DANIELLE SKIDMORE

 AUSTIN, TX

DANIELLE :  “Peter and I go for runs a lot. We have always kind of gotten looks from strangers but now that I have been on hormones for six months we can’t really tell who is the one being looked at! Either way, we’ve never cared. We love our runs.

 

I came out to Peter a year ago. My wife had asked me the same question she had asked me for years – kind of like a life coach. She’d say, “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” I never had a real answer for that and, last April or May I was just finally at a point where I said, “Well if I am being honest, it’s transition.”

 

I lied down next to Peter one night and told him everything. He’s got a rare genetic disorder that both his mother and I were unknowingly carriers for and due to the type of brain injury he had; he’s nonverbal.

 

(Talking to Peter) (smiling): But your receptive language is really good, right? You understand everything!

 

And well, he’s such a flirt, when I told him he just looked at me and smiled.

 

He’s noticed changes, I knew my transition had to be pretty visible.  Every now and then he’ll just give me this look and kind of curl up his lip. He can tell.

 

I wasn’t going to go lay low for a while and then turn up like a butterfly or whatever people have you believe. I knew that I would have to be visible in my transition. Thankfully, I have a really great community here. That really helps. When I started connecting with others I realized the tapestries of our stories are so unique. Once you acknowledge this understanding it actually makes you kind of change the stigmas around things people tell you and what you tell yourself about being transgender.

 

When there are times when all this gets really scary, I go running with him and it helps. Peter’s acceptance has been huge. I am probably alive because of Peter and he has been my strength through this too.”