Me and my wife have been married for over 30 years. All marriages take work; however, transgender marriages take ten times the work. That is just reality. Marriages are full of highs and lows. One of our greatest highs was when our children were born. Some of the lows can be really bad like a death of a child. Thank god we have not dealt with that. We all struggle with finding our way in the world. But as a team life is easier. For many in the transgender community, transition strains a marriage more than anything else. If you are already in a troubled relationship, it might be the end of that relationship.
Someone asked a question on a transgender forum. What do I do if my partner doesn’t support my transition, at all? I can’t believe how many transwomen in the group immediately said leave. My first question for you is how long between when you first figured out you were transgender and when you first came out? Did you realize you were trans and the next day you were living as a woman or a man? For me it took decades. And I had to be pushed to suicide to finally come out and transitioned. Yes my wife struggled with my transition as much as I did, but in the end it made us stronger.
Now think about a spouse’s journey. By the way, they are also transitioning. You finally tell them and within weeks or even months you want them to be okay with you being trans? I wish that could happen, but I don’t think that is realistic. First of all, you are asking your spouse to put up with the publics perception of having a transgender partner.
Think about all your apprehension about coming out and transfer it to your spouse. Remember your spouse is on their own journey. They have to come to terms with the fact that you are transgender. Now think about how 46% of us attempt suicide because we are transgender. There is so much hate and lack of understanding in the world for us. They also don’t have the feelings and thoughts we have. They are strictly going on your word that you are transgender and some of us would rather die than actually live with the scorn of being transgender.
Your spouse is no different than we are. I think one of the tipping points for me and my wife was when I did an interview with Whitney Vann for a local ABC affiliate. She actually really listened to the interview. I left nothing out about the basics of my journey and my struggle with suicide. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_E1s9RTuls&t=1s ) After the interview my wife said, “I never realized how much you struggled with this.” She knew pieces and parts of the journey but never thought about it like this. She realized that I got to the point where I had no choice but to transition.
Think about your transition from your spouse’s point of view. First of all, you could be asking them to go from a heterosexual relationship to a gay relationship or the other way around. Then in some cases many transwomen insist on being called mom by their kids. This can cause the wife to give up who they are, that can be devastating for them. It’s like asking them to lose their identity for you. I am lucky I have never felt like I needed to be seen as mom by my kids. I am okay with being dad and all still call me dad including my wife. I love my kids and am proud they have accepted my journey because not all do. Your journey can be devastating to the kids. Remember they are also transitioning with you as well.
Many marriages that stay together become stronger than ever before. But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, there are no reliable statistics on what happens to marriages and families after a spouse declares that he or she is transgender. A limited survey of 6,450 trans men and women, recently published by the Center for Transgender Equality, indicates that more than half of younger couples stay together after a gender transition, but only about a third of those over age 50 do so. I guess I am one of the lucky ones.
Is my marriage perfect? No, but my wife has shown me what true love is like, I just hope I have shown it back to her. All transitions are hard but if you are married and put in the time, the relationship can become amazing. If you are like me and older it will be harder but in the end it can work. As always, love, light. and peace. Sophie
Sophie Marie White, married with three kids, is a native of South Louisiana. She draws from her varied experiences as a writer, filmmaker, producer, Director of Photography, Chiropractor, EMT, firefighter, race car driver, and boxing promoter to inspire her acting and writing. She has been active in the film industry for the past 18 plus years.
Sophie began acting a little over a year ago. Since then she has been cast in several feature films, including Hummingbird and We All Think We Are Special. Sophie was also cast in several TV series including Tell Me Your Secrets and top of show, guest-starring role, on Chicago Med. In her first year and a half of acting, she has been cast in 3 television series, 14 movies, and 1 play.
She is also a syndicated writer, who writes on transgender issues in and outside the film industry. Her screenplays have won the ISA New Orleans Writers Award 2017 and have placed at Table Read My Screenplay (New Orleans, London, and Sundance), Final Draft Fellowship, ISA Fast-track Fellowship, and New York International Fright Fest.
Films she has produced from her screenplays have won or placed at numerous film festivals including AMFM, London Independent Awards, Imagination Lunchbox, and New Zealand Film Awards, just to name a few. She has even watched one of her produced films in the White House.
Sophie is a transgender female, and with her family, she’s making her way through the complicated transition process. She brings a unique voice that is extremely under-represented in the film and television industry. Her desire to share her journey will hopefully show others that there is hope, and they are not alone. Sophie tries to live up to her motto of love, light, and peace.