Thursday, November 10, 2016

Numbers - The Truth of Partner's Acceptance

Have I ever mentioned before that I really like numbers?  There are all sorts of fascinating things that happen with numbers that are often overlooked.  For instance, I often go to various events where you buy raffle tickets, but them into various buckets, and then cross your fingers that your name will be called.  These events are truly very random drawings and yet, often the draws do not seem very random.  Some people tend to get their names drawn more than others.  It just happens to be the nature of apparent randomness.  Just like my phone, I will put the music on random play and frequently the same song comes up again and again.  Random?  Well yeah, but it sure doesn't seem to be a very good random!

Anywho..... some of the numbers I have been looking at lately are the true numbers of acceptance of spouses of transgender people.  Within my research I have been looking at numbers of MtF transgender people who are not transitioning, that have told their spouse or girlfriend of their gender variance.  The common theory states that it is very rare for a genetic woman to be accepting of a gender variant male to female significant other.  My own theory is that is actually simply based upon fear and not a true reflection of reality.

Many gender variant people spend a large amount of their lives in hiding.  They fear what might happen if they are honest with those around them.  And why shouldn't they be fearful?  They dominant narrative states that there exists an overwhelming threat to the transgender community from a large variety of sources.  From being attacked on the street, to being harassed in the bathroom, to being fired from your job, to being shunned from any sort of companionship.

But, unfortunately from what I can tell, many gender variant people are not actually willing to risk attempting these actions to discover for themselves whether the narrative will pan out that way for them or not.  Now don't get me wrong.  I understand that bad things happen.  Bad things happen all of the times.  For no reason.  To good people.  And they shouldn't happen.  But such is the nature of life.  It is unpredictable.

Alas, I fear I have drifted off topic yet again!  Low is me!  Okay, focus here.

The focus of my personal study has been trying to decode true numbers of reactions of the reveal of being gender variant within relationships.  My study group has been the users at  My method has been to simply comb through the various threads and categorizing people and their partner's response to them being gender variant of some sort.  It has not always been clear but I have tried my best to determine what happened within their relationship once they told their partner.

Some early results??

Of the 458 members I have included:

363 did not leave the relationship upon the reveal
280 are at least somewhat accepting
29 are in what is called a Don't Ask Don't Tell situation
45 didn't leave but are not accepting of the partner's gender variance
23 are accepting genetic women
74 are partners who left because of the gender variance
20 left but not because of the gender variance

Okay - a proviso with these numbers, some members reported their responses from several different partners over the years, thus the numbers may not total as one might expect.  This explains why their are variations within the totals.

So some percentages huh?

84% of partners did not leave the relationship upon the reveal
74% percent of the partners are at least somewhat accepting of the gender variance, which could range from DADT to full inclusion and acceptance
68% would be considered to be openly accepting of their partner's gender variance

These results are what I have up to this point.  I will continue to compile the numbers.  There is about 10-15 years worth of data on that website and so far I have gone back about two months only!  I don't really know how long I will continue to do this for.  We shall see.

But so far, I would have to say that the common assertion that a partner will NOT accept a gender variant partner is completely wrong.  Apparently far more partners DO accept their gender variant partner.  Who knew?  Well I personally had a suspicion.


Love you!

Love numbers!

BTW - This data was all taken from publicly accessible areas of the website.  Anyone can find this information if they so choose.

Here is the raw data, if you are really interested:


  1. Hi Nadine,

    I think it's great that you took the time to find and sort through data this subject!

    This was a primary fear I had as many of us do in coming out.

    My story was that I had found my high school crush after over 20 years of no contact (thanks!)

    When we reconnected there was chemistry, and we started a relationship. I wanted the relationship to be completely honest about every single thing about me. I didn't want a lie or hidden vital aspect of me to not be known to her. I didn't want any dishonesty in any form.

    So one day I wore pantyhose under my jeans (as I often did back then), when I met her for lunch. I think I said something like "I have something to tell you" and I pulled my pants up so she could see them (they were white). I don't remember exactly her response but she accepted me.

    I was barely starting to fully dress at the time. Just at home.

    Later on she bought me my first dress for my birthday. It's completely because of her that I came to realize that I was transgender.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing as you do on your blog. I don't post much but I am a follower.

    Take care!

    1. Thanks for commenting Jen!! Good to hear from you again. You are welcome for me sharing, thanks for caring! I am happy that you found an accepting partner; good for you for letting her know about you early on. Good choice!

  2. I'm with you 100% and I am still mystified why the perception is so overwhelmingly negative.

    1. I think it has to do with the idea that some want 100% assurance that 100% of the people will be 100% accepting. If they are not, then they may as well be 0% accepting. Because there is an element of risk, they are unwilling to risk their perceived safety. Which unfortunately puts them at an even greater risk of a negative reaction when or if they are ever discovered. Hmm.....

  3. Hey Nadine,
    The seemingly random music played by your phone is nothing more than a
    designed program. And raffles! The only explanation for those things is that they
    are rigged, I NEVER seem to win anything from them.

    That's quite a bit of number crunching you did there!
    It's cool to see some actual data on the percentage of acceptance.
    But until it's 100%, there is always the chance of the reveal going badly.
    That's a pretty tough pill to swallow if you have a lot to lose!
    That fear is real, just ask those 16%ers if they wish they had stayed
    in the closet. I wonder what the percentage of yes and no answers is on that???

    Sure, a relationship takes a lot of work to keep it solid, and with that trust is a biggie!
    I realize it's not being trusting to not share this with a partener, and that is usually a bigger issue than the CDing (and sorry , but no, I don't have any data or numbers for you to crunch on that).
    To help weigh out the risk vs. reward, mabe pointing out how peoples lives, or relationships have changed after the reveal would make an interesting study???

    How many that found acceptance would say their lives were improved by the reveal? (Maybe a 1-5 scale of improvement?)
    Experienced no change, or life got worse?
    How many that found acceptance would say their relationship improved, or got worse?
    And then for those that recieved a negative response to the reveal...
    How's life?
    If the relationship ended after the reveal,
    Did your life improve?
    No change?
    Get worse?

    1. Hiya Kristyn-

      Thanks for the thoughts. It is interesting what you wrote. My study isn't really showing risk vs. reward. There is great difficulty in judging the reward that someone receives from a reveal. I am simply trying to look at the often repeated statement that it is rare for a genetic woman to be accepting of a gender variant male.

      Thinking of whether or not one's lives were improved by a reveal is super difficult to judge as one can never tell the direction one's life was going to take or would have taken if not for certain choices. Like, sure someone whose wife was not happy or accepting after the reveal, may have encountered far different results if their spouse discovered their dressing without being told. Maybe the spouse would have left them then, instead of just being non-accepting. How are we to judge how one's life would have gone? It is easy to say, oh my life would have been so much better if my wife would have never known, but one cannot guarantee a spouse will never discover what one is up to?

      Good thoughts!

  4. Interesting. You mentioned that the data goes back 10 to 15 years. I wonder if acceptance 15 years ago is measurably lower than say the last 3 to 5 years.
    Thanks for sharing your work. Charlene

    1. I do wonder this as well. Is there more of an accepting attitude today than say 5-10 years ago? Hmm.... I'll see if I can make some sort of correlation with that. So far, I have not seen the data playing out that way.

  5. Not to be negative Nadine but some of the partners who stay undoubtedly do so out of fear of economic uncertainty and of breaking up a family situation so while I think the numbers are more positive on the whole than we might have thought, many of these women are not doing jumping jacks upon reveal. I just put myself in the reverse scenario and it hits home all the more...just my 2 cents...xo

    1. Joanna-

      This is a super sensitive topic for many people. Especially for those that the reveal resulted in their spouse leaving. And I would agree with you, many of the women are not doing jumping jacks, but it is interesting to see that far more women are accepting of their spouses than not. It is difficult to judge what acceptance means for various people. But many of the people reported an accepting spouse. Which is surprising. Maybe the spouse isn't super excited, but acceptance is better than what many people think their spouses response will be.

  6. My situation is different to your data focus as my partner is transitioning however my experience for my group of people shows that partners do stay but it is lower than the figures you quote for the range. However there are more partners that are accepting than is believed. I have known about my partner for 16 years so have seen the world and support change. There is much more support out there for partners which I think does help and I also believe the world is a more accepting place than it used to be. It is easier to go for a drink down a pub than it ever would have been years ago so there are more 'normal' places to go to aside for the standard trans night and LBGT venues. On the flip side there are also some very angry partners and ex-partners out there to and I agree with Joanne Santos that even though partners have chosen to stay it does not mean that there is a balance in the relationship or that it can continue (I know wives that have stayed but are desperately unhappy but have no other choice. Its a hard one. I meet lots of people when Lucy and I are out and about and we do see a handful of wives out with us however they are a very small percentage and I am told many, many times that my Lucy is so very lucky to have been and that I am a rarity. This comments although anecdotal are based on their experiences.

    1. Hi Avril-

      Thanks for commenting. I totally agree that the reveal of a transitioning partner is SUPER different than the reveal of a gender variance without transition involved. I tried to specifically exclude transitioners from this survey as it is on a completely different level.

      I appreciate your contributions to this discussion as it your thoughts are super valuable!


  7. "I am still mystified why the perception is so overwhelmingly negative"

    I have a theory for you. The thrust of this seems to be oriented towards cross-dressers and the data did come from CDing is a largely "private" activity with many (most?) CD'ers staying indoors and never being seen by others so what does a wife have to lose by being "somewhat accepting"? As long as it is done in private and no one finds out why should she go? Particularly if it is infrequent and done when she is not present. She still has her husband for all to see. Her social status is not diminished in the eyes of those who might be critical.

    The horror stories of wives packing their bags and departing tend to be from MTF transsexuals - people who have every intention of being public. It is not uncommon to read an MTF saying "I came out as trans to my wife and she left me", but it is that word "trans" that causes the confusion. In this context trans = transsexual and not trans = CD. One word, two meanings.

    What really remains is "I came out and she left me" and that is a big nasty thought that drowns out all the surrounding details in the story. That is what stays with the reader and so the meme/trope is established - come out as trans and lose your wife.

    1. I totally agree with your thoughts. People hear, my wife left because I am trans, and that is all they are left with. Those who are frightened will use any evidence they want to support their own personal opinion.

      Thanks for the thoughts!

  8. I completely agree with the previous anonymous. I'm a wife and my husband is one of the private never seen types. I agree this is likely the norm as support forums I've joined had wives whose husbands were also the same. Most of us didn't see a need to divorce if our husbands continued to keep it separate from our everyday lives and put family etc first. Very few had a publicly trans spouse and those who did, the marriages mostly fell apart. Your wife is a rare one, indeed, Nadine. You're a very special couple in that way. :)

    1. Thanks for the thoughts. I kind of disagree with you. I don't think that "most" would be the right descriptor. "Some" might be more appropriate. I know that many women are not interested in having a publically transgender spouse, but FAR more women are accepting than the standard narrative dictates. If some people are to be believed then almost no wives would accept a publically TG spouse. This is just not the case. I think all too often we see what we want to see reflected in others. If we are open, we see people as being open, if we are closed, then we see people as also being closed. I think it something evolutionary that happens with us as humans. None of us want to see ourselves as outsiders. We all want to see ourselves as part of a group. Thus if we do it, others probably do the same things as well, at least that is what we tell ourselves, so that we appear to ourselves to be part of the group.

      Just my two cents!

  9. This is such a great discussion. As the genetic female fiancée of a mtf cross dresser I have been through a journey already but it's enhancing my life in ways I never would have imagined. Thanks for your unspiration! S

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I am happy that my wife and I are inspirational to you. I really like the part of what you said about it enhancing your life in ways you would have never imagined. Now that is love! Good for you!