The one thing that all transgender people have to deal with at one point in their life is “coming out”. It can be, and usually is, one of the scariest things we ever have to do. No two stories are the same as each of our journeys is different. It is also true that each person we come out to is a different experience.
Coming out to a spouse or ex spouse is usually one of the most difficult things to do. They are the one person who knows the most about you and that you and have bore your soul to at one time or another. There is no right or wrong way to come out to an ex and as I said, each situation is different. Below is my experience on how I came out to both of my ex wives. As you will see, each experience is totally different due to the fact that both of them have completely different personalities and situations.
Back in July 2010, I had just survived a major suicide attempt and was hospitalized for several weeks. It was at that point that I decided that it was the time that I was going to come out and begin to transition. I had been transferred to a hospital out of state so the trip was too far for any family to come see me, so phone calls were the only contact I had with them. Once I got my nerve up I called my first ex wife to give her an update on my condition and while I was on the phone with her I decided to “drop the bomb.” Once I told her, there was nothing but silence on the other end of the phone for about 30 seconds before she responded that she really didn’t care what I did with myself. The only concern she had was how I was going to tell our 4 children. I tried but failed to convince her to tell them, so that would fall for me to do, but that’s another story.
With the first wife taken care of, I tried to decide on how to tell my second wife. My second wife was, and still is, very opinionated and can be very difficult to deal with even for the simplest things. We also have a young daughter together. The good thing is that she lives 750 miles away from me in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The distance between us, along with the fact that at that time she did not communicate with my 4 four children or my first ex wife, I decided to hold off on telling her. I also at that time was not using social media very much so there was no fear of her finding out.
Fast forward about 6 months. My transition was in full swing and I was living full time, on hormones and had just had my name legally changed to Cathy. I decided to go out and eat one night and while I was eating ex wife #2 called me. We talked for a few minutes about our daughter then she brought up that she needed me to sign some papers in regards to our custody arrangement. This wasn’t any big deal as we were in agreement on it, but all of a sudden an alarm bell went off in my head. How was I going to be able to get these papers signed and notarized where I had just finished my legal name change? Well, I had a couple of drinks in me by that time and said to myself that it was as good a time as any to blow her mind.
I proceeded to tell her that I was good with signing the papers but there was going to be one small snag. I then told her I had just legally changed my name so I wouldn’t be able to sign my birth name on the papers. She, of course, then asked what I had changed my name to and why did I do it. It’s at that point that I just let it all out to her. Funny thing is, she didn’t believe me and thought I was saying that to get out of signing the papers. I kept telling her over and over that it was true but she wouldn’t budge. She thought I was just playing a sick game with her. This went on for about 20 minutes until the waitress came to the table to give me my check and at that point I asked the waitress if she would please talk to my ex and to describe to her what I looked like. She then got on the phone and described my outfit to her and answered a couple of questions from my ex, one of them being whether I had breasts or not. While this was going on, I was just laughing my butt off in disbelief that she won’t believe me. When I got the phone back she continued to not believe me and accused me of just starting trouble. Well, as one last way to try to convince her, the waitress took a picture of me with her phone and sent it to her. Once my ex got it, she started stuttering on the phone and then hung up. It wasn’t until she contacted my oldest daughter the next day that it finally sunk into her head that it was real.
From that point on, she became the biggest pain in my backside, and still is to this day as she gives me crap any chance she gets.