Queer Issue 2012

Vi and Me

Seven Years After Our Marriage, My Spouse Had Something Surprising to Tell Me—Something That's Brought Us Even Closer Together

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Queer Issue 2012

Vi and me got married in Vegas by a sweaty man in a tracksuit who had also married Jon Bon Jovi. I wore a pink vinyl ball gown and carried plastic flowers, and we cried when we were pronounced "man and wife." Then we went back to our swanky hotel and watched Bride of Chucky. Pretty perfect.

It turns out that for the wedding, and for the next seven years, and for her whole life beforehand, Vi had been wearing the wrong body. She'd tried real hard to live in this wrong boy body, but she had to get well or she was gonna die of this lie she was wearing, and would I still love her? Of course I said yes, and then I had a quiet nervous breakdown.

The thing is, at some point when you've been romantic with someone for a long time, you will find out something that surprises you. Maybe they're a closet Korn fan or they really like golf (shudder). Or maybe they're wearing the wrong skin, and it's then that you have to decide: Do I love them or the skin they're in? I chose Vi, and my husband became my wife.

I told my parents about Vi and me because they were gonna visit and it was either that or feign death (which, if I were smarter and could have pulled it off, I would have). Telling my parents meant having this conversation with my mother: "Your father wants to know if now that Vi is a lady, you're becoming a man." "No. I look like an elf and I like Jane Austen. I would be an awful little man." "Oh. Well. He's 80, you know. He's doing his best. I don't know why you kept this from us for so long. Were you just hoping we'd die before you'd ever have to tell us?" "Yes, actually, I was. But that plan fell through and now here we are." "Oh, honey. Are you two still intimate?" "Yes, Mother. And, no, I'm not telling you nothing. If you need specifics about lady loving, you're gonna have to download porn like the rest of us."


After the initial drama, Vi and me are better and closer and happier than we were. The only real crap is other people. Which comes as no surprise, I guess. We've always believed most people are rat-bastards and phonies and the world is circling the drain toward the inevitable terrible end times. We have what marriage counselors call a firm philosophical foundation. Our sense of doom is a bond. But it's one thing to believe that and another thing to have it shoved into your face when you're just trying to buy a bag of kitty litter. People gawk at us, yell at us from cars, ram their strollers into telephone poles. You get tired of it. Okay, you don't get tired of people ramming their strollers into telephone poles. That's funny every time. But, yes: Ignorant people will suck the fun out of a trip to the gun shop, and that's a shame.

In the end, it doesn't really matter, though. I mean, I'll fight for transgender rights and call out a bitch for using the term tranny (seriously, stop it), but day-to-day we are as happy as clams. Like I like to say to Vi, "Who wouldn't be happy with such a sexy little Hot Pocket waiting at home?" To which she answers, "Don't call me a Hot Pocket. That's not romantic. Nobody likes being called a Hot Pocket." But she's just being coy. Everybody loves Hot Pockets. recommended


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thelyamhound 1
I love this article so very much, though it may be one of the few times you'll ever hear me complain about an article's brevity. Magnificent!
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on June 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 2
Oh, and knowing Vi's proclivities, she might appreciate being called a pasty, rather than a Hot Pocket. Everyone, indeed (or everyone I'd care to hang out with) enjoys meat--possibly with cheese, vegetables, potatoes, and/or some sort of gravy--baked into a crust. But those inclined toward the culinary will tend to prefer something made by hand, as opposed to something that comes with a crisping sleeve. It's hard, for some, to see the mass-produced as endearing.

All right; I'll quit taking up space in your comments section.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on June 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
What a truly lovely article and sentiments - we might not all come up against the same thing but we do get the same question, "the person or the skin"...we love the soul we first met.
Posted by Jenmoon on June 20, 2012 at 8:10 PM · Report this
Loved your soul when I first met you . . . and knew then that you were someone special. This just proves that once in a great while I CAN judge character, wisdom, and the skin in which inhabits a huge heart. You and Vi shine on like crazy diamonds.
Posted by liamc. on June 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM · Report this
Are you claiming a female monopoly on Miss Austen? If so, I shall probably regard it as a challenge, and I'm sure most of the people who find my Austensplaining tiresome would back me to defeat any and all who stood against me.
Posted by vennominon on June 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
Thank you for this sweet and rational article. I have a darling spouse who became a darling spousette too. I've had my quiet nervous breakdown and the need to tell my elderly mother, who said "Huh? I don't care. I only want you two to be happy." And among us we decided that the Jehovah's Witness contingent of the family could be left in ignorance where they prefer to dwell anyway.

We love each other more each day. And lucky for us, Sachi and I live in a place where no one gives us shit. We look like two 60 year old hippies with cute dogs! It's fun for us and fun for the dogs and fun for the neighbors who witnessed the transition. Who the hell should care anyway? Go Vi and Kelleen!
Posted by LuisitaPhD on June 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
TVDinner 7
@6: That's a lovely coda to this delightful piece, Luisita. Thanks for sharing it.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on June 22, 2012 at 11:28 PM · Report this
Mr Vennominon @5, I think Kelleen was saying that straight men don't like Jane Austen. (Because if Vi was a woman, then her spouse "ought" to be a straight man, according to her dear old Dad.) I do know a couple of straight men who flout that stereotype, but it's certainly as true as the other stereotype she mentioned: that straight men tend not to look much like elves.
Posted by EricaP on June 23, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Ms Erica - Perhaps your interpretation is correct about what this author said, but I'm in the mood for a Splainoff.

And that assertion I'd challenge on facts. Miss Austen has a larger following among straight men than most great women writers, at least given the total volume of her output. The great female author who really somehow manages to scare off straight men is Mrs Woolf.

That reminds me that I have been sitting on a splendid Woolfsplaining quotation for the entire first half of the year now, and still Mr Savage has not printed a letter that suits it. If this goes on much longer, I might have to write said letter myself - for myself, not as myself, of course.
Posted by vennominon on June 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this

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