We were nearly 40 then, and he'd struggled with this proclivity for most of his life. Once, when he was a medical resident, he'd been picked-up by the police, stripped-searched, and put in a cell, simply because someone recognized he was a man in a dress. He'd been filled with shame and self-loathing.
Still, until recently, he'd not allowed himself to believe he wanted more than simply to dress. In 2009, David finally admitted to what he really wanted: to be a woman, what he'd truly been all along--on the inside.
We've now been married for twenty-two years and, for the past two, I've been married to Deborah. She's an orthopedic surgeon who has been completely accepted (as far as we can tell) by the small, industrial city of Gardner, Massachusetts. It feels miraculous to us and is ironic, as we'd thought we would need to go to a larger city (Boston is 60 miles away) for Deb to be accepted, to continue her surgical practice.
The irony? David looked at nearly 40 other orthopedic jobs, prior to the fall, 2011 transition to female. Wanting to be honest, he had told recruiters he'd be transitioning before beginning a new position. They invariably stopped calling, told him the position had been filled, or that the personnel at a practice or hospital had changed their minds.
Deciding there was no need to inform recruiters of the impending transition, David was signed to become an orthopedic hospitalist in CT in 2011. However, after he told two panels of physicians of his plan to become a woman, the hospital fabricated several absurd reasons for informing him they'd changed their minds. We are still embroiled in a legal battle over this and are fighting it, because we CAN. We hope to be of assistance to others like us, particularly those who've lost everything because of a gender transition.
Meanwhile, we have been blessed to remain in Gardner, where Deborah maintains her surgical practice. Medical personnel and patients are all incredibly supportive, and most of our immediate family is, too. However, Deb's brother now wants nothing to do with us; and my brother is still wondering how to accept his sister being in a "gay marriage." Yet, my 97-year-old mother-in-law has embraced her new daughter. Shortly after seeing Deb for the first time, she told us, "I've decided to love the person on the inside."
Our combined family of six grown children have all been remarkably accepting, as have their partners. Deborah and I continue to adjust to our new configuration, maintaining our loving and the great pleasures of our life together. And I've just completed a book about our experience, with the working title IT'S MY TRANSITION, TOO. However, I'm considering calling it MY HUSBAND'S A WOMAN NOW. The subtitle will likely be A SHARED JOURNEY OF LOVE. I'll soon have a website you can visit, and I hope you might enjoy reading my book once it's published.
Thanks for "listening!" And bless you in your struggles and triumphs.