DEAR ABBY: I'm married to a wonderful man with a big family secret. His brother "John" used to be his sister "Joanne." This does not bother me in the least because I met John as a man, and I consider him a man 100 percent.
However, now that I am expecting, I have started putting photo albums and scrapbooks together. I want our future children to see pictures of my husband during his childhood -- right along with mine -- but his "sister" is in almost all of them.
I have no problems being open and honest with our children, but because my brother-in-law doesn't know that I "know," I want to be sensitive to his feelings and don't want to share these albums with friends and family without having an answer to the question, "Who is that little girl in the picture?"
This is something that no one in the family discusses, and I feel I'd be overstepping if I were to call another family member for advice. My husband doesn't know what to do, and I do not wish to strain a wonderful relationship with John, his wife and their adopted children by telling them that I know. How should I handle this? -- ANONYMOUS IN ARIZONA
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Please understand, if you don't already, that a transgendered person is someone who has been born in a body of the wrong sex. In other words, your brother-in-law was always a boy, but trapped in a female body.
My advice is to continue assembling the albums, and if anyone asks about the "little girl" in the pictures, to relax and tell the person, "That's Uncle John when he was young. He may have looked like a girl then, but it really was Uncle John." Then turn the page and change the subject.