5 thoughts on “Links

  1. Dear Lisa, I read your op/ed in the LA Times today and it was excellent. You so eloquently bring out how the family is totally ignored while the trans person is now swarmed with congratulatory anointing of how “brave”, “courageous”, and so many other things that it becomes almost obscene.

    While my family did not go through a trans situation we did learn that my father was gay when I was 28 years old. This occurred in 1978, long before any of this was considered acceptable. Even today, in my very conservative community I am very careful who I tell this to.

    But my Mom went through tons of problems and it caused me many years of issues. But, even then the majority of the discussion was about my Dad though many did ask about my Mom and me. One of my father’s brothers was also gay and a sister was long thought to be but she never acknowledged it. Regardless, I did very much love both of them and eventually moved to Los Angeles and lived the uncle for a number of years. This worked, for the most part, well but was a little uncomfortable at times. But it actually helped in ways for me. I will explain below.

    With three members of my Dad’s family gay it caused me to question what my own sexuality might turn out to be though I had very questioned it before and had never had any interest in gay activity. But it bothered me quite a bit. It took several years for me to reconcile myself to the fact that I liked women and that was that. Once I moved in with my gay uncle and surrounded by his gay friends it only served to reinforce my own sexuality which was a very good thing.

    The girlfriend I had “back home”, whom I often thought of, had gotten married and had kids. I never tried to contact her since she was married. recently, I got a burr up my butt and searched her on the internet and found she had filed for divorce so I contacted her by email. She informed me her husband had announced he was gay and she knew I would understand the situation. The first thing I thought of was her 16 year old son who she said was a jock in high school. I knew exactly what this poor young man was going through and offered to talk to him. She did not respond to that or much of anything I wrote, but then again she never was a letter writer of inclined to write anything so it did not surprise me. But I feel so badly for this young man and I know I could help just by listening.

    Anyway, Lisa, I think by your op/ed and such I do hope that some organization pop up to help families of people who announce later in life that they are trans or gay. It is devastating on families that are ignored like you are and they need help just like soldiers with PTSD others with issues that need to know others are going through the same issues they are.

    Thanks for being such a great “pointer outer”.


  2. Dear Lisa, I read your op/ed online today and was flooded with old memories and feelings. I even spoke with my ex after reading your article as he had called me regarding the distance between our youngest child, adopted at birth and now 28, who just became a father. My ex isn’t transgender, but gay. We were high school sweethearts and married at 21. We have 5 great kids; 4 the homemade way and one adopted. So many of the points you made, I also went through. Our children were 19, 17, 14, 12, and 10 when we separated. The separation alone was difficult enough for each of them, let alone the ‘news’ about Dad. It’s been 17 years now and I still pick and chose whom I tell, as do our children. My mother still believes he just married me to ‘use’ me and remains angry. I spent 3 years married to him after he finally was able to share his evolution; this ‘evil feeling’ that was raising it’s ugly head in his soul, no matter how badly he wished to suppress! The most meaningful thing he ever said to help me understand was…. “Who would CHOSE to be gay?” We’ve had our ups and downs and mistrusts over the last 17 years, but I do not regret the 23 years I spent with him. I’ve had to find forgiveness to find peace. Without outside support, I have to come to accept that this was not his plan, his choice.

  3. Your article in the Seattle Times was extraordinary! I too was desperately trying to find someone as myself – a casualty of transition – to talk to. You are the first that is speaking my language – words for my voice! Bless you for your story. How can I confidentially share my trans wasband story with you? I would be so grateful if you could email me.

  4. Dear Lisa:

    I am a voice clinician in Seattle specializing in transgender voice and communication. I have Been working in this specialty for over twenty years. Your op Ed is so timely and so relevant. I have a number of clients who are incredibly sensitive to the transition and struggles of their spouse, but it not everyone sees thSt piece of the picture clearly, I agree. There are a number of resources in Seattle for spouses of trans people. I would be happy to point you towards them if you would like. Please let me know if that would help, and I will put together a list for you. You can contact me through my website, givevoice.com or find me if you google me.

    All the best, Sandy Hirsch

    1. This all started for me eight years ago, and there was nothing, even in Seattle, specifically for the spouses of. The resources were for GLBT together, and the issues are quite different. I didn’t fit with the spouses of people who had come out as gay or bi. There is more available now, thankfully. But we are still invisible, and our story is not told, nor considered. If you go to my facebook author page, Lisa R. Jaffe, there is a post where you can put resources in the comments section. I’ll be doing a blog post soon solely on that topic. So feel free to list what you know of. It will be helpful.

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