Transwidows: in defence of biological reality

I am a transwidow. I was married for a long time to a man who suffers from male late-onset gender dysphoria or “autogynephilia”. He finally walked out on me and his family, leaving behind emotional and financial turmoil. The man I thought I had married had in fact “died” long ago or never existed at all. He is a very confused biological man. “Widow” implies the end of a man’s life and grief – grief because he has no insight at all into his confusion.

This was in 2006. I was divorced from him in 2014, and our two children have barely known the man I married. Although he traveled past our door many times on his way to the Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross Hospital for three years, he never once visited us. Of course I never guessed any of these events when I married him in 1992.

A few months before we were married my ex-husband asked me: “Do you believe in androgyny, the idea of a third sex?” We were in a busy restaurant, I had no idea why he asked this question and, when I looked back with a blank expression, he immediately dropped the subject. He rightly understood that I would never suspect that he suffered from a life-long hidden mental disorder. It was a malicious question. He was checking that he could go ahead with his plan to deceive me. It was the most glaring of his “ambiguous” utterances, which I now know to be narcissistic teasing, and which silently amused him. Others included assertions that he had “small feet” and “shapely legs” for a man. He referred to “someone of the male persuasion”, not “a man”. Strange but not immediately worrying. I now understand that these snippets revealed his diagnosis, but I was not suspicious at the time because I was not trained in psychiatry. His bizarre and highly unusual statements were rare and his behaviour seemed mostly within a normal range. And I was not looking for reasons not to marry this charming, intelligent, well-educated man who was very attentive to me.

Decision to publish and be visible

There are only a handful of websites written by and for transwidows. It took me time to write in a sustained calm voice after years of psychological abuse followed by divorce which was a return to conflict. My slow recovery started the moment he revealed, in 2006, that he was a “transsexual”, because I was able to start an emotional and scientific investigation. I wanted to understand the psychiatry and physical medical consequences of his condition. I knew that I bore no blame whatsoever for his pre-existing disorder. But first I had to accept the fact of his premeditated deception, as described above. It is not an easy truth to absorb and bounce back from! I read and I read so much that I learned a PhD’s worth of psychiatry, especially “gender identity ideology” and contrasting “gender criticism”.

I hope that we have just lived through “peak Trans”. Through the 2010s western media fell over themselves to reveal to a confused world the “newly discovered” mental disorder of gender dysphoria and the supposed existence of “gender identity”. Some critical voices in right-wing publications like “The Spectator” and “The Daily Telegraph” questioned “transgender lives” as a fashion or lifestyle choice. They looked closer, especially at confused children called “trans kids”. Sex, oh sex! Why is it always so difficult to face squarely the biological reality of sex in human animals? It never changes, nor does the embarrassment. The judge in the Maya Forstater case (Dec 2019) couldn’t face it, and so a miscarriage of justice has occurred. Some young people are frustrated in their sexual and economic outlook and and seek to evade this uncomfortable truth (“rainbow genders”, more accurately sexual hybrids). Newspapers have repeated utter nonsense for years. Then finally some kind and sympathetic people remembered that the transitioning men have left behind wives and families. Some understand the trauma and moral outrage of the abandoned women. As a “transwidow” I accuse psychiatrists and surgeons of corrupt complicity with their gender dysphoric patients. I accuse them of not exploring the psychological history of these patients and their co-morbidities. I accuse them of not stating biological truth to their patients.

It’s time for transwidows to speak up, be heard and influence the global debate.