By Josh Saunders
A transgender US Navy Veteran trapped in the wrong body for over four decades transitions from husband to wife after partner mistakes mystery female clothing for an affair.
Christyna Appleton, 45, from Danielson, Connecticut, USA, felt from the age of six that she should have been born a girl but spent nearly half a century suppressing her feelings from herself and the world.
She donned a masculine guise, while living as Christopher, to avoid being called offensive names like ‘faggot’, ‘sissy’ and ‘fairy boy’ and to stop herself from continuously being beaten up.
To blend in further, she joined the US Navy as a chef on submarines, but always felt uncomfortable in her own skin.
She hated her own male aesthetics and genetics, even learning to shave without looking in the mirror and detesting her masculine odour.
Despite feeling happy to have her soulmate Marion, who she married seven-years-ago, she realised she was living in the wrong body and experimented with women’s clothing last year.
Two weeks after trying on the pants (trousers) and top, Marion discovered the female clothing and at first feared her husband was having an affair.
Marion, 50, who runs a home-based clothing line, said: “In the draw was a pair of pants and a shirt that didn’t belong to me, they were too small and not mine.
“I saw them as Christopher rushed into the room behind me, I asked him if he was cheating on me and angrily threw the clothes at him, asking who they belonged to.
“Christopher ran out of the room and I followed, I couldn’t let him get away without answering my questions, so many things were racing through my mind.
“In my head, my soulmate was cheating on me, it couldn’t happen to me or to us because we were so happy.
“After a few minutes of staring Chris admitted they were his and giggled, I thought he was joking and told him if they were his he had to wear them, still not believing him.
“He put them on and the clothes fit better on him than I’d ever seen clothes fit anyone, I remember falling and crying hysterically on the floor.”
At first Marion struggled to come to terms with her husband confession and sought therapy finding it hard to believe the man she loved was a woman trapped in the wrong body.
Christyna, a cook supervisor, said: “After she found the clothes I was scared, I didn’t know how to tell the woman I love that I was transgender and that I had been a woman all my life.
“It took a while to sink in, I couldn’t sleep for fear I had flushed my marriage down the toilet.
“I hoped she would be able to accept me for who I am, but I knew it would be difficult, I was scared because I love Marion, she’s my everything.
“With her I was the happiest I’d ever been, but I always felt sad until wearing women’s clothing, I had this ‘aha moment’ that made me realise who I was supposed to be.
“It felt more natural to me than I ever have during my entire life growing up, I that it wasn’t something I could bury again, I knew if I did I would end up harming myself.”
After acclimatising to the situation, Marion started to support her partner, recognising how unhappy she was while living as a man.
Marion said: “From that point Christopher was gone and Christyna was here to stay, I could see it every time she dressed as herself, she was so happy, bubbly and cute.
“When she put back on her ‘Christopher clothes’ I could see they were holding her down and dragging her back, it made me sad not to see her comfortable in who she is.”
Christyna gradually began wearing women’s clothing more frequently until publicly announcing her new name and living full-time in her long-desired gender in September.
She has been on feminising hormones to soften her facial features for a year now but has no plans for surgery.
Christyna said: “I knew that for Marion seeing me in women’s clothing and makeup would hurt her and I didn’t want that, I remember the sadness in her face and felt horrible.
“I am going to stay on hormones for a while, altering my facial appearance will change through that, I want to passable.
“I think I’m fairly passable as a female, I don’t think people look at me and think she was born a man, they may question it but not know what gender I was born.”
In further support of her wife, Marion posted a picture online showing them both on their wedding day and now to highlight how much happier they both are.
Christyna said: “When I look back at one picture I remember how happy I was, it was a very fond memory but there was an underlying sadness there.
“You can see looking at the pictures how my smiles are different in each picture, in the newer one you can see both of our transformations.
“For me I was becoming who I was always meant to be and Marion who she was meant to be too as someone that is happier and healthier after losing 140lb (10 stone).
“When I came out to Marion I told her if she couldn’t deal with it I would understand, I told her I would always love her but would accept it if she hated me.
“Thankfully it’s been very positive, I didn’t expect her to be accepting straight away, I knew it would take a while to get used to as this is a big thing.”
They both wants to show others out there, that a partner coming out as transgender need not end a marriage and can in fact make a couple happier and stronger.
Marion added: “I’m very proud of her, I posted our before and after picture not only to show where we are but how far she has come too, the difference internally and externally for her.
“I can see it in her smile, even though he was happy on our wedding day, she is much happier now and I want her to know that I am proud of her.
“We both want to show there is a positive side to finding your spouse is transgender, that it can work and with honest and communication you can both be happy.”