Unwrapping the Onion: Part 7: Charting a New Course

by Permission to Live

This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.

It had been a year since my spouse had come out to me. It felt like it had been much longer. So much had changed and yet nothing had changed. We still hadn’t decided how Christianity tied in with our changing reality: I was leaning further and further away from the idea of God but my spouse still believed. We felt like there were no real answers anymore. Life was not as black and white as people wanted it to be. My spouse was talking more and more about transitioning and I felt like there was no one-size-fits-all in gender identity. Maybe my spouse would become comfortable living as a man and wouldn’t need to transition, but maybe he wouldn’t. Maybe he would transition to living as a female someday, but again, maybe he wouldn’t. The idea just wasn’t that scary to me anymore. My spouse was already living as such a feminine person as he had grown more comfortable with who he was, transition would just be a natural next step if it happened.

In fact the only fear that still clung to me was how this would affect our children, and that made me wonder if my spouse should try to put off transition until the kids were grown up. The faith and culture that I had been brought up in told me that children had to have parents of both genders to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. Wouldn’t our children resent us for having grown up with two female parents? How would society treat them? Would they always be the kids with the weird dad? Was it even possible to raise kids without a “manly influence?”

Despite my fears and doubts, I couldn’t deny that my spouse was happier than I had ever seen him. He was relaxed and involved. He was dressing more and more femininely at home, and the kids didn’t mind at all. They were starting to figure out that their daddy was a bit different than other daddies, but they were happy to have a peaceful parent who loved them and cared for them, talked with them and snuggled them and listened to them. It was as if a huge burden had been lifted off his shoulders, like he no longer had to spend the majority of his time struggling to constantly tread water and keep his head above the surface and stay alive. Instead, all of the energy that had been consumed in that struggle could be spent on parenting and living. The conversation about transition “someday” started to change into transition being a real option in the near future, and I couldn’t come up with a reason our kids should have to go back to having a depressed repressed parent who lived as a male and struggled to survive with the help of anti-depressants instead of a happy relaxed involved parent who lived as female. A guy as feminine as he was turning out to be was going to out of the ordinary anyway. Why was I questioning this at all? To please a god? Who had played this gender joke on us in the first place? A god I wasn’t even sure existed?

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