Thursday, May 17, 2012



Know what that means?  When I first read it, I had to look it up.  According to, it means "excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance." 

I read a book called Imperial Hubris once.  It was all about how the Bush junta was arrogant about their foreign policy toward the Middle East in general and Al Qaeda in particular.  It was written by the CIA's expert on Al Qaeda.  He concluded that we could either give them what they want (leave our bases in Saudi) or we'd have to commit genocide and wipe them out to a person.

Not a happy book.

But I digress.

Ever been so sure about something that you'd bet your life on it?  Think you know someone so well you could predict their every move?

Know for a fact what a reaction to something would be?

I'm not afraid to say "I don't know," but I've been around and learned some hard lessons.  Some may say I am a pessimist.  I say I'm a realist.  Some say I'm a "know it all."  Well, if I knew everything, where would be the fun and mystery?  And there are many, many lessons I still need to learn.

I've been married for nineteen years.  I've known my wife for twenty one years.  I met her when I worked at a restaurant and waited on her and her grandmother.  The next week, they came back.  And then they came back again.  She worked at a department store in the same mall as this restaurant and one day I went over to see her.  That was May 1991.

After all this time, you'd think I knew her.  I could finish her sentences.  That there'd be no surprises.

Guess what?

As those who've been following this blog know, she surprised me.  I was so SURE she'd throw me out when I told her about being Sophie, that I simply wouldn't even consider the alternative.  (If you haven't read the story about my telling her, look a few entries back.  It has the imaginative title of "I told my wife.")

So.  Now she knows.  There have been questions, yes.  Some back and forth.  But no melt down yet.  But this weekend I will be going out.  I have a great new pleated red skirt and I'll be out and about.  And for the first time ever, she will know EXACTLY where I am, who I'm with, and what I'm doing.  She'll know the Truth.

Still feels weird to type that.

This weekend will be the first big test.  How will she react?  Simple- she's going with her mother to visit her brother in another state for the weekend, and bringing our daughter with her.

She hates visiting this brother, but our daughter loves playing with her cousins, so that's the reasoning for her going.  I told my therapist that I figured she was going because of Sophie. 

My therapist countered with "Have you asked her?" 

And I said "No.  I know this is why."

And she said "And we know how right you were last time about her."


"A hit, a very palpable hit" as Osric said in Hamlet.  (Act 5, Scene II for you completists.)

She's right- I DIDN'T know.  I made an assumption.  Like I assumed I'd be thrown out.

A little later in the conversation, we were discussing a visit to my alma mater.  I was going to go up for a fraternity alumni reunion.  I mentioned that I wanted to go, but couldn't due to another commitment, and that my visits to the fraternity may be numbered.  They'll throw me out when they learn I am transgender.  See, the first requirement of membership is "male."

Again, Dr. Osborne reminded me of how I shouldn't be so sure of everything.  Maybe they would think it's cool to have a transperson as an alumna.  I said that while I was there, they barely were tolerant of my presence (LONG story) so I was sure they'd jump at the opportunity to toss me.  And she again brought up how I was SO SURE about my wife.

So two instances with fifteen minutes of me making an educated assumption that may not be correct.  But I'm SO SURE.

Arrogant presumption?  Maybe.

Hubris?  Maybe.

The future is now a big mystery.  How long will she stay around?  Who am I really?  Where will I find peace as a person?  Will peace require transition, or can I balance the male and female sides?

Well, there's one thing I really, really know for sure.  No, really.

I know that where I am, right now, is not where it ends.  I know that I need more.  The woman inside me needs more.  Revealing Sophie to my wife has brought that much into focus.  Maybe it's time to stop lying to myself and take a very hard look at myself and not flinch or look away.  See who and what I am. 

"To be, or not to be."  (Act 3, Scene I)

So, this weekend I will go out and be me.  And God willing, there will be laughter and fun and smiles.  And maybe I'll learn a little more about myself.  The one person who I don't even pretend to really know.  Nor will I warrant a guess.

Because, after all, I my guesses of late haven't been too reliable, have they?

If you figure out who this is, please let me know.


  1. Hi Sophie, I'm always certain, but often wrong!!
    From Reese Paley, Atlantic City on NPR
    I know the problem well as it's from too much book-learning. Luv Ya, Cerise
    P.S. Say hello to Maureen for me

  2. Wonderful post, Sophie. I'm glad to hear that things are still going well with your wife. Our loved ones can really surprise us, can't they?

    It sounds as if you have a very perceptive therapist. Your story reminds me that even if I think I know what someone is thinking or how they react to something I say or do, I'm only guessing. It's a good lesson, one I seem to need to keep relearning.

    My best to you.

  3. What a terrific piece Sophie. I know full well everything you say about being "sure". Your blog really hit home with me because I have always hedged on being "so certain" about everything, thinking I know the answers to questions that have never been asked. I tried to place myself in hypothetical situations and figured I would be rejected, spurned and tossed away.

    Your experience, especially with your wife, is very telling that sometimes family and close associates act in ways that we don't expect. Your message hit home with me and it has given me a lot of food for thought.

    I wish continued good fortune in your transition and relationships with your wife, family and loved ones. May each step be as fulfilling and wonderful as each day that greets you.

  4. Nobody thinks that you know it all Sophie, they just think that you ARE a know-it-all. There is a whole world of difference ya know? ROFL
    I had not realized that you had been married that long Sophie. Congrats on both - a successful marriage and KEEPING that marriage through telling her.
    Long long ago, in my own hubris, I used to feel that everyone should come clean with their wives about this. Then I saw several marriages come to an abrupt end as a result and I revised my thinking on the subject. When asked for my opinion on the matter, which is thankfully much rarer than it used to be, I now advise people to follow their own "gut feeling".
    Still, for the most part I really do feel that it is probably not a good idea to keep this kind of secret, and not necessarily for altruistic reasons either. The simple truth is, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of your being caught some day. A phone call, an email, something not put away, a slip of the tongue - countless ways. The question then becomes, if it is inevitable that your wife will find out, what does she deserve from you? Does she deserve the shock of walking in on you someday lounging around the house in a skirt or did she deserve a well thought out and calm revelation over a glass of wine?
    I think that you did well, and I am SO happy that it turned out for the best.
    So - does this mean that I get to meet your wife now? ;-)

  5. Hold not so tight to your convictions but rather embrace the moments of time and merely experience the events, the pleasures and although some pain will come, if you cling not, you will rise to perfection, we are all nothing more than scared unknowing beings that weigh ourselves down with the burdens of NO. Its time to shed the chains and open the doors for only we hold the key to being the best we can each be.