twosome, and we are a couple. We couldn't be happier.

Happy Birthday, Angela, I love you!


Keri Renault said...

What a heartwarming story! It's an absolute thrill to read of another transgender couple that has stayed together---survived---and even thrived, in light of the overwhelming statistical odds against it.

Unconditional love is a beautiful thing to behold. Not enough of us experience it, especially when our "gender variance" is disclosed to those closest to us after years of denial. The vulnerability, shame, guilt and despair are oppressive to the human spirit as you well know.

Angela is blessed to have such a dedicated, open-minded and unconditionally loving spouse. Cheers to both of you and happy birthday to Angela. You are role models of what transgender marriage can--and should---be.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonni, it was wonderful meeting you at the talent show rehearsal. Your and Angela's story is so very heart warming. Thanks for introducing yourself to me. As I told you last night I feel very much isolated as a trans woman and really didn't know any in Fresno to speak of. So it was a real treat to meet you and I look forward to meeting your spouse.

thanks for connecting,