VI AND I got married in Vegas, officiated by a sweaty man in a tracksuit who had also married Jon Bon Jovi. I wore a pink vinyl ball gown and carried plastic flowers, and we cried when we were pronounced "man and wife." Then we went back to our swanky hotel and watched Bride of Chucky. Pretty perfect.
It turns out that for the wedding, and for the next seven years, and for her whole life beforehand, Vi had been wearing the wrong body. She'd tried real hard to live in this wrong boy body, but she had to get well or she was gonna die of this lie she was wearing, and would I still love her? Of course I said yes, and then I had a quiet nervous breakdown.
The thing is, at some point when you've been romantic with someone for a long time, you will find out something that surprises you. Maybe they're a closet Korn fan or they really like golf (shudder). Or maybe they're wearing the wrong skin, and it's then that you have to decide: Do I love them or the skin they're in? I chose Vi, and my husband became my wife.
I told my parents about Vi and me because they were gonna visit and it was either that or feign death (which, if I were smarter and could've pulled off, I would have). Telling my parents meant having this conversation with my mother:
"Your father wants to know if now that Vi is a lady, you're becoming a man."
"No. I look like an elf and I like Jane Austen. I would be an awful little man."
"Oh. Well. He's 80, you know. He's doing his best. I don't know why you kept this from us for so long. Were you just hoping we'd die before you'd ever have to tell us?"
"Yes, actually, I was. But that plan fell through and now here we are."
"Oh, honey. Are you two still intimate?"
"Yes, Mother. And, no, I'm not telling you nothing. If you need specifics about lady loving, you're gonna have to download porn like the rest of us."
After the initial drama, Vi and I are better and closer and happier than we were. The only real crap is other people. Which comes as no surprise, I guess. We've always believed most people are rat-bastards and phonies and the world is circling the drain toward the inevitable terrible end times. We have what marriage counselors call a firm philosophical foundation. Our sense of doom is a bond. But it's one thing to believe that and another thing to have it shoved into your face when you're just trying to buy a bag of kitty litter. People gawk at us, yell at us from cars, ram their strollers into telephone poles. You get tired of it. Okay, you don't get tired of people ramming their strollers into telephone poles. That's funny every time. But, yes: Ignorant people will suck the fun out of a trip to the gun shop, and that's a shame.
In the end, it doesn't really matter though. I mean, I'll fight for transgender rights and call out a bitch for using the term "tranny" (seriously, stop it), but day-to-day, we are as happy as clams. Like I like to say to Vi, "Who wouldn't be happy with such a sexy little Hot Pocket waiting at home?" To which she answers, "Don't call me a Hot Pocket. That's not romantic. Nobody likes being called a Hot Pocket." But she's just being coy. Everybody loves Hot Pockets.