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Marni Panas grew up in a practicing Catholic household so her upbringing was filled with doubt and guilt regarding her gender issues. In that regard I can strongly relate to her personal struggle.

In this article she says:

“You know from an early age if someone were to find out it would be awful. You get good at keeping a secret. You get good at being alone.” At 25 and still living as a man, she met her future wife, Laurina. About a month into their relationship, Panas told Laurina her truth. “Anyone would be lucky in life to have a partner who makes you believe you can be better, makes you believe you can do more. Laurina has been that gift to me all along.”

That her marriage has managed to survive against the odds is an amazing thing which cannot be downplayed.

I have seen Marni on YouTube videos for transgender causes and being interviewed alone and she is charming, confident and a strong and public advocate for transgender rights in deeply conservative Alberta....


  1. "You get good at keeping a secret." I wonder how good we really are at keeping secrets? I sometimes wonder whether the person which is most in the dark about our "walk" is the collective ourselves. We may try with a good deal of vigor to practice discretion, but the telltale signs, the thread in the labyrinth we have constructed, are out there.

    1. Kati I was so good at it that as I have come out to people (including my family) I got lots of blank stares of disbelief. I just couldn't allow any of this to get out which increased the pressure on me that much more. I did indeed build a tangled web of a life for a long time..

  2. Perhaps you have been better at keeping a secret than most. However, as a long-standing member secret-keeper society, I think all secret-keepers pay a high price. Keeping something private requires a lot of energy and adds a great deal of anxiety to day-to-day living. In some respects secret-keeping mirrors the gerbil on its exercise wheel: lots of activity but it doesn't really get one anywhere. I can't help but wonder what things I might have accomplished if I hadn't spent 40+ years keeping part of me (well, maybe most of me) secret. Questions, questions... I never seem to have any answers. Sorry to be so tiresome.

  3. Kati please you are hardly being tiresome.

    That anxiety of day to day living and keeping my being trans secret was slowly killing me which is why I had to come out. I paid the price of a divorce and a stroke but I survived and I am not going back.

    The journey of self discovery continues but with a peaceful mind...

  4. What a delightful story. Thank you for posting it!

    I can certainly recall having such a dreadful and shameful secret. What a burden for young children to bear. Young people as well as adults! Marni deserves our praise that she took the risk to come out to her love. It could have gone either way, of course. In my opinion (with the benefit of too much hindsight) either way would have been better for Marni than trying to maintain that secret.


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