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On being a transgender spouse, parent, and Mormon.

10 December 2015
Earlier this year, I came out as transgender. For as long as I can remember, I've known I was a boy on the inside. I've known since I was tiny, but I never had the right word to explain what I was. (When I was a teenager, transgenderism was still called 'gender identity disorder,' and I didn't want to put THAT label on myself.)

I told Hawk before we were married, but I didn't have the right words to explain how deeply I felt this way. And I had decided, at age 19, to do my level best to bury my male self as deeply as possible. I wanted to be 'normal.' I wanted to be a mom and a wife and I wanted to be happy in my female body and I wanted to have the Mormon fairytale where everything is perfect. (Never the reality, but when you're 19 perfection seems attainable.  but I digress.)

Since learning about transgenderism and the possibilities of transitioning, I've had a rough time. On the one hand, I've spent so long burying my male self that I don't know I could ever fully live as male. But I wanted to transition so badly. I wanted my inside to match my outside, to live in the right body, to be happy with myself.

Who knows, though, if that would be the case? I could transition and still hate my body. Transitioning won't cure me or make me magically happy. It might, but it's not a gamble I'm willing to take. Especially because if I did decide to transition, it would mean sacrificing my family. I would lose Hawk, and possibly Sparrow, and the life I have now. My life may not be perfect, but it doesn't necessarily suck either. And I'm not willing to be alone again, ever. I can give up transitioning if it means keeping my family.

I recognize that many people can't give it up, though. I lend those people my full support. I am proud of them for living their truth. I am happy for them as they transition and become more comfortable in their skin.

The LDS church has surprisingly little to say about transgendered individuals. Gender reassignment surgery is a no-no, but there is nothing said about hormone replacement therapy, or top surgery (in my case, a mastectomy), or anything else.  But we live in a conservative little Mormon bubble, and if trans people are seen as weird in the regular world, they're seen as three times as strange in the Mormon world.  We are taught that gender is essential and eternal. But what if your gender is just wrong? I don't know. I don't have an answer. And it's frustrating.

So I've come out as transgender to the world. It has been my deepest, darkest secret for my entire life. And even though I am not transitioning, I love and support those who are.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

(Sparrow does not know, so if you know us in real life, please don't mention this in front of him. I plan on telling him when he's around 12-13, but for now it's not something he needs to worry about.)