Who am I?
My name is Derek Victor. My pronouns are he/him. I’m a queer, married, Irish, cisgender man. I’m a wheelchair user. I have a mild hearing impairment. I have PTSD and related OCD. I try to live as a feminist, an ally to trans people, an anti-racist and an ally to Travellers. I work full-time as a science writer.
Why am I blogging?
In early 2018, my spouse told me she is a trans woman. She began her social transition and we began to navigate what that meant for both of us. I learned to call her Veronica and use she/her as pronouns. We’re still on that journey, learning about ourselves, each other, and the way the world treats trans people, and we both intend to see it through as partners and allies.
When Veronica and I started telling our friends, many of them assumed that we would soon start talking about divorce: “still friends and support her but, you know…”. Perceiving me as a gay man and her as a woman, they questioned how our relationship could last. Jokes about my being straight now were made; the question “what about sex?” was hinted at or directly asked. To these people, it seemed that Veronica was now someone she hadn’t previously been.
To me, Veronica is still the same person she always was. We both assumed she was a man but she’s always been a woman. Her values, politics, sensibilities, sense of humor, and artistic vision are unchanged. She looks different but she’s still the person I married. Her gender identity doesn’t change that — and my identity is flexible enough to survive being seen as a straight man.
I’m not saying it’s been easy or that it was an overnight adjustment. We’re learning to navigate realities we hadn’t seen in our future.
This blog is about being a partner to someone who is going through transition; about being a trans ally; and about trans life. But it is also about being a partner to a person with disabilities and PTSD; about being an ally to people with disabilities; and about life with disabilities. Because the other side of the story is that I am a person with disabilities, and Veronica has spent our whole relationship on that journey. We are both partners. We are both allies. And we are both learning.