Using some discernment in information sources…

I recently had a discussion with Miss Jennifer that was a rough one to have. I woke up to work my nightshift, and found a message from her saying she had an emotional roller coaster of a day, and that we needed to talk. I was suddenly panic stricken. If you’ve been kicked in the teeth often enough, there are just certain trigger words that strike fear into you. We need to talk are some of those words for me.

She had started off her day by telling a friend of hers about my transition. She had wanted to start off with baby steps, and she was excited to start telling people who are important to her about my transition. She seems very proud of my choice to transition and include me in her life as I do. She has her fears and trepidation, but who wouldn’t with something as daunting as this. But we have resolved to live our good life, to stand by each other and say, “We’ve got this.”

Her friend was thrilled for her and me. Her friend is a self-identified pansexual, so no surprise there. She was supportive and understanding and a good choice in laying groundwork for a support network for herself. She said she was on cloud nine after her reveal to her friend.

Then she went home and began reading on the internet about transgender relationships and transitions. She was instantly mortified. Within minutes her cloud nine was falling right out of the sky like a lead balloon. One such website was straightspouse.org . I instantly felt like the website had a bias because it was assuming that if you are transgender then you are going to desire your birth gender. That’s a lot to automatically assume, and shows they aren’t too interested in the truth of that matter that gender doesn’t always determine sexual desire. With further research I discovered that the website was essentially for spouses who had discovered that their spouse was gay, bi, or what have you. But as usual, transgender and crossdresser gets lumped up under that title, and it gets misleading.

What it came down to was; I had to reinforce that everyone gets different results; we are our own people, we have our own experiences, we have our own goals. So long as we fight the same fight towards the same goals, then we will get the results we fight for. It’s my job to make sure I validate her as much if not more than she validates me, intimately, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. If I fail her in that, then maybe I am as bad as the transgenders that website tries to stereotype. But that is certainly not what I want for us. I want us on the same page, fighting for the same things, on the same team.

What we are undertaking is hard enough as it is, websites and forums that portray a very negative end to this doesn’t help. So I began pondering what sources would be realistic, but fair. Which ones were informative, and didn’t muddy the waters too much, or inject information that wasn’t relevant to our situation.

I’ve read my fair share of crossdressing and transgender book over the years trying to simply learn about myself. So I dredged up old reading lists. Below is a grouping of books which in my mind take a fair look at crossdressing and gender issues from a female/ wives perspective. These books do not tend to address bisexual, or gay desires in crossdressers or transgender persons. They are about heterosexual persons who have gender issues.

  • My Husband Wears My Clothes: Crossdressing from the Perspective of a Wife – Peggy Rudd
  • She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband – Helen Boyd
  • Crossdressers and Those Who Share Their Lives – Peggy Rudd
  • Crossdressing With Dignity: The Case for Transcending Gender Lines – Peggy Rudd
  • Normal: Transsexual CEO’s, Cross-Dressing Cops, Hermaphrodites with Attitude, and More – Amy Bloom
  • My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser – Helen Boyd

 

As I said, the above books tend to approach the issue from a heterosexual male to female perspective. The books also come at the situation from the perspective of heterosexual wives.

If you are a heterosexual Transgender person, I would suggest you steer your significant other away from Alice In Genderland by Richard Novic M.D. This book was written by a doctor, who studied to be a psychiatrist for a time. However he loses perspective on his crossdressing and his sexual desires, intermingling the two, resulting in a book that is more about his paraphilia and his next conquest than a book about crossdressing.

Not all information is vetted or safe. Not all information is put out there with the purest of intentions or lacks an agenda. When I first told Miss Jennifer about Crossdressers.com and mentioned the wives section, I was quick to admit there was a good deal of negativity and griping there. But it never occurred to me that there would be other sources she would stumble upon that would confuse things or upset her.

This is not about filtering what our Loved Ones read or have access to. This is about supplying them with fair information that while not necessarily sunshine and roses and completely positive, will certainly offset the muddying of the waters of the negative information that is out there.

At most, we should all use discernment in the sources of our information and support. Support, by its very nature, should never be negative. Support should lift you or your Loved One up, and help you stay your course, not deter you from it. Just some thoughts, I hope they help.

Ever & Always,

Cadence

 

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5 thoughts on “Using some discernment in information sources…

  1. I am not sure if “My Husband Betty” is a good read if you are looking to provide reassurance on orientation. I read this book just over a year ago. Certainly it provides a superb perspective from the point of view of the spouse and the author is sympathetic to her partner and their teans* needs, however the whole package is badly let down by her assumptions and ascertians that being trans* and gay go hand in hand. Consequently I would not recommend this as a good and informative read. I cannot vouch for any other books by Boyd, but would be surprised if that attitude did not prevail in her others. To be honest, as humans we are programmed to find out more about what makes another tick, it can be all too easy to get carried away by what is in books or on the internet. Sometimes it is better to take someone as you find them and follow your own inner instincts. Nobody falls into a group of specific boxes. I have met teans* folk who are genuine, who are chauvinistic pigs, who are gay, who are straight, who regard women as objects to oogle etc etc etc. They may all tick a trans* box but there similarities end. (I speak here of M to F). So dont get too hung up on books or the net.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. But the idea it to present some fair information. My husband Betty meets that criteria in that it presents all sides. My goal wasn’t to paint a sunshine, unicorns and rainbows scenario. In my Husband Betty she tries to maintain some modicum of perspective, despite having some sexuality bias. Although truth told, her spouse may have very well have given cause for that bias.

      However; since she tried to maintain perspective is how she made my list. Also a lot of her other contributions sort of redeems her work in my mind.

      All in all, the best price of advice I seem to have omitted from my original article is read the material first before presenting it to a Loved One.

      Ever,
      Cadence

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would tend to agree on reading first before presenting. Interesting re your take on H Boyd’s subsequent books. Yes Betty may have given her cause to make the assumptions she did but I just may delve into another just to see how she further approaches the subject. As far as I know Betty is now full time

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  2. There is much good and bad reading on this subject out there. I have not read any of the mentioned books. We have a small group of married trans people in our area. We have been trying to get together about every three to four weeks to discuss the pros and cons of staying together as a couple. Some days are easier and others not so much. That’s for everyone at the beginning. Some people cannot make it past the initial stages, while others, just say hey, I the person not the genitals. And they move forward in a positive note. It’s different for everyone. One friend says her wife had a tough time at the beginning. As time went by, it got much easier to deal with. I have noticed it seems to be more about the acts of sex more than anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, the food and the bad info out there is why it is up to the couple to use discernment in what sources they use and what they choose to embrace as their couple philosophy.

      If one partner chooses to remain positive during transition while the other utilizes negative sources and “support,” then yes, there will be significant strain in the relationship. I tend to believe the key is to be on the same page, in just about all things.

      This is obviously a moot argument if one spouse seeks to leave the relationship due to transition. But if both parties resolve to stay together, then sitting down and figuring out your core philosophy and what you hope to accomplish and maintain in your relationship is a really good start, and eliminates any ambiguity. Sort of like when I resolved to keep pulling chairs and opening doors for Miss Jennifer and her daughter. It represented a simple thing, but to her it was something she had always craved in her relationships, and the thought of losing that caused significant distress for her. So talking about it helped us resolve that angst. I’d say our overall philosophy is to maintain our good life, to remain by each other’s side, to Live One Another deeply and to support and encourage each other in every aspect of our joint and respective lives, while maintaining respect for each other and our relationship as a whole.

      Ever,
      Cadence

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