Agonisingly Mindful or Mindless
Spill your guts and our brand new agony aunt will soothe or change your heart 💌
One of the leading African descent voices in Mindfulness, when award-winning author Valerie Mason-John isn't sitting crossed legged chanting "OM", you will find her on TEDx stages, delivering poetry and prose, living in cyberspace, and most recently - as DIVA's brand new "agonisingly mindful" agony aunt...
Dear Agony Aunt, I've been with my wife for 10 years and now they want to transition to "they"? I'm confused will they be my husband? Will I become heterosexual? What do I tell my friends? From a very confused lesbian!
VALERIE MASON-JOHN: Firstly, congratulations on 10 years of marriage with your spouse. Everything changes whether or not your partner transitions. Fantastic that your spouse has spoken up, and said they want to transition to "they". Instead of thinking about yourself, and wondering will your spouse become your husband, or will you become heterosexual, or what to tell your friends - take a deep breath. Pause, and let go of all the stories you are tormenting yourself with. Allow yourself to experience the loss of someone you labelled as your wife, and become aware of the pain and discomfort that arises in the body when you think of your spouse wanting to transition. Stay with that long enough and you will find all that is there, is the torment of your thoughts.
Now turn to your spouse and ask them what they need from you. How can you support them in the transition? And be honest and ask your spouse if they want to be labelled as your husband? And if this is the case explore together what that looks like. Confide in your closest friends, and it will be obvious what you can share. This is a rite of passage for both of you, and you need to be able to talk to each other without fear of judgement. This change in your relationship is a gift. An opportunity to connect, get to know each other on a deeper level. As for, will you become a heterosexual? I think the question is how do the two of you want to exist in the world? Do you want to pass as a heterosexual couple? As your spouse wants to be "they", it seems as if you will continue marital bliss in the queer world.
Get your knickers in a twist over all of this, and you run the risk of losing someone you have loved and been married to for 10 years. If you don’t listen to what your spouse is saying, they may well become somebody else’s partner, and leave you stranded. Worry about telling your friends and you will cause yourself lots of unnecessary stress and grief in the relationship. Worry about becoming heterosexual, and you may miss the joys of a new exciting love life.
If after reading this, you are still a very confused lesbian, some couple counselling may be just the trick.
- Agonisingly Mindful, @VMasonJohn
Have you got a question for our agonisingly mindful agony aunt? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject SPILL YOUR GUTS for a chance to be featured.
To learn more about Valerie's work, visit valeriemason-john.com
Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.