A woman has revealed she had a 'three-day panic attack' before telling her wife she was transgender after 11 years of marriage.
Tea-Lynn Van Dyk, 36, first came out to wife, Gabrielle, 35, in December 2019, and their two daughters shortly after that, admitting she thought they would end up getting a divorce.
"When I first told her I assumed she would be gone, I assumed we would get a divorce because it's a lot for some people," Tea-Lynn said.
"I couldn't imagine my life without her. Now, I feel like I can love her to the full extent that I do, which is fiercely and wildly.
"I feel like finally there's no barrier between us."
Tea-Lynn started her hormonal transition in April 2020, following consultations with her doctor and speaking to a therapist about her feelings and experiences.
Their youngest daughter, Adelaide, 6, was immediately open to having another mum, and often corrected other members of their extended family who misgendered her.
Arya, 7, took around two weeks to accept the change, due her anxiety around Tea-Lynn leaving and being apart from her.
"Now I'm Mommy and Gabrielle is Mama. Adelaide was a super supporter from day zero," Tea-Lynn said.
"She's the kind of person where, if someone was being transphobic to me out on the street she would be in their face.
"And with Adelaide I just had to reassure her that I wasn't going anywhere, and that I would always love her, and she's been wonderful ever since."
Gabrielle was very calm when Tea-Lynn first came out, and suggested she see a therapist to help her with her transition.
She claims there were definitely some telling signs that Tea-Lynn wanted to express herself differently, including when Tea-Lynn admitted she had been dressing up in Gabrielle's clothes.
"She had hinted that she was dressing up in some of my clothes, so it wasn't completely out of nowhere, I had that in the back of my mind," Gabrielle said.
"When she first told me I was like OK, let's talk about this and see how is this going to work for us.
"She still likes the same things, she laughs at the same type of humour, so in my mind she's still the same person and it doesn't matter that she's dressing feminine or changing her name.
"I think because that's how I'm looking at the whole thing, that has allowed this to be successful."
Tea-Lynn has also come out to her family and friends, who have been largely supportive, though she has had to cut some family off.
"I'm so blessed and lucky to have people in my life who recognise this transition is about me realising my own happiness, and they are happy for me," she said.
"I have had to cut some family off who were not supportive, and I've lost a few friends, but on the whole my transition has been overwhelmingly full of love and support and I am extremely thankful."
Overall she feels so much happier.
"The physical changes have been wonderful, but there's also a kind of mental clarity," she said.
"Before I transitioned there was a mental fog of just confusion and sadness and depression, and being on these hormones have lifted that.
"I have laughed to tears more in the last 16 months than I had in the 35 years I was on earth before I started.
"It's amazing to finally really feel."
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