One of the most difficult things any Transgender person faces is coming out, or worse still being outed by a loved one. I have read plenty of these stories and they are often heart wrenching, emotional turning points in people lives. I cannot say that my own coming out wasn’t emotional, even a bit terrifying. Though it was for different reasons than many others.
My coming out was part of a long downward slide that ended in a near breakdown. I was, looking back, nearly suicidal, though I didn’t realize just how close I was standing to that abyss. Crossdressing wasn’t on my radar that night, but my transgender issues were even though I couldn’t have used that word. I didn’t know what was going on in my head. I was confused, angry, and honestly scared to death that I was going crazy.
This actually started long before I had even met my wife of course. The fact that things I had pushed into a mental closet years ago were now pushing to the surface didn’t cross my mind. Why should it? That closet was locked and forgotten.
My wife knew that I had struggled with depression and that I had attempted suicide more than once, but the underlying issues had never really been addressed, and by the time we met I had come up with my own reasoning for why I had done the things I had done. Of course she also knew the things I have related here in regards to my childhood and I think that alone was enough to explain many things.
The trigger that set off that fateful night was pulled years before, possibly from the moment we first discussed getting married. I don’t know about her, but I know that I had all the pictures of a traditional marriage in my head from that point. I would take care of the yard work and fix stuff if it broke and she would cook and be the primary care giver for the children. Yes, I know, that is stupid, sexist thinking, but that was the way I had been raised and I just fell into the stereotypical thinking. (Feel free to slap me in the back of the head). Funny thing was, before our first child, this seemed to be exactly what was going to happen, she would cook and do laundry while I did yard work and cleaned the dishes. Pretty boring stuff, but we were comfortable with those arrangements. Things changes somewhat with having our first of course, but nothing we didn’t expect, and so we sailed on. Even the birth of our second child wasn’t much more than a minor bump in the road. We had been there and done that. The arrival of our third child however set the stage for everything that was to follow.
Now, this is not to say that things hadn’t changed between us, that’s just natural, we don’t stop growing and changing just because we have a piece of paper. But now the changes, while still relatively slow, were beginning to accelerate. From my point of view, right or wrong, was that our roles were beginning to change. It was little things at first, but as the years passed they became more and more noticeable.
I had on more than one occasion felt like I was the woman in our marriage. As time passed more and more of doing all those things that my inner caveman thought of as “woman’s work” was falling to me. Funny thing was I found that I really didn’t mind the work itself or my new position in our relationship,(in truth it was a relief of sorts), it was the way that it seemed that it was just assumed that this was my place. I really should have talked to my wife about all this, but I was worried about confessing that I liked the more feminine role I was playing. After all, I was suppose to be “the man” right? (If you read what I’ve said about “being a man” you can see the irony here). I didn’t want to be seen as whiney or complaining but found myself going through periods of anger and depression while deep down this seemed to make a part of me not only happy but feeling fulfilled.
I think it was during this time that I began to suffer bouts of gender dysphoria.
The more I turned things over in my mind, the more I found that I not only wanted the role I was taking, I needed it. There was a part of me that demanded that I do what I was not only meant to do but what I had been born to do. You can imagine what a mess this caused. I was male right? I was, again, suppose to be a man and not accept these feelings, but damn it, my soul embraced what my mind rejected.
I was a man, not a woman. I stood up to pee for crying out loud. Then why did I feel like I was someone else locked behind my own eyes? My mind was a tumbled mess of two warring visions of myself.
The next chapter in this sorry tale took place over several days, while I struggled with ever more powerful bouts of dysphoria, confusion, and depression. I grabbed onto any excuse my mind could come up with for why this was happening, and I made up excuse after excuse, even blaming my wife for making me feel this way. I spent hours just sitting alone shaking, near tears and I just couldn’t understand why.
I need to go back a bit at this point because I need to explain something. For at least a year I had found myself fighting depression and suicidal thoughts. At first they were easy to fend off. I was able to get back to a mostly even keel and continue with my life. The problem was, they weren’t getting better. Truth be told I knew they were getting worse. I often found myself fantasying about walking off and finding a place in the woods to just lay down and die. I was thoughtful enough that I was going to just disappear, no fuss, no muss. I wasn’t going to leave a body behind for her or the kids to find, just let them think I ran off.
It got to the point that I was really getting scared that I might try to kill myself and that this time I might succeed.
If things hadn’t broken open when they did, I don’t know if I’d even be alive today. At the least I would probably been in a hospital.
It was with that as a backdrop that the final battle with myself began.
I do want to say something here, when the dam broke it was an ugly, terrible thing. Much of what happened and what was said is a blur to me and I really can’t remember much. What I do know is that I hurt my wife deeply and for that I can never forgive myself. I had done what I had done for years, bottling everything up, trying to avoid a confrontation or hurting feelings and all I had done was caused myself and her even more pain.
The night everything came to a head, I had already spent days with my mind running in circles. There were things going on that I didn’t understand. All the questions about my changing role and how I felt about it were a wildfire. One thing I knew was that I wanted to have that female role, that there was something inside that had grabbed a hold of that and wouldn’t let it go. The more I thought, the more I realized that I should have been female, that I should have been the wife in this marriage, that I wanted to be. I was in full Kira mode though I didn’t understand that at the time. The problem of course, was that I was a male. I knew that my body was male and that meant that I could never be a woman or a wife. At the same time, when I pushed the question, I also knew that I really didn’t have a problem with being male. That in truth I didn’t want to be female full time, but doing so on occasion was something I really needed. I quickly found that I was fighting with myself. The male side of me against the female and this threw me into even deeper confusion. I thought of all the things that had happened since the birth of our youngest child and I saw that I was not only taking a more feminine role, I wanted that role. That when push came to shove I had assumed that role like a fish to water. At the same time I also wanted and needed the male role, there were many things that I could and did do as a male and that while the female side was pushing forward, I was and still wanted to be male.
When things did break, I lashed out. All of the hurt, fear, confusion, and pain that had festered in my heart came out in a flood. It almost tore me apart and nearly tore our marriage apart in the process. That she stuck with me is a testimony to my wife. If things were reversed, I don’t know what I would have done.
In the course of our conversations that followed, (and all the internet searches, trying to understand myself), the truth about my cross dressing as a child came out which lead to us discovering that I am transgendered. In fact bi-gendered. That there are times when I am Kira and times when I am not. That there are times when I am a blend of both and I am comfortable now with each. I understand that I will assume different gender roles or no role at all and that that is natural for me.This has been a relief as I now understand all the things that were and are happening inside.
Now we are recovering, though there is a long way to go. We make a point to talk more now, to keep the lines of communication open. We’ve talked more in the past couple of months than we did in years. We never want to go through this again.
Sorry this post is so long, but it was something I had to get out.
The songs is of course “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, it’s the only thing that fits.