Unwrapping the Onion: Part 9: Starting a New Life

by Permission to Live This post is the final post in a series. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. It’s the spring of 2012 now, and we’ve moved to a new home in a new city and are making new friends and starting over. We’ve officially left the ministry and are making [Read More...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 8: Coming Out, Bit by Bit

onion

by Permission to Live  This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. It was getting harder and harder for my spouse to put on a masculine facade when we went out. At home, after all, he was able to just be himself. It [Read More...]

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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Unwrapping the Onion: Part 6: Talk of Transition

by Permission to Live

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

Even though we had hoped that it would be enough for my spouse to simply be more authentic to his feminine self, it seemed that the idea of transition was coming up more and more. My spouse talked about how frustrating it was to have this battle raging in his head every single day, his brain telling him again and again that he was really a woman. He told me how the idea of becoming an old man terrified him. It was bad enough being trapped in the body of a young man, but to be old and helpless and cared for by people who would treat him as a guy was dreadful to him. Sometimes he cried, all of the bottled up fear from the years gone by pouring out along with fears of the future and living life day after day fighting this never ending battle.

When the talk of transition initially came up, my heart sank. Were we losing the battle? Was I wrong to have let the conversation continue this long? Should I have told him to be quiet and put his head down and fight it alone? I told my spouse again and again that he didn’t need to change anything, that he had me in his life, and I loved him exactly the way he was. Except that as time went on I realized that I was contradicting myself in that very statement. Transgender WAS exactly the way he was, and if I really loved him regardless, transition wasn’t going to change that.

Talk of transition was a natural progression of the ongoing discussion we’d been having. Right alongside the growing contentment and happiness, my spouse would have periods of days or weeks where he slipped back into despair. It was usually triggered by some conversation where we discussed the future and how we were going to continue to handle this question of gender.

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The World: (Not So) Evil and Dangerous!

by Latebloomer

From hanging around with people such as Scott Lively in my fundamentalist Christian homeschooling community, I understood the danger that America was facing from the gay agenda. I believed that the gay lifestyle was depraved and corrupt and a sign of rebellion against God. I believed that God expected me to use political activism to stand up for righteousness and his design for the family. I believed that my “pro-family-values” activism was actually me being loving to the deceived people around me, people who were just taking the easy way out by accepting every type of lifestyle.

Then one day I accidentally met a gay person.

It was at my first real job, when I was 23 years old. My favorite manager, Chris, called the store one day while he was off-duty. He chatted with the on-duty manager Katie for a few minutes; when she hung up, she remarked to me, “He’s so funny! Why did he call me from a gay bar? haha!”

I was extremely confused. “Yeah, that’s weird,” I said, trying to process the information, “Why would he be at a gay bar?” Her jaw dropped, and she stared at me for a minute. Then she said slowly, “Um…..because he’s gay. Didn’t you know that?”

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