I Now Pronounce You…. ?

Queerly beloved… we are gathered here today to witness the joining of this gender non-conforming transmasculine individual and this woman…. 

A long time friend and reader, Dru, posed this question to me in a Facebook chat:

What does one call their transmasculine partner? I dislike “wife”, “husband” confuses people and doesn’t feel exactly right, spouse seems generic as does mate. We joke I am a husbutch lol but I am curious what other folx say.

We pondered that for a moment, I responded:

so far ‘wife’ doesn’t cause a big negative reaction for me
I like the queering of it
since I don’t look very wifely
being called husband is both queer and not.. depending on whether I’m passing

Dru isn’t as fond of wife, but recognized the political impact for their Femme identified partner, saying you have a wife makes her much more identifiable as queer.


I would be happy with 2 entirely new words…lol
She uses husbutch affectionately…but it seems to fall flat in front of most, leaving confused looks

With four additional states hopefully about to open themselves up to queer marriages, there are many more of us transmasculine types looking at the possibility of marrying someone in a queer way.  Are we husbands, wives, partners, spouses, husbutches, or something else entirely?  This is really a lot like the search for a good non-binary set of pronouns — wanting something recognizable and easy for others to adopt, but facing a dearth of options that feel right.

Dru and I want to know what you think.  Are you transmasculine and/or non-binary and considering (or in a) marriage?  What do you call your role in the relationship?  Are you the partner of someone who is non-binary?  What word do you, or would you like to, use?

I’ve been visualizing my wedding day, hopefully coming next September, and imagining being called a wife.  Then imagining being called a husband.  I would love to be called a husband, actually, but I don’t know if my going-to-be wife will agree.  Being called a wife feels like a lovely opportunity to queer that word and the institution of marriage.  But so does being called a husband. Hmm… I’m undecided.


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