This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.
The next day started out the same as pretty much any other day. We had breakfast, and my Hunnie went out to the office. But unlike an average weekday, as soon as he left, I put in a movie for the kids, plunked the baby into the bouncer and rushed to the computer. I hardly knew where to start; it was all so unknown to me. I typed in “what is transsexual?” and sat there staring at the screen. My gut reaction to new things was to learn as much as I could, and I had a lot to figure out. In fact, I spent the next few weeks doing constant research; it was pretty much all I could think about. My kids watched far more TV than usual as I spent hours reading whatever I could find on the subject. When my spouse was home I asked him question after question about his experience, and he tried to answer every question as honestly as he could.
For starters, I learned that “transsexual” was just one of the terms used in reference to people who did not feel that their gender matched their bodies. And since “transsexual” seemed to be used more often in reference to people who were living life in the opposite gender they had been assigned at birth, I started using the more encompassing term “transgender” instead.
The old term “transvestite” that I had heard my parents use was actually a name of a sexual fetish that comprised of crossdressing to get a sexual thrill of some kind. I had never seen my spouse crossdressed, but as soon as he came home for lunch I asked him if he ever did. He admitted that he had been crossdressing in private since he was young, but said that it didn’t do anything for him sexually. Back to the drawing board.
I learned about men who considered themselves “crossdressers” meaning that they dressed up as women sometimes for the fun of it, or to express their feminine side. I learned about gender dysphoria, the name for the persistent subconscious understanding that you were somehow the opposite gender than you had been assigned at birth, and in discovering that, I found that there were people who had been born physically female who had this condition as well. I read about transgendered people who had felt that life was better for them living as the opposite gender, and I read about transgendered people who had decided to get medical treatments to make their bodies feel more in tune with their minds.