This morning Sarah and I had a little scare. She has GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and has been having some discomfort this week. However, this morning after getting up and getting dressed she announced to me that she was having pain in the substernal area and it was "different." Okay, that is all it took. I picked up the car keys, slid on my dress and we were out the door to the emergency room. It scared the crap out of both of us!! To know that someone you love is facing something that may be life threatening makes you realize how much you love them. Thank goodness, after spending the day in the ER, all the tests came back normal. We will follow up with her primary care doctor tomorrow for a stress test.
A few months ago, I had joined Facebook. All the people who were friends on Facebook were people who know Sarah and I as a couple. However, a few weeks ago I got requests from a number of friends from high school (40 years ago). Some I had not seen since graduation, one of the people 3 or 4 times since graduation and one in February at a wedding. I figured that there would be questions and I would explain about Sarah and I but somehow that didn't happen. We said hello, made a few superficial comments and most didn't refer to their spouses so I didn't. But it left me feeling like I was not being truthful and I did not know how to open the subject. Also, I mention Sarah in my Facebook and I am sure this left people wondering. Well after the wake up call this morning I decided to be proactive. So I wrote a note and tagged all my high school friends:
I have never been able to live with an untruth or a half truth. Most of the people who are friends on Facebook know me and my spouse………. until recently. I have received messages from a number of my old high school friends and it has been a delight to reconnect with you. However, we have been separated by time and space…………..for forty years. It is unbelievable that that many years have gone by since graduation. Each of you have special places in my memories. I hope we will remain friends at least through Facebook. It would be wonderful to see each of you. I did see Jane at a recent family wedding. Reconnecting with you has caused a little anxiety for me because it presents a need for me let you know a little more about me.
What I am about to reveal to you is known by all my friends with whom I have contact and all of my surviving family. Thankfully, with only one exception, this information has been received with love and acceptance. I met a wonderful person several years ago and we were married. The person I married is transgender. Originally, this person was born a male, however, after 50 something years he realized with the help of counseling that he was transgender. Basically, this means that a person is assigned a sex at birth (as we all are); however, they come to know that they are the opposite sex. So, the person I am legally married to was born male but is now female. Her name is Sarah.
Sarah can remember from her very early years that something was wrong/different with her. This led to a struggle for her for most of her life. After acknowledging that she was transgender her life has been more peaceful and happy.
Sarah and I began our relationship after her divorce and at the beginning of her transition. I thought that we would be friends upon learning that she was transgender. However, after a time we both realized that our relationship was more than a friendship. As a result, we were married in November 2006 and we are very happy.
If you would like more information about transgender individuals you can get factual information in these internet sites:
Gender Identity 101
Meaning of Transgender
Sarah and have started a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians, Gays and Transgender People) in Valdosta and have met some wonderful people. We have attended national LGBT events. We speak to groups at VSU and many other places to increase education and visibility of what and who transgender people are and the discrimination they face.
Being a transgender couple is not the only thing we are. We are Episcopalians and are very active in our church. We are loved by the majority of our church family. We quilt. We love to travel, read and enjoy music and plays. We both sing in the church choir. Sarah is the singer. She has a beautiful voice and sings with the local symphony chorus and choral guild. She has a Masters in Music. I retired as a Women’s Health nurse practitioner after 34 years in public health. Once nurse, always a nurse. Life is strange. Life is wonderful.
I am sure that some of you could care less about this. Others may be horrified and still others may have questions. You may or may not know someone who is transgender. There is a good chance that you may know a transgender person and not know they are transgender. I hope that this will be helpful information for you.
There are people who because of religious beliefs cannot deal with people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. If you are one of those and cannot deal with my referring to my spouse, Sarah, by all means defriend me on Facebook. Believe me; I faced much worse in my life.
Why did I decide to reveal this today? Well, Sarah awoke this morning with chest pain. We spent the day in emergency department of the hospital. This made me realize how much I love Sarah and that to deny her in anyway is wrong. She adds so much happiness to my life.
I am not sure what the reaction will be. The only thing I know for sure is that Sarah is the most important person in my life and she deserves to be acknowledged as such. That is taken care of now.