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3 days after we got married, my new spouse told me she's transgender. Many thought it would break us up, but it brought us closer.

Miriam B. Cantor-Stone   

3 days after we got married, my new spouse told me she's transgender. Many thought it would break us up, but it brought us closer.
  • Three days after our wedding, my spouse came out as transgender.
  • As a queer person, I accepted her instantly, and we had to come out as a queer couple together.

J and I had been together for almost five years when we got engaged in fall 2018.

We initially set our wedding date for August 2020, but we canceled because of the pandemic. While we were in lockdown, my partner arrived at a conclusion she had been avoiding for pretty much her entire life.

We finally got married in a family-only wedding in May 2021, and three days later, J came out as trans.

I instantly accepted my partner coming out as transgender

Three days after our wedding, my spouse stopped me as I was walking from the kitchen to the living room and said, "Hey, I want to try using she/her pronouns. I think I might be trans." She also requested I call her by a new name, one that she chose for herself.

I could tell it had taken all her courage to share this revelatory decision. I quickly responded, "OK!"

I've identified as queer for pretty much my entire life, so it was easy for me to accept this coming out. I'm attracted to men and women and nonbinary people and everyone in between. Sex and gender have never been a major part of what makes someone romantically or sexually interesting to me.

Knowing this, J had confided in me early in our relationship that she was curious about her "feminine side." In those exploratory times, J's delight over how her body looked in a dress and how her face looked with make-up was obvious. I now know this to be gender euphoria. Sometimes, years would go by in between these moments, but I always knew something was under the surface. When J told me she was trans, I wasn't shocked in the slightest.

Throughout summer and fall 2021, J slowly came out to our family and friends. It was an arduous process for her, as she genuinely had no idea how some of her loved ones would react.

I had been so focused on J and her experiences, I didn't realize I was also coming out

Growing up, I never had any notable coming-out moments. No specific memories stick out to me where I told my parents or siblings — or even any friends — how I identified. I think I just always knew I wasn't straight, and I never felt the need to announce it.

When J was ready, I told everyone that my husband was now my wife, and I loved doing so. For the most part, people were excited for J and happy to hear she was taking the steps to be her authentic self. But every so often, someone would say to me: "I'm so sorry. Are you all right?"

When some people were told J identified as a trans woman, they began to treat me with sympathy. No one said it aloud to me, but these people probably thought: "Oh, no! Now they'll have to get divorced." You hear so many awful stories of trans folks coming out to their loved ones only to be rejected. On the contrary, I embraced my wife and all the changes she was going through.

The first time I had a conversation like this, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks: I was coming out, too. After months of being by J's side as she was coming out, I realized that when I was telling people about my wife, I was also telling people I'm gay.

I had so quickly adapted to being outwardly queer that I had forgotten the entirety of my relationship had been perceived as straight.

Many people in my life, from friends to coworkers and even my in-laws, had known me only as J's girlfriend, fiancé, or wife. It had never occurred to them that I was gay the whole time.

Now as an outwardly queer couple, we're stronger than ever

Taking hormones changed J not only physically but also emotionally. It seemed like the side of her that had been hiding underneath layers of testosterone was spilling forth like a beautiful fountain. Her laughter was bigger, and her tears readily flowed with joy and sorrow.

Our connection blossomed, too. Even when we have important things to do, such as sleep or homework, we'll talk and talk long into the night in a way that we never did before. We're more physically affectionate than ever. Even holding hands feels sweeter than it used to.

I'm more in love with her than I've ever been, and I find her endlessly fascinating and absolutely stunning. Through coming out, as individuals and together, we're closer and more united as a couple — and more confident as our true selves.