BBC Radio Four forms the background noise to my life, It wakes me up in the morning, it is on in the van or the car, I listen in the evening when I first get home, and then often late at night it is the soporific that sends me to sleep. This means I hear a variety of informative shows as well as some very entertaining ones, one show recently did a very interesting piece about Divorce and Gay Adultery, ~ fascinating but not an issue that will effect many of us. The following week they broadcast some of the responses, and I was surprised by how many people had called in to say "me too". The response that floored me though was one woman who called from what was a similar legal position, and one she found herself feeling very unsupported in.
This hit home because she was the former wife of a transgender Woman. She complained that there was no formal support group other than the ones run for or by trans people, that all the support went to he ex~husband, the idea that they are brave coming out and going through transition, the exciting journey of self discovery, but that the wife wa neglected and left behind in the dust of the euphoria of transition, alone without support.
My heart went out to this woman as I could see my own treatment of my own dear wife reflected in her story. So often people tell me I need support, that I am brave, and how they admire my honesty. ~ What is so often forgotten is that I have been dishonest with the people who most deserve honesty, that I lied to me Wife and Daughter for years, they forget that it is they ~ my family ~ who really need support after my betrayal of them, and that it is them who are being brave. It is them, especially my wife, who has had to pick herself up and build a new life, find a new identity, and re-build her self esteem, not from her own choice but through my actions.
You may gather that I have a great fund of guilt here, there is rarely a day goes past when I don't think of them and what I have done to them. I know I had to do what I have done, yet I am amazed and so pleased that they are still part of my life. I suspect that this same story could be told by most trans women who were married, a very special few manage to stay together, but for most of us our marriages inevitable fail.
But what struck me so hard was the lack of mutual support, I knew there were support groups, organised by the Beaumont society and the like. The trouble is that they are all organised by Trans Organisations. I felt so much for this woman and all the others going through similar situations that I wanted to do something to help. But of course I can't because I am the enemy.
So am I brave? no it's my wife, and all those other wives and husbands who have been left feeling betrayed, used, abandoned, questioning their own sexuality and having to deal with it all on their own~ they're the brave ones.
I won't say that our marriage would have been rosey if I weren't trans, sure we had problems, but I suspect that this was the deal breaker!