A Significant Other View
by Julie Freeman
This article is reprinted here with permission from DEVIL WOMAN, the Diablo Valley Girls newsletter. Ms Freeman is the wife of a crossdresser. She can be reached at Julie39@comcast.net
As a child, I was no stranger to danger. My parents, very outspoken, felt it their duty to make certain that we children understood what it is like to walk a picket line, to participate in a sit-in, boycott an industry, march down Main Street in protest of some action they found unconscionable, etc. It is then not unexpected that at one point I was shunned by neighborhood children who found my parents' politics not to their liking. I, being quite young, did not understand at all why my friends deserted me. I only knew that it hurt. It was also not unexpected to find that we were forced to move across the country because my father was unable to find a job that not only met his needs but also could support us.
So as I grew older, I found myself shying away from any public display. I preferred to remain in the background and avoided confrontations and demonstrations very evident on my college campus in the 60's, somewhat to my parents' dismay, who I think felt torn between their desire to keep me safe and their desire to see me protesting that which should be protested.
So when I found out years later about my husband's crossdressing, my desire not to march down Main Street was still very intact. I found myself admiring those wives and significant others who had no problem venturing out at night with their crossdressed spouses. I could not help wondering what would happen if they ran across someone not so understanding about alternative lifestyles, someone like those individuals that Matthew Shepard encountered. Fear then and now has always been a factor in my behavior.
Although all of us in the gender community have been aware of the violence towards the transgendered, many of us were not really aware of the depth of some of this violence in certain areas of the country until the untimely death of Matthew Shepard and the special on A & E on transgendered behavior. Many of us believed or hoped that violence was waning; we wanted to believe our crossdressing husbands when they tell us there is nothing to fear when they go out, that violence is a thing of the past.
And for those of us who are more cautious than rash, more prone to safety than to risk, we now find ourselves once again worrying when our spouses go out, especially when they participate in parades, marches, etc.
I will always admire those who are in the forefront, those who believe that outreach is vital and necessary, those who in spite of threats continue to press for what they believe in. They are the true heroes!