“My wife was always my wife, even when I didn’t know it.”
An LGBT activist and writer, whose daughter and spouse both came out as transgender within a few months of each other, explained to her thousands of social media followers that the “husband” she thought she married was in fact never her husband – and was always her wife.
WATCH: Cardi B Strikes Blow for Feminism With ‘Half Naked’ Twerking Party on a Yacht
“Psst! I never had a husband. I was married to someone I *thought* was my husband,” Amanda Jette Knox, a gay mother of four, tweeted Thursday morning. “Language is important when we talk about trans people. My wife was always my wife, even when I didn’t know it. How the world saw her and who she is are two separate things.”
Psst! I never had a husband. I was married to someone I *thought* was my husband.
Language is important when we talk about trans people. My wife was always my wife, even when I didn’t know it. How the world saw her and who she is are two separate things.
— Amanda Jette Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) March 21, 2019
Knox is described on her website as “an award-winning writer, human rights advocate and public speaker.” She writes extensively of the experience of having both her “husband” and “son” come out as transgender.
Knox’s middle child came out as a transgender girl in 2014. “This is Alexis. She is 12 and sweet and funny and way smarter than me. Like, way smarter,” Knox wrote in a 2015 blog post announcing the coming out of her daughter. Alexis, encouraged by her mother’s pro-LGBT advocacy “on the internet, on radio and in magazines,” expressed her desire to serve as an example “for the kids who don’t have as much support as she does.”
According to Knox, she agonized over whether to publicize her daughter’s transition, fearful of the reaction from “hateful people and groups who make it their mission to harass, threaten, or even harm members of the LGBT community.”
WATCH: The Feminist Porn Mom’s Made for Their Kids
After examining her feelings and boiling down the reason “people aren’t always supportive of trans rights” to ignorance, Knox decided to allow Alexis to go public with her transition in a bid to normalize her family’s lifestyle and push for transgender rights.
“Let my daughter advocate for herself and her right to use public women’s washrooms. Let her teach the world that gender is what’s between your ears, not your legs,” she wrote.
Knox’s spouse, inspired by Alexis’ example, transitioned only a few months later. In a March 2016 blog post, Knox described her wife Zoe’s coming out, which occurred during a tense discussion on the ride home from a coffee shop date.
After Zoe denied being gay, Knox serendipitously arrived at the crux of the unhappiness that “had put a wedge” between the couple for years.
“And then I just threw it out there,” Knox wrote in the blog post. “I still can’t tell you why. ‘So, do you want to be a woman or something?'” When Zoe replied with silence, Knox “suddenly” knew.
“The life I knew – the life I had with my husband – died that night,” she wrote. And while Knox initially felt devastated and “betrayed,” she is now fully supportive of her wife’s gender identity and claims the couple is happier than ever.
In the blog post, Knox anticipated and dismissed any negative reactions to her spouse’s coming out, citing her superlative authority on “gender issues.”
“So unless you’re coming at this with at least as much knowledge as I now have, I’m probably not going to pay your negativity much mind,” she wrote.
Knox’s story, and her exhortation to her followers to mind the importance of language, highlights the complexity of changing societal norms brought on by increasing awareness of transgender issues. A debate over the use of transgender individuals’ preferred pronouns has been a fraught one, with many on the LGBT side accusing conservatives and so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminists of bigotry for their refusal to capitulate.
WATCH: Jordan Peterson Clashes With Feminist Australian MP over Female Representation in Government