What Happens When a Spouse Undergoes a Gender Transition

The AP looks at marriages that have survived such a change
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2024 4:35 PM CDT
Some Marriages Thrive After a Gender Transition
Avril Clark, left, and Lucy speak during an interview at their house in London, Tuesday, June 11, 2024.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Marissa Lasoff-Santos and the person she would marry quickly fell head over heels in love. Lasoff-Santos was a gay woman. Her girlfriend was a bisexual woman—or so they thought. Now her partner has become her husband, and they both identify as queer. And things are better than ever. "We've always just had this deep connection, so that's why ... I never stopped loving him throughout any of this," says Lasoff-Santos, a 33-year-old librarian in Michigan. "I've become more attracted to him." Lasoff-Santos' relationship and others like it show that a partner's gender transition does not necessarily mean a death sentence for a marriage. Data is scant, but couples and therapists say that in many cases, a relationship grows and flourishes under the light of new honesty, the AP reports.

The Reddit group r/mypartneristrans, which describes itself as "a supportive, educational, and safe space for the partners of trans and gender-diverse people," counts 61,000 members. Topics include questions about how to handle Mother's Day and Father's Day; unwelcoming relatives; sex and pregnancy; and how to categorize a cisgender partner's sexual orientation. In other words, now that I'm a woman married to a woman, does that make me a lesbian? Avril Clark, who operates Distinction Support, an online network that helps supportive partners of trans and nonbinary peoples, says some people call themselves "heteroflexible." "It doesn't mean 'I am a lesbian' or 'I'm a gay person,'" she says. "It just means, 'For this one person I am prepared to be flexible.'" (Much more, including stories of other couples, at the AP.)

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