Patty do you Take

Transgender Transitions: Reflections from the other side

Kathryn J Redman
4 min readFeb 3, 2023
Photo by the author

You can’t hate someone whose story you know.

-Margaret J. Wheatley

About a month I ago a wrote an article entitled Married and Transgender: When One Partner Transitions, the Other Does Too. A link to that article is included below.

In the responses there were several requests for Patty to write her side. What follows is Patty’s version of the story. The authorship of what follows totally belongs to Patricia Redman.

— Kathryn Redman

What can happen when your spouse writes you a note describing a condition of dysphoria that has been in the marriage since the day of your vows (in our case 22 years)? A note pouring out one’s heart, one’s fears, one’s anxiety and ones need to be the gender identity that has been for all time, hidden but wanting out.

What did happen for me was lots of what the hell questions, massive tears, throbbing headaches, loss of any appetite and a searching for answers of what it even means. It felt confusing with lots of why’s. Times of just sitting on the tile floor, rocking, and moaning. Thinking, wondering if this is real, or if it will go away (I think that is denial.) Feeling so alone, so forsaken, and so vulnerable to the future.

Kate, my partner, had done her hard part by coming out to me. Now, she was frightened and concerned for me as she watched me roaming the house in disarray and shaking with sobs.

I suppose for a few days I may have had amnesia, being that I was so shocked, mixed up, and angry. I really don’t remember much of the anger, but I know it had to be there.

Finally, we had to talk.

Kate’s letter explained to me what this dysphoria was, clarified to me how she had tried to keep herself in denial and to be the man she was portrayed to be. She kept nothing back in her letter. She described a session with her counselor bringing up the possibility of her dysphoria when she was in therapy after her prior marriage had dissolved, her wife walking out and leaving her and their 3 children. She explained the need to protect the children from being removed and put in foster care if she came out, as in the early 1990’s this is typically what happened. She thought she could just put this dysphoria behind her and be a man the rest of her life. She really tried to be the person everyone thought she should be. IT DIDN’T WORK.

By the time I was ready to talk (I really don’t know if it was a week or how long. I know I just kept re-reading her letter and walking around the house in a zombie state) Kate was ready and willing. She never wanted to hurt me or cause me pain. That is her sweet nature.

So, we began the journey of talking, hugging, sex (yes, sex), crying and then repeating the same. We hung out together and shared our honesty the best we could. It felt different but I was willing as in my heart, I knew I loved her. Kate (her preferred name now) was just as vulnerable as me. We were both doing our best. The summary I can come up with is though Kate was revealing a major difference in her gender identity to me, she was still the same person, the same character I loved, the one I had hung out with, shared good and bad times with, laughed, cried, fought with, made financial decision with and who I cherished. Being honest about her sexual identity did not change who she was, the things she loved or her dreams and desires. Truly, she just wanted to escape the anxiety and frustration of living a life that was not her true identity. She had taken a necessary step to being her unique self and was asking me to be a part of it. She was inviting me to listen and hopefully be willing to stay the course of our commitment to each other. For me, I asked myself, “why would I refuse when we promised that to each other on our wedding day, to hold and to cherish from this day forward. Her note to me may have felt bewildering and awkward but the possibilities of our promises to each other making us stronger and better people for us and the world was what made me forge through the feelings and hurdles we would have to face together and separately.



Kathryn J Redman

Finally living my life at peace with myself and my world!