Family 411 - Transgender Dad
Trans rights are becoming a battleground issue.
Hollywood brings it into the spotlight, but no doubt friends, loved-ones and co-workers may struggle with the complexities when a person announces they are transgender.
Our own Siouxland News “Family 411” reporter Lu Ann Stoia talks with one couple who has some advice on how to navigate those waters.
Sally and George met through a dating service, fell in love and got married.
But George, now Kimberly, says the beard he sported was lost as he realized George identified as a woman.
“When she told me that she was really transgender, I believe I went through the five stages of grief,” said Sally Griffiths, who is married to a transgender person.
Sally says, while she taught George things like how to do make-up, both were undergoing counseling.
“She didn’t tell her sisters, she didn’t tell any other relative, she didn’t tell her best friends,” said Kimberly Griffiths.
Kimberly and Sally continued to work on their relationship.
Sally didn’t want to tell the kids until she was fully accepting.
“She said, ‘Sally, I think you have been thinking of me as a man who’s pretending to be a woman, when how I really feel is a woman who has been pretending to be a man,’” said Sally.
Before starting hormonal therapy, the couple sat down to explain the transition to the children.
“They were super,” said Kimberly. “They were really understanding.”
It was troubling to the couple that some were not respectful or understanding.
“Friends since second grade, and so just didn’t get it,” said Kimberly. ”Couldn’t accept it.”
Sally says Kimberly has always been open and honest and made her feel like the most-loved person in the world.
“I am not a lesbian,” said Sally. “I just love the person, still love the person, will always love the person.”
“The journey is not easy, but it’s important for people to be able to be authentic, to be able to be visible and to be able to feel safe,” said Kimberly.
The couple says, what they want from loved-ones is either support or silence.
“I can totally be myself with her, so how could I not accept and love her for being who she is?” said Sally.
According to the Williams Institute, at least 1.4-million people in the US identify as transgender and that number is growing.