Did I make the right decision by showing my real gender identity to my wife ?


I told my wife about my need to become Joanne within the first week we met. It was only once or twice a week back then & my wife didn’t seem to mind, in fact she would help with my makeup & pick out what I was to wear. As time went on my desire to be Joanne increased, it got to the point where I was Joanne from the minute I got home from work & I would only change back in the morning just before work & even then I was wearing panties, bra & pantyhose with no socks over them under my work clothes. I grew my hair out & let my finger nails grow long which I kept shaped & always covered in clear, super shine polish. My wife never said anything about this until the night I went out as Joanne & returned with a pedicure with dark red polish, a manicure with my own long nails polished dark red, my ears pierced, my eyebrows waxed into thin, high arches & my shoulder length hair cut & styled into a woman’s style. My wife was shocked & angry, I told her it was for Halloween which was two & a half weeks away. I still was not satisfied, one of the girls I worked with gave me a four month prescription of estrogen which I began taking without hesitation. One month later, my friend who gave me the hormones gave me a script of male hormone blockers she said it would speed up my breast development. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my female friend who gives me my pills, she enjoys helping me become a better looking Joanne. We go out shopping together, movies & diner & I am always Joanne, she helps me bind my chest so my wife don’t see that I have breasts yet. She has even taught me how to please a man orally on her boyfriend & I liked it. We are planning to let my wife see the real me this weekend, I bought a beautiful red, polka dot, very low cut mini dress with matching red heels for the occasion. With my real breasts & very little padding, it is very obvious that I have breasts, I am hoping that my wife will be accepting of the changes that I have made, I don’t know of any other way to tell her other then by showing her, had I tried telling her, I would have been afraid she would try talking me out of taking hormones. Did I make the right decision 
Joanne
Hi Joanne,
Thanks for your question.
In terms of whether you made the ‘right’ decision or not, I am not sure that’s a question anyone can answer for you, as I think that is more about what is most right for you and for your relationship with your wife.
I think it’s really understandable that given how your wife reacted to your painted nails, pierced ears, and woman’s hair style that you would feel like you had to hide the fact that you have started taking hormones and hormone blockers from her. It also makes sense that given her reaction in that situation that you were worried that your wife might have tried to talk you out of taking hormones if you had told her and that you therefore did not tell her.
It’s really brave that you’re planning to show your wife the real you. I hope she reacts well and realizes that Joanne is who you are and that she’s able to accept you as you and for you. That said, with the information you’ve given in your question, it sounds like there’s also a chance that your wife might react badly to seeing you when you’re not hiding parts of yourself. She may be angry that you did not to tell her about taking hormones, and she may not know how to react to being presented with changes that she may not have been aware were happening. That doesn’t mean that you made the ‘wrong’ decision, but it might be something to prepare yourself for. If you’re not already planning to do so, you might consider having the friend who has been supporting you or someone else you feel you can rely on as a support available for when you let your wife see you this weekend.
If you feel like the decisions you’ve made about how your body looks, how you dress, and how you identify are what’s right for you, then you’ve made the right decision. It’s possible that it may have been better to include your wife in what has been going for you earlier in the process, but again, it also sounds like there are some very valid reasons why you felt you could not be fully open with your wife about having started hormones, etc.
It’s possible your wife will react in ways that are not based in anger, but more based in wishing she had been more willing to receive you for who you are and therefore could have accompanied you through starting hormones and other similar decisions. It’s also possible that she may react out of ignorance and fear. In such cases, it may be helpful for your wife to seek out resources designed for partners of transgender people so that she has somewhere to talk and process her emotions without putting all of those emotions onto you. You may also decide that you want to access such resources together, or that you want to look into some kind of other support such as counselling if that is something you can access/afford.
Ultimately, if your wife reacts to you in ways that make you feel scared or not respected and appreciated for who you are, it might be important to consider whether or not you think your relationship will allow you to be your genuine self. If it’s only okay with your wife when you’re Joanne part-time, and you’re Joanne all the time, then maybe it means your wife is not ready or willing to be with Joanne. These kinds of realizations and decisions can be extremely difficult, and I hope that things work out for the best, but if they don’t, remember that doesn’t mean you are wrong in any way for having the courage to be your most authentic self.
Feel free to writeback if you have any other questions and comments.
Noah, Neuro/Diversities project coordinator

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