By Rikki Dubois

In June of 2010, I left the marital home in which I had lived as a man with my wife, our children and my dog, Scout. This was a hard thing for me because I had been with that woman for 24 years and she was my best friend. However, in spite of the fact that I love them all very much, in order for me to live, I had to leave all four behind to start my new life as the woman I am.

It is a hard thing, when you start anew by yourself, but sometimes the universe decides that it is time for you to turn the page and start a new chapter in your life. In other words, like the old saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens.

What happened for me is I met a woman who would later become my common-law partner. She knew who I was when we met and she was okay with it. It happened innocently enough; we met on Facebook. We had a mutual friend who posted something on her page, to which I replied. My future partner replied to my reply and then I replied to hers. Before we knew it, we were chatting on our friend’s Facebook post. This chatting soon led to coffee.

Rikki1.jpgWe met and knew right away there was something there. It wasn’t a spark or sexual tension, but it was more like camaraderie. Some people may call it a meeting of soul mates, but I find that term overused and clichéd. I would prefer to say it felt like we’ve known each other forever. It turns out that we have a lot in common; we were born in the same year, we were raised French-Canadian Catholics and the women who raised us were very hard on us, whereas our fathers were so similar that if they knew each other back in the day, they would have been friends. That first meeting shortly led to a relationship that eventually led to us moving in together in March 2011.

At the time that we bought our first home together, it was more of a financial decision, but neither one of us has ever regretted it. Two and a half years later, we bought our second home and, two years following that, we bought our third and, hopefully, final home. Each home we bought was an improvement to the one we left and we are now very happy in the one we have.

We are a family of three, including our seven year old Pomeranian named Tux. But, between us, we have six children. My two boys are younger and all four of her boys have significant others, so when we get together for holiday suppers, it is quite a group of people.

The changes I had to go through to be comfortable with myself were very hard, but having her support me, hold my hand and wipe my tears when I’m having a bad day and to listen to me vent or talk about the difficult issues, has made my transition easier than it could have been.

She is my partner, my confidant, my everything. We laugh and cry together. We take walks and watch TV and movies together. She is my best friend.

Thank you Charlene for being in my life and for helping me grow. I love you.

 Rikki Dubois is a transgendered writer from Winnipeg, Man. She has two sons in university and is living with her partner, Charlene, and their black Pomeranian named Tux. Her book Muffy was Fluffy helps children understand what it means to be transgendered. Because she has suffered a lot through her life, Rikki is available to help those who have questions about gender dysphoria and other gender related issues. Find her and her work on her website.