We recently spoke to local blogger Kelly. Together with her transgender wife Zoey, Kelly raises two beautiful children and takes readers along their journey. In this guest blog post, Kelly shares their story, Zoey’s coming out, and highlights why Pride matters to her family.
When I met Zoey in 2007, her name was Warren. We immediately clicked, and within two years we were married and expecting our first child, George, followed by the birth of Molly in 2010.
Our life together has been colourful, busy, heart-breaking, but always so full of love and devotion. Over the years we’ve moved house eleven times, said goodbye to my father, had two miscarriages, and added a dog to the mix! Throughout this time, we have always followed our hearts and have been lucky to always find support in one another.
It might sound odd, but when Zoey came out to me on New Years’ Eve 2018, I was kind of prepared. You see, I asked her the question. We sat together, prosecco in hand, and I uttered the ignorant question, ‘Do you want to be a woman?’ I remember her nodding, a sad nod, but a nod filled with relief…
When I look back at that specific moment, I cringe about using those words. Why did I use those words? Trust me, I’m not proud of myself for it. I naively believed I was educated, but the truth is, we’re learning every day. Now I know there was no ‘want’ from Zoey, she already IS a woman, and has been all her life.
So, I nodded back and we continued with our New Year celebrations. The next day was my birthday, and in all honesty, it was a blur. The following day came, and I cried a lot. I uttered the words, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ Do you what my wonderful wife said?! She said…
‘Shall I change back into my old clothes?’
I shook my head.
How could I make her be the person she’s not? How could I force her into something that’s not her authentic self? How could I make her hide away?
I love her. That’s all I knew then, and all I need to know now.
She told me several more things that day, things that made those earlier days easier between us. She told me all my feelings were valid. She told me she’d understand if I was angry (I was only ever angry about not knowing sooner). She told me she was still the person I married, and it was so beautifully true. She told me if I looked into her eyes, I’d still see her. And you know what, she was right.
I had always told my friends if I’d met her and she was a woman, I would have still married her. I’d also told people over the years that I’d married a woman in a man’s body. But in all those years, I never thought this would happen to me, because it’s not really something you think about, is it?!
But it IS happening, and I have started to use the phrase, ‘I’m on a rollercoaster with Zoey, and I’m not getting off!’.
Despite my early days of worry and fear, I quite simply adore her. I always have, and always will. The first week or so we talked for hours and hours, long into the night. We’d plan our second wedding, or we’d talk about the perks (SO many clothes!), or we’d just hold each other.
I’d ask questions, she answer. I’d cry. She’d cry. We’d cry together. We lived in a little bubble for January, and I look back and see a blur of honest conversation and unbreakable love.
Our new policy of ‘full disclosure’ is a key element in our ever-developing relationship, and it means we can talk openly and freely, without feeling judged. We’ve gone from strength to strength, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Ultimately, this is Zoey’s journey, but it isn’t one she has to take alone.
It’s been six months since she came out to me, followed by family, friends and colleagues. It’s been hit and miss with some people, heartbreakingly so, but the one thing I’ve learnt over this past six months is that being true to who you truly are, is the most important thing you can do.
Hiding and pretending isn’t the healthy option, but with this honesty and truth, Zoey has to face prejudice and pain. Whenever she goes out alone, I worry. When we’re together, I try to shoulder the funny looks, whispers and dark stares. How she faces the world every single day blows my mind. Despite her network of support, people can be cruel.
This journey, six months on, is only the beginning. I know we have so much more to face, so much more to go through, but I know it’s going to be okay, because we’re going to do it together.
George and Molly have offered nothing but kindness and love. Their main concern is their mother’s happiness, and for this, we’re so incredibly proud. They call her Momma Zo and Zoey; they cuddle her and love her with all their beautiful hearts.
Soon after we’d told them, I remember commenting that I missed their daddy. George turned to me and said, ‘But he’s still here. Inside of Zoey.’ A nine-year-old, in the first few weeks of Zoey coming out, has more insight and understanding than people who have lived on this planet for 50 years. George was right. I couldn’t miss the person I married, because she was still there. The person I fell in love with ten years ago.
Yes, one thing is certain, Zoey was there all along.
Pride has always meant so much to me, and I have always felt safe and at home at Pride events. I think it’s an important event for families and their children because it gives them a chance to see diversity at its fullest, in a safe environment. I cannot wait to attend this year, and my children adored the parade and they’re already getting excited about it! For me, it will always be like spending a day with long lost family, as well as reminding ourselves, and others, that being different is a beautiful thing.