Thursday, April 14, 2016

Challenges for partners

So do you ever just get tired of ALWAYS having every conversation end up being about THIER transition??? It's hard right? These people we love so much never seem to realize that WE transitioned too! The very minute three words were said: "I am Transgender". They changed, we changed, and our world changed. All of this happened whether we stayed with them or left. I remember when I heard those words from my partner. At the same time that I heard a resounding WTF in my mind a wave of understanding flowed through me. If any of you have seen "The Danish Girl" I am sure you heard words that you have said to your partners. I remember when I watched that movie I had such a feeling of finally there is a movie about us!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Welcome again!

Hello! This blog is being rejuvenated again! I hope that it can be a source of comfort and support to families and friends and spouses of Transgender and other gender fluid people. One of the joys of my life is the privilege to work with these remarkable people, couples and families. Donna

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Catching UP


Two years have flown. I'm almost an official Marriage and Family Therapist.

Last month we staged an amazing event at school: Understanding TransGender Families - Insight for educators, therapists, students, and the community.

The goal of the event was to provide insight on managing transition within the family system from a family/couples advocacy lens.

We had two wonderful speakers: Helen Hill, MFT, and Dr. Max Fuentes-Furhmann PhD.

It was a truly powerful event and we were fortunate enough to record video for the event. Once edited the material will be available here and on YouTube.

The point of this is that the family of the transitioning individual are along for the ride whether they want to or not. They are often in the margins surrounding the hugeness of activity surrounding the transition process and are seriously conflicted in their own emotions.

I think that a good metaphor is to think of the margin as under train tracks with a train blasting over the top of them. I want all families to know that there is hope and help for them and that the confusion and love and anger and compassion can all be negotiated with a strongly positive outcome.

Please know that there is hope!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

What is it like?

I was having a conversation with my TS friend the other day.
We spoke of a certain Prime Time News special about a family with a man transitioning m2f who had a wife and child.

A couple of things stood out:

1. There was a quote that went "when one person transitions, EVERYONE in the family transitions whether they want to or not"
This is the perfect statement about the situation.

2. The wife looked sad, flat and emotionless..Several times throughout the special she commented on things she said to her spouse. She said many of the same things that I've said to my spouse over her years of transition. I don't think my spouse remembers. Some of them related to sexuality. The wife expresses that the intimacy is gone from their relationship because "she's just not into that" If ya catch my drift..

In discussing the special a bit with my friend, I related that I felt some commonality with the wife, and that I perhaps saw what I look like when I look at her. This is because I sometimes feel asleep emotionally. She looked disconnected, and I often feel disconnected. My spouses response was "she's mourning".

The more I think about it, the more it bugs me. How dare she reduce what I'm going through to one measly word. "mourning" BAH! She would certainly not allow that about descriptions of anything she's going through. All TS's in transition seem to think that no one has it as bad as they do, no one truly understands what they are going through. goes both ways.

Mourning is a good start, but it's not enough. What we go through is so much more than a loss to be mourned. Yet how do I express it? For those of us who stick around - who continue to see, or be with our spouses - the loss is experienced every day again and again.

Let me try to put it in perspective...

There is a great movie called "Soldier's Girl" about a TS woman who looses her fiance in a very violent way. There is a particularly significant scene wherein she receives the news of his death. First she screams - almost an animal like sound, like her heart has been ripped from her body, then she collapses in sobs on the floor. It is an amazing scene.

This is like the hurt that we feel when our spouse tells us that they are not who we married, but are someone else entirely. They are ripped away from us, like a beating heart from a living body. After all, isn't a marriage a living thing? For those of us who stay around, every time we look at our spouses..somewhere inside of us..we experience the sharp pain of loss again and again and again. We look at them and long for the ones we married. We look in their eyes and hope for even a shadow of the one we thought we were going to spend our lives with.

But with the strength that women have, we become pros at disconnecting our emotions, after all we can't be collapsing in a heap every other minute, and we function. But somewhere, down deep and hidden our hearts rip again and again and again.

Those of us who have chosen to stay do not receive any relief. There is no healing. Over time there is a callous, some protection from the sharpness of the pain. But we are stunted emotionally. We have had the rug pulled out from under us. Kyrie..What about me? It is such emotional paradox. We work to keep our hearts soft. The wholeness of our partners is important to us. It is part of our love for them and our desire for their fulfillment as human beings is still what we wish for them in spite of their absolute selfishness. For this time for them is truly self centered.

"Mourning" is not even close to what we're going through. Sometimes I think that TS's want to keep it simple so that they don't have to bear the weight of their actions on us and the children if there are any. Who could bear the full weight of knowledge that they have torn a family apart, torn hearts apart.

But I wonder..if my wounds are permanent. I'm afraid they are. Someone once told me "Just because God is asking you to walk in a bitchin hard place, doesn't mean you have to be a hard bitch"
Such words..but how with such pain that does not go away do we stay soft and loving? How do we protect that part of us so damaged by this situation and not seal ourselves off completely?

I don't know the answers....I know I'm not miserable, I'm not unhappy, on the contrary, I feel very successful and reasonably fulfilled. But I know that I'm not feeling a complete range of emotions, my joys are not so joyful, my peace is not deep, rich and serene. But I can tell you my angrys are REALLY angry and my sadness is deeper than the deepest sea.

Sometimes I think that I keep people at a distance. It's not safe to get close. I bite!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The latest....

So the latest is the murder of Angie Zapata, a TS woman living in Colorado.

She was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher when her sexual partner discovered her incomplete status. (he grabbed her crotch and found a package)

During subsequent phone calls he referred to her as "it", and in a prison phone call said something like "it's not like it was a real human being or anything." (quote paraphrased by me - may not be semantically correct, but the content is there)

The prosecutors are asking for "hate crime" status. (why on earth they have to ask for this I'll never know) Do you realize how many Ts people are murdered each year? It's staggering and some research. I have..and I'm done crying. Now I'm angry.


I've been needing to write about this for a while..after the nausea settled. I have some questions...

to "straight" men...
WHAT IS WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!? WHY do you care so much that SOMEONE ELSE wants to remove their genetalia? It's not YOURS! Where does all this hatred and anger come from? GET OVER IT ALREADY!

to the prosecutors and other legal peeps...
When are you going to start prosecuting these criminals? When are the police in New York City who sodomized many a Ts person with police batons going to be prosecuted? and WHY is it not a given that these things are hate crimes no matter who gets murdered whether it be a woman who is raped, or a gay who is beaten and killed or a TS????? You guys are NOT doing your jobs..

to the TS people...sadly usually m2f...
What is it with the risky behavior? Not that any one in any way "deserves" the horrors that happen to TS women ..but come there some shred of male thinking still buried in your minds that says "for me it will be different"???? What are you thinking..going to clubs and picking up fetish freaks who only want pre-ops. Going to straight bars and picking up men without telling them the truth. So many Ts women I know engage in downright dangerous behavior. Girls..get it together you are putting yourself in danger every time you do this. Stop being so arrogant. Yes life is lonely..and yes the world treats women crappy in general, TS women probably in particular..but love yourself..take care of yourself..protect yourself.

I want to slap all these people's just stupid.

Til next time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Honestly is Another Thing Altogether

I was having "chat" online with my TS tonite. And the subject of honesty came up.

So many TS people are afraid to "come out" to their spouses or SO's. But the truth is that honesty is absolutely necessary - no matter how it goes or how things turn out in the future. IMHO.

If you hide your Transition from your spouse/SO it is living a lie no different than having an affair with another person. It will do that kind of deep damage to your relationship.

I think some of the fear is based on the subconscious knowledge that it WILL be bad! You know what? Get over it. It will be!

Well, shouldn't it be? Why should someone entrenched in a long term relationship take this kind of upheaval in stride? They have NO control over the situation. Their loved one, their life partner, is changing EVERYTHING about the relationship. They are walking out of the door of their lives..without necessarily walking out of the house! It should not be easy, it should not be pretty.

No wife or husband saw this in the fine print of their vows on wedding day. You married a woman, now there is a man. You married a man, now there is a woman. You are a lesbian in love with a wonderful there is a man. You are a man devoted to anther man, now there is a woman. These are often irreconcilable differences as irreconcilable as an apple and an orange.

BUT...after the first wave of anger and hurt..then hopefully the dialog begins. The forging of a new thing. Or not. Some will not stay. But some will. Some will see that their loves have been miserable and are now on their way to wholeness and in their sadness will find peace for themselves and their spouses/SO's..Sometimes we take our wholeness for granted...this shows up when we demand that they not do this and stop immediately. Some may feel the need to protect children, some may want to wound the TS and will use the children to do it. I would suggest that if the reader has this tendency..please remember that children will have their own opportunities to deal with when mom or dad "comes out" try not to transfer your hurt or angst on to them.

If they really love us with all their hearts and souls..sometimes they DO stop..for us. And soon they are broken and miserable..trapped in a body that they to not feel is theirs.

If we really love them with all of our hearts and souls, then we release with love to be who they are and to be made whole. And then we decide how far along their path we will walk with them. Some will walk for the rest of their lives, some will not. Some will stay friends, and some will walk away forever.

But what ever your choice as an SO or a Spouse, your life will be better for being there, and for loving and for getting to know this new, completed person.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

WOW What a Year!! aka How the Heck did this Happen?

Can you believe the end of 2008?

On the amazing side..we managed to actually elect a president who actually represents the demographic in this NOT white-anglo-saxon-protestant. And although many in this nation are still patting themselves on the back about this amazing blast of equanimity, it's down right embarrassing that America has only now done this..particularly considering that most dominant countries in the world have had OMG heaven forbid..a the highest office of the land..including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

On the shameful side the economy is falling apart. And here in the state of California..we managed to let a no brainer for such a "liberal" constituency fall through the cracks.

How did it happen that such a common sense thing as the right to marry whom ever you please manage to actually be defeated in a bill that actually sets the State Constitution in a position to mandate discrimination?

The answer is simple, and it's the same answer which comes into play when cruelty and violence are directed toward LGBT individuals: FEAR.

Sensible people know that marriage for anyone does not threaten "traditional" marriage aka: marriage by religion in any way. We all assumed that reason would reign true. Sad wasn't it? What an error this was considering that this was the era of the offering of a Vice Presidential candidate who insulted all of the able and competent women in the Senate and House of Representatives by her complete and utter incompetence.

Going forward we must make sure that we don't fall into complacence again. Well, ok, I must make sure..

What were we thinking?