What Happens When a Quiverfull Dad Becomes a Woman?

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The Quiverfull movement is an extreme Christian fundamentalist subculture that bans all birth control and encourages women to have as many children as possible. As such, you might not think that the story of a Quiverfull dad confiding in his wife that he wanted to switch sexes and begin living as a woman would end badly. In this case, at least, you'd be wrong.


The surprisingly sweet story begins with a woman named Melissa having a traditional courtship with her future husband. In this case, by "traditional," I mean "completely chaste and completely under parental supervision." When the two married, they'd never been intimate with anyone, and they lived the "traditional" lifestyle of a married couple in the Quiverfull movement — she stayed home with the kids, he went off to a Christian seminary to study to be a minister, and together, they hoped to start a church for people who home schooled their kids.

But after awhile things, as things tend to do, got more complicated. Melissa's husband began sporadically confessing to having seen "bad stuff" on the internet. And one day, they watched an episode of Tyra together featuring a transgender fashion show, her husband seemed curiously knowledgable about the vocabulary and lingo of the participants. Some time later, Melissa's husband confessed that he had been reading a lot about transsexual people on the internet, and that he felt like he might be a "transsexual"; he'd always felt like he was born in the wrong body, had mourned not being able to be a mother, and coveted his sisters' long hair when he was young.

The two talked, and talked, and talked, and talked about what to do about her husband's dilemma. At this point, he was an ordained pastor and they had three children. She talked to a priest, who dismissed her husband's problem as a sexual disorder (he was an aggressive gay! He just wanted his own vagina to play with!) and she consulted the internet, discovering that her brand of Christianity believed that being transgender was caused by childhood trauma. Her husband had no such problem.

Instead of quashing his desire to present in a more feminine way, Melissa encouraged her husband to be the person he felt he should be. He grew his hair long, began working out, and began dressing differently. Meanwhile! Melissa realized that she'd always been sexually attracted to women, and that her husband's gender had no effect on the fact that she loved him. And also meanwhile! Church leaders noticed that her husband was carrying a purse around and wearing eyeliner and acting more feminine, which they attributed to satanic intervention. Melissa was over dudes, Melissa's husband was over being a dude, the church was over both of them, and they were over the church.

After much trepidation, Melissa's husband decided to begin living as a woman. And because Melissa is attracted to women and loves her spouse, they stayed together and Melissa came out as a lesbian and the two left the church. Melissa's spouse is now in beauty school, which she always wanted to do. Melissa's going to college, which is something she always wanted. Their four kids call The Artist Formerly Known as "Dad" "Dee" instead, and everyone's happy. Melissa and Dee are active in their local LGBTQ community.

Now if that's not a heartwarming Rom Com, I don't know what is.

[Musings of a Young Mom]

Image via Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.


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I heard 5 different transsexual people (some were post-op, some had halted the process) and though that's not exactly a good sample of the population, they all lived in Texas and none of them experienced any discrimination from their workplaces or friends. Since then, I've always wondered if it's easier for people to accept transsexualism because it's perceived as going from one gender to another, whereas homosexuality is perceived as being more of an amalgamation of gender (you can still be a man who "acts feminine" —not my opinion, but common among the masses) so it's less acceptable.

But to the point of this article: So sweet. I'm so happy to hear that this family sort of defied the odds in every way and supports each other.