Husband wants to change gender

I support him — but what do I tell my children, asks a letter writer.

Our elder admires her attitude and has some advice on how to start the conversation.

Dear EWC

My husband told me he wanted to become a female and I support him but I don’t know how to feel about it. I guess I have mixed feelings about it never having been in this spot before. I’ve been with women before because I’m bi so I’m not worried about not being attracted to him or anything. Also, I have two kids so I don’t know how to talk to them about it. They’re five and three years old.

GranJan replies

First, I think you are a remarkable woman to be able to support your husband’s decision. I truly respect you for that; I think many women would have trouble taking the position that you are taking. Since you are bi, you are undoubtedly more accepting of aspects of sexuality that vary from the “norm.” And you and your husband are talking openly about his needs (and, I hope, about yours) and that’s a very good thing.

It makes perfect sense that you would have mixed feelings about his change. It will make a difference in your lives, not necessarily between yourselves but certainly among your friends. You will both need to prepare yourselves for some awkwardness, and perhaps outright hostility, from people who are also confused/prejudiced/ignorant about sexuality.

As far as your kids are concerned, I think simple and truthful is the best way to go. “Some boys feel like they should have been born girls, and some girls feel like they should have been born boys. You, daddy, feels like he should have been a girl, and so he is going to change now and be a woman. We still love each other and will be together as your parents, and your daddy will still love you just as he always has and always will.” And then answer any questions as truthfully as you can.

I wish you well. Do write back whenever you feel like it; I’d love to hear from you again. Good luck!

Letter #: 413333
Category: Marriage

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