Several weeks ago I attended the support group and met the first person I’ve ever met who looked close to my age, had just been married, and their significant other had come out as transgender. I was so excited! To meet someone like me who didn’t have kids and loves their spouse, but is grappling with questions about what being married to someone transgender means to them, was so humbling. In our discussion, we described having similar feelings of mourning. That said, our journeys are quite different. This person’s spouse had just come out the week previous while I had been in the “My husband is actually my wife” world for several months. This couple had known each other for several more years than I had known Katie. They had been married for 2 months, where we had been married for 2 years. As I sat in the room and looked a version of what I must have looked like last September discussing the shock of the secret their spouse had kept, the fear of people’s reactions, the stress of not knowing how to tell family, I couldn’t help but feel total empathy for their struggle, for how raw it all was. That feeling of being alone is one I wish on no one. I did not envy their moment in the Transition timeline: this person was on Day 1 of 365. I’ve somehow made it to Day 30.
At the same time, I selfishly was so excited to spot one of my kind in the wild: The spouses of Transgender humans. This was the first person I had met who was like me, who understood my generation, who could relate to my life in anyway. The entire hour we were together, I worried about looking too needy, about coming off too strongly as “the woman who needed a friend who could relate to what she’s going through”. At the end of the session, I gave her my number and my email address and told her to reach out if she ever needed it.
Katie and I walked to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery to get hot chocolates and I told her all about how much I wanted this person from the support group to be my friend. I confessed that I was worried I came on too strong, that the giving them my number was too desparate. I just know how I felt those first few weeks after The Outing, how alone I was with my thoughts. I would have given anything to have someone who had been through what I was going through to just listen to me. I didn’t want this person from the support group to in anyway feel like they have to do this alone. I wanted them to know it was okay to be upset or angry or confused or any of the myriad of things I’ve felt over the past 8 months.
I haven’t heard from them at all since that night. I haven’t seen them come back to the group either. I hope they are okay. I hope they have people to talk to. I really hope I find another one of me in the wild sometime. It would be so nice to talk to someone in person who knows how strange it is to go to support group with your significant other in a dress. on a Wednesday night. While I’ve had so much support from my family and friends (and a ton of support from readers), talking to someone who can see my perspective would be so comforting. The support group has been made up of mostly parents and friends. The spouses are rare. The marital strain I am experiencing is very unique in this world. I hope one day I find someone who gets it and wants to talk about it over a coffee.