This is the story of a couple caught in the turmoil of modern-day sexual behavior. Richard Giles, a teacher at a local junior college, felt that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body. He and his wife Anne were caring, loving people. They had two children of their own, and a number of other adopted children from various parts of the world. I first met them 35 years ago, when they were known as Anne and Richard.
They have been married 50 years and are now known as Anne and Diane. They have accepted the challenge of leading new and meaningful lives in a world not totally accepting of their approach.I went to school with several of the Giles children. There were ten altogether. Eight of their children were adopted, with special needs, and/or from third world countries.
I met Richard again at the local junior college where he was a math professor. Imagine my surprise when Richard came on campus, walking through the quad dressed as a woman. With the blessing of his wife Anne, Richard had become Diane. Diane finished that semester and then retired.
During my interview, Diane told me that during her last semester of teaching, she felt she was the best teacher she had ever been. She explained that, before the changeover, the stress of hiding and feeling like a fraud consumed her. When she finally came out as Diane, she could feel free and happy. Leading up to the changeover, Anne had been aware of Richard’s desire to wear women’s clothing. In fact, he had been wearing a nightgown for years.
What she didn’t realize was the extent of his feelings. Richard told her how painful he felt–a woman trapped in a man’s body. Anne also noticed that Richard often suffered from mood changes, quickly becoming angry even over minor problems. Looking for a solution, Anne told her mate that she supported his desire to make a major life-change, and would provide him with all the support she could muster.
She showed him how to apply makeup, helped him pick dresses that were flattering, and pushed him to release the person that he had hidden through his lifetime.Diane explained to me that in her worse moments she had contemplated suicide. He credited Anne’s intuition and encouragement with saving her life. Anne’s unyielding love and support helped Diane become the beautiful soul she is today.