It’s been over five years since my wife died, and my world changed forever. The person who I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with went away, never to return.

My wife knew all about me, the wanting to dress as a woman, and she accommodated me as much as she could, but she found it difficult. It wasn’t until the last few years of her life that she could go out with me as my alter ego. Perhaps, she realised she needed to allow me the space to grow, because she knew we didn’t have much time left together. She succumbed to cancer and passed in February 2015.

Nearly a year went by with lots of grief, lots of upset and new routines to adapt to as a single parent of two.  I had sleepless nights, went to counseling, but struggled on; I had to.  My alter ego was locked away. I couldn’t do this on my own; I had spent so long waiting for my wife to say it was ok that now I couldn’t do it, just for myself. It was another thing I was trying to cope with; a minor thing compared to losing her.

Then through a widows group I was in, I met someone. It’s a long story that I won’t bore you with. Suffice to say, that when we found out we liked each other, through the FB Admin doing a ‘Blind Date’ post (don’t ask), we started talking that first night. One of the first things to come up was my alter ego.

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I had at work, done a charity thing, and dressed up for the day, many years ago. It had been done with my wife’s help, as if I was being made to do it, under duress as it were, but my wife and I knew different.  Anyway, I had posted on FB pictures of the day, and my partner to be asked, “Do you often dress as a woman?”

I had a choice to make. My wife, only after we had married, found out about who I was. I didn’t want that to happen again. So I said, “Actually I do. I am a cross dresser.” She seemed ok with it. When we got together, and she came to my home, the first thing I did was show her my wardrobe.  In it were three sets of clothes, mine, my wife’s (that took a long time to be packed away), and my alter egos.

We are still together; being who I am didn’t change a thing, although it did take about 18 months before she finally came to terms with the fact that this was not just me wanting to wear women’s knickers. Together, we decided to choose a new name for me – Maria.

I came out to my widow’s group. It went from 10 people, family and friends knowing about my secret to 400 FB friends knowing a new me. I spoke with HR about myself, and with their help told the company who I was. Not long after, I was spending time at work as Maria.

Then four months ago, restructuring took place, and I was made redundant after nearly 30yrs. I have found a new job, and while I interviewed as my male self, I asked about being able to work as Maria. When I got the job, I was given two ID cards – one for him, and one for me.  In the first two months, I’ve only been him the first two days.

Since the moment that we chose my new name, I also realised that I’m not just a crossdresser I am trans. My partner helped me to realise that I’m happier as Maria. Within the last three years, I’ve come out to my widows’ groups, gone from a scared person worried what the neighbors might say, to going out on the town and living 24/7 as Maria.

I am confident in who I am, fuss about my styling, but pretty much know how I want to be and WHO I want to be. The next stage is to look into how to live permanently as Maria, what my options are and what issues are going to arise as I take the next step.

I have friends, family, and a wonderful partner by my side. She loves me no matter what. I have discovered an important fact since becoming a widow. Call it a Widows Mantra, if you will – You have only one life to live.  So live it to the fullest.

That’s what I intend to do. And you should, too.

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    Maria McDonald

    I am a middle aged widower in a new, very supportive relationship, with a woman who loves me for who I am. I have been a cross dresser since I was a teenager but stayed, in the main, 'closeted' at home. My wife did support me but she was worried about 'What the neighbours would say'. After she died and I met my new partner I learnt the widow mantra "You've only got one life to lead so live it" I came out to my widow group in May 2017 and at work in the November. I wear what I like when I want to, the neighbours have seen me and no one has exploded or has run me out of my home, so I'm happier than I ever have been.

    Latest posts by Maria McDonald (see all)

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    Active Member
    3 years ago

    Maria, an inspirational story for sure. I have lost my wife of, would be 29 years, in 2017. I have been learning a lot about myself in that time. Still miss her, but I am excited to find myself. Thank you for sharing and letting me know that it can be done. You do look so happy and content and pretty in that picture.


    Victoria Abbott
    Victoria Abbott
    3 years ago
    Reply to  JaiymeLynne

    I lost my wife in 2017 also, we were married for over 51 years.

    Active Member
    3 years ago

    Victoria, so sorry to hear that. hugs to you.

    Fun Pics
    3 years ago

    You are truly an inspiration to many out there. It is so nice that you have found another wonderful lady who accepts you for who you are but also a new company willing to accommodate you. Well done and i hope you keep us all informed of your progress on a regular basis.

    T.J. Byron
    3 years ago

    Dear, love your Purple dress in your picture& you look Beautiful in it!
    At 74 in October, I have been out in public since the 1960’s. I love to doll up and go out with girlfriends for a bite or shop.
    Love to chat about CDing, so hit me up.
    Also check out my gallery photos.
    Dr. T.J.

    Ronda Francine
    3 years ago

    I lost my wife last year, it was our 50th year being married, she also knew about Ronda. I’m retired and living, most of the time, as Ronda. I do miss her very much and will be joining a widow’s support group soon. I also came out to my doctor last year and am now pursuing transgender therapy. By the way I love your outfit, purple is my favorite color.
    Ronda Francine

    Amy Myers
    Noble Member
    3 years ago

    That is a very sad, yet ultimately happy story. Very inspiring for those who have recently lost a spouse, that there is the possibility of happiness in the future.
    Thank you very much for sharing it with us.

    skippy1965 Cynthia
    Trusted Member
    3 years ago

    Congrats Maria! I’m still figuring out my final destination but enjoying the journey of exploration in the meantime!

    Trusted Member
    3 years ago

    Beautifully stated Maria, thank you for this article dear

    n huggles

    Arlene Monroe
    Active Member
    3 years ago

    You are lovely and beautiful woman now in heart AND appearance. I bet your late wife would be proud of the woman you have become. Much luck and happiness in your new life.

    Patricia Marie Allen
    Active Member
    3 years ago

    Amen to that sister. My wife of 51 years has know about me for the last 46. It was quite a shock to her, but she hung in and now accepts that I’m trans, even if she isn’t enthusiastic about it. She’s only three times been out with me as me. Each time she was severely uncomfortable when we set out, but calmed down once we got there. I only have one photo of those times. It was taken at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. You can see it here. Even with her reluctance, I consider me one of the most… Read more »

    Holly Morris
    Holly Morris
    1 year ago

    Maria, thank you for sharing this with us. It’s wonderful that you have found a new partner who loves and supports you!


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