The forthright wife of a transvestite offers a revealing look inside the little-known world of transgendered men and their female partners.
Boyd (a pseudonym), founder of an online support group for cross-dressers and their partners, pulls no punches here in telling her primary audience, women with cross-dressing boyfriends or husbands, what she has learned from both personal experience and five years of research. Among the questions she tackles are why some men cross-dress and why women choose to stay with them. Profiling six couples from her online support group to demonstrate that there are various ways of dealing with cross-dressing, Boyd opens with a brief introduction to each couple (and photos of some), then lets them describe themselves and their relationship in their own words. Elsewhere, she discusses the pros and cons of coming out, the most common sexual problems of cross-dressers, and the differences and similarities among cross-dressers, transsexuals, and homosexuals. She argues that cross-dressers, some of whom are quite adamant about being heterosexual and resist any linkage with other transgendered groups, could learn a lot from the gay community about facing harassment, discrimination in employment, and rejection from friends and family. The book has a helter-skelter feel: Boyd mixes big topics like history, politics, and psychology with up-close and personal material about cross-dressers she has come to know and like, her personal experiences living with a cross-dresser, her clashes with those whose views she does not share. Whatever its organizational faults, however they’re balanced by the author’s honest voicing of her opinions, misgivings, and fears. Back-of-the-book material includes a glossary of expressions and abbreviations used in the transgendered community, with supplemental terms that should have been folded into the main entry; an alphabetical list by first name of all the people mentioned in the text, which serves no readily discernible purpose; a chatty annotated bibliography; and a list of resources for cross-dressers and their significant others.
Makes abundantly clear the complexities of life with a cross-dresser.