A couples’ 5th anniversary is a milestone in itself, but the one my partner and I celebrated this past September was more than your average yearly observance. Although we were married man and wife, today we live as a lesbian couple for I am a transgender woman.

Like many we met in college. We fell in love during a class retreat to Sicily, sharing our first kiss while watching the sun rise on the final day of the trip. After a four year courtship we married during the fall of 2006, surrounded by family and friends. However, it wasn’t long before my depression infiltrated our relationship. During the summer of 2009, nearly three years into our marriage I approached my wife with this personal torment I carried for 25 years, one that would surely be a death sentence to our relationship. I needed to transition.

Like most, I thought she would surely call me a monster or file a divorce that very night, but she did neither. Instead she held my hand as we talked about our future. Despite disapproving stares and whispers she stood by my side during the next three years of my transition. Even now, living full time as a woman, she continues to hold my hand. People say love knows no bounds but rarely experience it. On September 9, 2011 I celebrated an anniversary I thought would never happen in a life I never could have imagined with a partner whose love is truly unconditional. Rebecca and Kim Raleigh