“What are you doing?” Her mother’s pronouncement made Steph jump. Quickly, Steph tabbed out of the site she was looking at and called up a spreadsheet with next month’s finances. “Nothing interesting.” She prayed her mother hadn’t seen the LGBTQA site she had been looking at. “Thanks.”
Her mother placed a coffee down in front of her. “All adding up? I can help out a bit if you like?”
“We’re alright next month. I’ve got some agency work coming in and Nick’s wages cover all our bills.” She sighed. Nick had a reasonable job, but the one wage made things tight, but when they got married they had both agreed that the children shouldn’t go to school. Home education was something she’d been set on since the start of the marriage. Long before they’d even had children.
There was a parp from a car outside.
“That’s for me. Don’t wait up.” Steph’s mother swanned out of the room and closed the door.
To make sure nobody else was looking Steph went to the living room door. Jake was outside playing with his mates. Ellie wouldn’t come out of her room unless she was forced to by the apocalypse. “Luke?”
“Mum?” His shout came from the kitchen.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m making my Excalibur extra suped up. I’ve heard bicarbonate of soda and vinegar can really make it fizz. I’m trying to find a way to encase it so it’ll release when I’m fighting Beelzebub.”
“Does he go to the home ed group?” With that particular group of people it was highly possible. There had been a Lucifer or two and a Lilith. And she’d misread little Stan’s name as Satan for a couple of weeks.
“No, Mum. He’s the devil. Summer says he’s in the bible. She called Jake it last week. He’s one of the big bads. She says I’m one of the big goods in the bible so I have to fight Beelzebub.”
Summer’s family were religious.
“OK, honey, there’s doughnuts and pink milk in the fridge if you want.”
There would be a mess to clean up later but he would be busy for a time and she could get back to surfing the net. She went back and sat in front of her computer.
My husband is trans. He is becoming she. I’m not angry. I don’t mind he wants to be a she but I keep putting my foot in it and if I want to help her I need to understand better. I would like to talk to a man or woman in a similar position.
She clicked send and posted it on the LGBTQA and allies group. Every forum she had found and wandered on to seemed to be full of angry bitter spouses. She wasn’t angry, she wasn’t bitter and she was damn well going to fight for her marriage. Three times she’d been called brave as she attempted to ask questions and been treated as though she should have been more hurt that Nick was becoming someone else.
A bing alerted her to a response.
Response: You need to get a divorce. You have to let him be free to discover himself. Do you have children?
This was a supportive site. Maybe they knew something she didn’t. She didn’t want a divorce.
She typed: Three.
She went back to general surfing, and sipped her now cold coffee. This time the bing came quicker than she’d been prepared for. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and went back to read it.
Response: He can’t be a good father once he’s a woman. It’s against nature. You and the children need to forget him and let him be himself.
Anger drove her response this time. She was angry this no mark had called Nick him. She was furious about the slight on her husband. She was also sure this jerk was wrong.
She Typed: My husband is a good man and she is becoming a good woman. She will be an exceptional parent no matter what her gender.. All I want is to understand.
Other comments followed, but none seemed to understand what she was asking for. Some were kindly and suggested she try the web, as though she was as incapable of trying Google. Another suggestion was to try their local LGBTQ group was lovely but small and limited. The only other transwoman travelled miles to get there.
All she really wanted was another woman or man in the same position whose partner was transitioning and who could tell her what was going on in Nick’s head, because Nick didn’t seem to be able to tell her that. He’d never been good at expressing his thoughts and feelings, but she now needed him to.
"Best Possible Taste" is very loosely based on real life events.