Um, nothing big, just a handful of life-changing events. But, guess what, that’s life. So, let’s see:
2) I told three close friends in February, finally widening our small circle after five years of silence. They laughed, they cried, they worried about me. I felt loved, and so did Wessel.
3) Separately, we told Wessel’s brother, sister, and parents in May. When starting to tell his parents, in their 70s and not people you’d peg as particularly progressive, we were sobbing, and I almost hyperventilated. We had NO idea what they would say or do. Their reaction: “you are our child and we love you.” His father proposed a toast: “To Selina.” (Her official name.) Is this a dream?
4) We dined out at an Applebees in September with Wessel dressed as Lina, our first outing. The “host” turned out to be the “hostess” and our fellow diners were equally odd looking, underscoring the fallacy of “normal.” Still, we can say that we are not typical. Lina was terrified, but she looked so good that I wasn’t really worried or even self-conscious. How can that be?
5) We start telling other close friends and everyone is so supportive that we have to laugh at the liberalness of it all.
6) Willow has her first official bra fitting with Rebecca at Nordstrom in October. Rebecca continues to call Lina “he” while helping her try on bras. Still, we loved her for her nonplusness overall.
7) Wessel in October tells his supervisor and a human resources rep that he’ll take a few weeks off in late November and will return as Lina. He gives them the Human Rights Campaign publication on transitioning in the workplace to study. They are wonderful, and I want to kiss and hug them. I cry and cry thinking of all the brave people who came before us, those who didn’t have the rainbow colored carpet unfurled for them.
8) In November, Wessel had “FFS,” or “facial feminization surgery,” at a hospital near our home after considering doctors around the country. For me, that marked the transition to Lina, though she’s always felt like Lina, I suppose.
9) We announced our news in emails to many, many, many people. I did my friends; Wessel did his. I had mine grouped in little clusters — work, friends, acquaintances, etc. — and kept pushing “send” “send” “send” and then I sobbed onto my keyboard. Lina came downstairs and held me tight.
10) This month, December, we have started to get out and about. Sometimes it feels normal and sometimes I want to turn around, drive home, climb into bed and not get back out.
11) Looking back over 2010 I have much more to be thankful for than not, but I miss Wessel. I’m patient with myself (and so is she) because this is new. The one thing I kept telling myself this year is no matter how accepting I felt, I wouldn’t really know how this would hit me until the transition happened. I was right. Mostly I’m feeling loss, which I didn’t expect so much because Wessel’s heart and soul are in Lina. But I’m also feeling loved. That counts for a lot, and allows me in all honesty to say, it’s been a good year. A strange year, but one of growth and love and truth.