Does this mean my husband is gay?
No. A significant majority (over 90%)
of Transgender people identify as and are heterosexual.
Although this is a valid concern and probably one of the more
common questions that spouses have, your spouse's sexual
identity should not be automatically inferred. It is also
common for Transgendered people to question their own sexual
identity as well because society's traditional definition of
gender as either male or female. Gender and sexuality are
often confused, but it is extremely important to understand that
gender and sexuality are separate and one does not dictate the
other. Being Transgendered simply means that you do not
conveniently fit in society's traditional definition gender, but
rather, identify and possess qualities of both genders.
Does it mean that
I am a Lesbian if I stay in this relationship?
No. Because society typically defines
gender as either male or female, they tend to define sexuality
within the same rigid constraints. Let's face it, our
relationships are larger, far more meaningful and complex than a
simple definition of either/or. Although there are people
in the world who may question your reason to stay dedicated in
your relationship, do not let them define your relationship.
Is this a phase?
Most likely not. Transgendered individuals
will often go through several 'Binge & Purge' phases as they
cope with the shame and guilt they feel as a result of being
different inside. Mounting evidence through scientific
research indicates that this is a phenomena we are born with--no
one asks to be Transgendered. Transgendered people will
often 'Purge' hoping that they no longer need to express their
other gender, but after a period of time, will almost certainly
return to it. Denying what they are testifies to the guilt
and shame that they feel. Only after they embrace this
part of them self can they find the inner peace we all need to
live healthy, balanced lives.
Am I expected to just accept this?
No. Whether your accept this part of him or
not is your choice. Some wives do not; some wives tolerate
it, but have no desire to actively participate; and some wives
fully embrace it and play an integral part in their
Transgendered spouse's growth and acceptance. It is not an
easy journey and only after a period of honesty and significant
growth in your relationship will the two of you be able to talk
about it. Our hopes are to help facilitate open
communication, based upon truths, so that you and your spouse
can understand each other better and decide how to proceed in
How is attending a meeting or activity going
to help him (let alone, help us)?
Most Transgender individuals feel conflicted
internally and often that internal conflict creates barriers in
a relationship. By providing an opportunity to meet and
interact with others like himself, it helps to alleviate the
internal conflict, the shame and guilt that is often associated
with being Transgendered. By reducing the internal
conflict, it will open him up more, likely reduce external
conflicts, provide an opportunity to talk more openly and
directly. Communication is the key in any relationship and
you will need honest communication to get through this.
Am I invited to attend a meeting or activity?
Absolutely. We have several spouses who
join us on a regular basis for our dinners, meetings and
activities. If you do not feel comfortable being seen out
in public, our meetings are held at a church in a secluded area
of the city and provide an opportunity to visit without being
visible. Some wives elect to wear wigs themselves to
provide additional anonymity as well. Also, TransCentralPA
Keystone Conference each year where we host several
workshops on relationship as well as spouse-only seminars.
I feel afraid and alone, is there anyone I can talk to?
Yes! We have other spouses and significant
others (a more generic term to include girlfriends, partners,
etc.) who completely understand what you are going through and
who very much want to help. Please email them at
And don't think they are necessary 100% pro-Transgender either!
Each of them have had to take this difficult journey with their
spouse, but have found ways to grow in their relationships while
giving their spouse the opportunity to express themselves.
If you feel more comfortable talking with a licensed
professional, we have identified several
local counselors with
extensive experience dealing with Transgenderism and
relationships. Whatever you do, please do not bottle this
up inside. Your feelings and thoughts are just as
important as his and you deserve the opportunity to express them
and be heard. It is not fair to you if your Transgender
spouse is not allowing you the opportunity to seek the help and
support you need.