Below is an open letter responding to Christine and Jacki, the couple who decided to have Jacki falsely claim she was transgender in order to secure a marriage license. Christine calls it a “loophole” in the video recently aired on the Huffington Post, and she still calls her spouse “she.” Why? Because they’re lesbians, and no one is transgender in this relationship.
Christine and Jacki:
I am writing this letter to you as a newlywed who is still floating on cloud nine from my recent marriage to my husband, Frank.
I, like so many other girls, thought about my wedding day my entire life. I was so excited and curious to know whom that person would be waiting for me down the aisle, my soul mate, my one true love.
My husband is nothing less than my hero. I have watched him go through the most difficult and trying battle mentally, physically and emotionally for nearly four years. This battle has been his transition. My husband identifies as a transgender male.
I myself identified as a lesbian prior to meeting him. As a lesbian, I have always been involved in the struggle for equal rights and civil liberty, which includes the right for LGBTQ brothers and sisters to marry. It is a frustrating struggle and I have cried many tears over the civil injustice in our country.
When I met my husband, I had to answer the questions of “Are you straight now?” and “Wow, is it easier being a heterosexual couple now?” The answer to both of those questions would be no. The mental, emotional, physical and financial toll transitioning takes on a marriage and relationship is not easy in the slightest. It is a long and lengthy process.
I feel so offended at how you have made my husband, as well as an entire community, feel trivialized by representing their process of becoming the people they are as a “loophole” in the law in this country. The process of transitioning is not a “loophole,” but an intensely personal journey to really living.
You clearly have a preconceived idea of what being transgender truly means that is lacking in real understanding. It is shameful for you to use such an emotional and personal process as an easy fix to allow you to get married at the time. It makes Jacki appear to have gone through surgery to become a “glorified stud.” I do not find your story to be defined as a glorious act of love, but rather an offensive blatant slap in the face to thousands struggling daily to be their true self. How much more wonderful a victory it would have been to marry Jacki legally just as she was then to perpetrate what in essence would appear to be a farce. This change was not a necessity. For many others, it is life or death. They do not have a choice but to transition if they want to be truly happy and develop their own sense of wellbeing. Are you aware of the statistics on transgender individuals who have attempted suicide? It’s heartwrenching.
Jacki had a choice; I hope (s)he doesn’t come to regret the one (s)he made. Same-sex marriage not only being legal In California but 18 other states now is the best progress of civil rights I have seen in my lifetime. Too often, I see every letter under the LGBTQ umbrella discount one another in some way. We all have a fight and a struggle. Please don’t ever discount the T. The T will never be silent again.
Additional editing by Cheryl C. Courtney Evans, founder of TILTT: Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth
Photo courtesy of Kristin Capobianco