My wife, Veronica Victor, is a trans woman. She is many other things too, of course. If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll know many other aspects of her life. She is a sharer! But the focus for this first post is her trans womanhood.
When she and I met, when we fell in love, and when we got married, her gender expression was essentially male. Our relationship was seen as a gay one; our marriage was considered a civil partnership because equal marriage rights weren’t legal yet. Those were all assumptions. Her whole life, people had assumed she was a man. She had even assumed she was a man for parts of her life.
However, she’s been a woman all her life, and that is one of the first lessons I learned about being a partner and ally — and a conversation I’ve been having ever since.
One year ago, she began her medical transition — she started taking testosterone blockers and estrogen. Roughly eighteen months ago, she began her main social transition — going out in the world with a female gender expression — although that wasn’t the first time she’d gone out in the world with a non-male gender expression. But “a year ago” and “18 months ago” are not the answers to “when did she become a woman?”
Veronica didn’t become a woman at any point in her life. She was assumed to be a man. She’s a woman. There is no answer to “when did she become a woman?” other than “a lifetime ago” or “when she was born.”
As the partner of a trans person, I have a lot of conversations with my friends, our friends, her friends and our families about trans issues. It’s important that I take the time to think about what I’m saying and say it right. It’s not good partnership or ally-ship if I take shortcuts with my language. And this is a perfect example of that.
“Veronica is a woman but when we met, her gender expression was essentially male. She started her main social transition in early 2018 and her medical transition in mid-2018” isn’t a short or easy answer, but that’s the right answer.