About Leslie Hilburn Fabian, LICSW
(Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker)
Leslie Hilburn Fabian, born May 19, 1949 in San Diego, California, grew-up in Tampa, Florida. After graduating from Henry B. Plant High School, she attended the University of Miami (FL), St. Lawrence University (NY), Lycoming College (PA), and Wittenberg University (OH), ultimately graduating Magna Cum Laude from Fitchburg State University (MA) in 1984.
Along the way, Leslie was divorced and raised her two children virtually by herself, also working in sales and founding an errand-running business. At forty-seven, she obtained her master's degree in social work from Boston College. By then, she had lived through some pretty excruciating experiences and done much therapy on the receiving end. Compelled to assist others, she became a psychotherapist herself. She's done a multitude of personal growth workshops, her favorite being Insight Seminars, for which she completed the facilitator training in 1990. Leslie has lived in Massachusetts since 1979, with a two-year sojourn in Nebraska, 2004-06.
In 1987, Leslie had met David Fabian, an orthopedic surgeon and father of four—while he was dressed as a woman. Sensing the character, brilliance, and depth of this man in the purple dress, Leslie was highly intrigued, feeling immediately drawn to him. At the time, David believed himself to be a cross-dresser, though not a transsexual. (That realization, that he wanted to become a full-time woman, was a long-time coming.) They married in 1991, and David's cross-dressing was discretely enjoyed for many years, an important part of the couple's relationship and activities.
By 2009, it had become apparent to both Fabians that David's dissatisfaction with life and struggles with depression were a result of the growing need to live full-time as a woman. Leslie encouraged him to begin the process toward becoming who he longed to be, yet she also openly admitted that she could not know what this would mean for their relationship. David, in his desire to maintain their marriage, repeatedly told Leslie that he'd stop immediately, "if doing this means losing you." Both became expert at tolerating ambiguity!
A year into David's two-year transition to become Deborah, Leslie began writing in earnest, a powerful outlet for her own challenging process. "It was clear that, in supporting his transition, I was having one of my own," Leslie explained. Her book, published in early 2014 and available on-line from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Virtual Bookworm, is titled My Husband's a Woman Now: A Shared Journey of Transition and Love.
Leslie's book chronicles the details of the remarkable journey she and David-now Deborah-have traveled together. Needless to say, the journey continues as the couple adjusts to the changes in their lives and relationship. The author has never seen her spouse so happy and enthusiastic!
As a licensed independent clinical social worker and psychotherapist, Leslie has worked with individuals facing a variety of life challenges. With her deep understanding of what constitutes healthy relationships, she is highly skilled at assisting couples with relationship difficulties. Both Fabians have been committed to creating and maintaining a meaningful, conscious marriage for over twenty years. They have done myriad couples' workshops, including several with Joyce and Barry Vissell (The Shared Heart Foundation) and "Getting the Love you Want" trainings (Harville Hendrix's Imago work).
Niela Miller, MS Ed, LCSW, LMHC, founder of PeopleSystems Potential and author of Counseling in Genderland has said of the Fabians, "Absolute devotion and deep love has been the foundation of their continued commitment. [Leslie's book] will be an eye-opener for those who struggle with similar situations, as well as an unintended primer on what it takes to maintain and grow a deeply intimate relationship against many odds."
As Leslie chronicled the transgender journey from a wife's perspective, she realized that her narrative was emerging as the Fabians' love story. This is apparent to Candace Semigran, Vice President and COO of Insight Seminars, Inc. and author of One Minute Self Esteem. Of Leslie's book she has said, "[It's] an incredible story of a shared journey of love and a reminder to everyone who reads it of what is truly important for all of us—in our lives and in all of our relationships: loving, forgiveness, honoring, trust, honesty, friendship, spirit, fun, laughter, and joy."
The Fabians have a wide network of friends in the "Trans Community." They've presented at Fantasia Fair, an annual transgender conference on Cape Cod, as well as at many Unitarian-Universalist and other churches, hospitals, and therapy centers in New England. Their marriage has continued and is highly satisfying to each of them, albeit changed in its nature. It's important to add that all six of the Fabians' grown children, as well as their spouses and partners, have found ways to accept this transition with loving and grace—and so has Deborah's mother, well past ninety years old!
Click on a link below to purchase My Husband's a Woman Now: