Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If You Didn't Know, You Wouldn't Know

The other day, as Natasha was "doing her thing," as we have officially dubbed her dialating routine, I came in to talk to her about something. Whenever I do this, I always glance down at her nether regions to see how the swelling has gone down. All I really see is the mons (that mound of flesh in front of everything else), but on this particular day, i asked if I could look at the rest of it. Yeah, I know what a vagina looks like. I've seen a few, even besides my own and our daughter's, but not my spouse's.

What are you supposed to expect when you look at a doctor-constructed vagina, anyway? I expected to see scars. I've got scars from C sections and breast reduction (a whole other story). She's got the little scars on the mons, but you wouldn't see them if you didn't know to look for them.

So, she let me look.

Holy crap!

If you didn't know she was a post-op trans, you would never have guessed it. Seriously. Dr. Brassard is a frickin' genius!

What did I say to this? "Wow. That's a vagina. You have a vagina."

Like I didn't know that already.

I think one of the character traits I have that has helped me through Natasha's transition is my sense of humor, and I'm not kidding about that. I happen to be fascinated by the human body and the things people do to it, but more so I find humor in strange situations. I can say for certain that, even after three years, this is still a strange situation for me. Pointing out the obvious... that she has a vagina... is funny to me and to her, especially when I say "vagiiiiiiiina," instead of "vagina." I never expected to discuss my spouse's vagina. Ever. So that in itself is funny.

In reality, I have serious moments when I think about the approaching time when she is ready to explore her sexuality. I want to WANT to be a part of that, but I'm unsure of just how liberal I am. Yet, because sex just isn't the big deal for what defines the success of our marriage, I find humor in everything else that she's going through. Even the voice lessons she's started. I happen to be a trained classical vocalist (quite out of shape, but I used to be pretty darn good). When she was using those stupid vocal CDs that said every woman must speak at, like, the G above middle C, I wanted to "accidentally" smash them under the tires of our minivan. This guy she's seeing has put her at a much more reasonable F below middle C (which I think is still a touch too high), but when she practices she also over enunciates and she sounds like one of those awful, scripted webinar people who have no acting skills. It's really funny!

Anyway, back to her vagina.

I have so many memories of Jonathan and I know that they will fade over time. I have absolutely no desire to remove Jonathan from my memory, or from our children's memories. I have, nevertheless, reached the point where I'm no longer uncomfortable telling strangers that my spouse is a woman. Until recently, I would get this twisting feeling in my gut when I knew I had to say something about that. The fact is that either I could care less about what the particular person thinks of me or I actually like the person which means that that person wouldn't have a hang-up about me having a woman spouse.

You just can't tell anymore that Natasha was Jonathan if you didn't ever know her as a man.

I know that there are a lot of trans folk out there who are afraid that they are just too "manly" or "feminine" to ever pass as the other gender. Natasha was lucky in that regard because of her facial structure. But she still has the height and build. Yet, she totally passes.

If you are reading this and are just starting out, or you've been on the road for some time but know you have a ways to go, just keep going. Be open to criticism so that you will be open to change. Accept advice about clothes, makeup, voice, behavior... especially from someone who'se been doing it for a lifetime. Most importantly, learn to be happy with what you have (or save your money to make some alterations). If you FEEL like you're in the right body (at least mostly), then allow yourself to find some happiness in that. Try not to focus on the future because things might not turn out the way you want them to. Find small accomplishments and celebrate them instead of diminishing them against the grand dreams of the future. You'll just make yourself and others around you very miserable.

And hopefully, some day, people won't know what they didn't need to know. You know?

More to come...


A highly misunderstood but VERY well intentioned friend said...
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Natasha said...
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Marni said...
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Anonymous said...
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A HIGHLY misunderstood but VERY well intentioned friend said...
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Natasha said...
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Anonymous said...
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A highly misunderstood but very well intentioned friend said...
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Natasha said...
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Anonymous said...


Having followed your writings on line for a long time now (and being the trans-spouse in our marriage), my WIFE and I are very thankful that you share with us what is going on in your life through and after Transition.

Please know that there are many of us who are positively affected by your being in this crazy world and striving to have a great life together. We are trying to do the same with our little Family and if/when I make my trip to Montreal, I know that my wife will be there with me and you both have played a role in her understanding what is going on and knowing that there are others (and great role models) like yourselves leading the way.

Please ignore the trolls, etc. and just Delete their comments (just an idea). They haven't anything to add to the discussion and I personally don't want them to hurt you or bring you down. Marni and Natasha, you light up my world with your words and stories - I and many others don't want to lose that.

Just my 25 cents!



Kathryn Dumke said...

Just a few comments on this post. Yes I agree that Brassard is an extraordinary technician and professional. Having gone through the process just a months ahead of Natasha I am floored what has been accomplished.

The anonymae comments are not useful. If you are in the situation you are in and my spouse and I are in it is not so important to focus on what was or even what is but on becoming. I think this is what you emphasize in your post, and although I might be wrong it spoke to me. They know nothing of what you speak, they just speculate and then opine.

The exploration of our sexuality is a life long quest in some way or another. While we tend to think in fundamentals the reality is in fact illuminated by the small things that change over time. We deal with our changing bodies and emotions and priorities in changing little in the moment but much over time. And in that progression touch changes, love changes. Now that you have shifted to a new environment connect to what has not changed and explore what is different. Liberalism has little to do with that.

Stephanie said...

I transitioned in '06 and my wife chose the stay with me. In fact, we are doing better now with our marriage than we had in many years. Those who comment anonymously get no respect from me. I would not discuss my life (or anything else for that matter) with someone that hides behind a wall so why would I do it here? Delete them! ...for they don't matter.


Tammy Matthews said...

This is a very encouraging and uplifting blog post and a good reference for Dr. Brassard also. Thanks for doing this blog :)

Marni said...

@Tammy, it's my pleasure! I'm glad it is helpful to you. Dr. B is awesome and his whole facility is simply amazing. If you'd like more info about it, email me your contact information and I'll have Natasha get in touch with you.