Housewife: Home-remaking in a Transgender Marriage

Most of the book is a ramble — if you like personal blogs, you’ll like this. I love personal blogs, and I’m always fascinated by how other people feel and think, so I enjoyed it. But one line really struck me and has continued to resonate with me.  In the beginning of the book, when Fred is just beginning to become Seda, he’s asking his wife Kristin about her clothes and jewelry.  Kristin tells him that being a woman isn’t about wearing nice things, it’s about constantly putting others first. It’s about doing the 10,000 invisible things that let her husband concentrate on his one job, and then she says:

“It’s not possible for you to be a woman…. If you were, you could live with this and not make any outward changes. You would just be who you are on the inside to hold our family together. For us.”

If he were really a woman, she says, he wouldn’t upend everyone else’s security and stability to live his best life. That just stuck with me, all the invisible things we woman do and all the ways that we take care of others’ needs. A husband — even a husband who considers his wife his equal — depends on this invisible wife work every time he asks “Honey, where are my shoes?” or “We’re out of shampoo!”

Kristin has been doing this for her husband when he decides to begin his transition, and throughout the book, that’s what she continues to do, putting her kids and her husband-turned-wife and her boyfriends and her extended group of friends and family (even the ones who are offended and upset by Fred’s transition to Seda) first. The whole book is raw and honest, and by the end of this, I just wanted to shake everyone around her. DON’T YOU GUYS SEE WHAT SHE’S DOING FOR YOU!?!?!? Do you see all this invisible household work? Someone is doing it all, for you.

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