Elizabeth Morrissey, a female attracted cisgendered woman, married for 25 years to a transwoman, writes advice to other cisgendered women whose partners are transgendered. She covers a broad range of topics from employment issues, telling family, friends, and children, therapy, as well as discussing the numerous steps involved in changing gender. She has a section on polyamory as a way to enhance one’s relationship. There is a lot of information in here based on her years of living with a transwoman and on some years participating in a support group for transpeople.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth is not very balanced in her approach to the subject. She uses a casual, sometimes flippant style directed at “you” the reader, assuming that you are a cisgendered woman who is struggling to come to terms with your mate’s condition. She is strongly opinionated on many matters and these opinions come off as “advice” or assertions about what the reader should or should not do. She sometimes shares stories from her life which are much more successful teaching tools than her “do this-don’t do that” ramblings.
I was pretty disturbed by her use of terms such as “transsexual male” or “husband” to refer to her partner. She excuses herself by proclaiming that she does not have to be “politically correct.” To her, it is all about boundaries. To me, it is all about spiritual growth and learning to love well. Her attitude toward cross-dressers was rather appalling; her respect for the medical expertise of physicians in developing countries was non-existent. Even her respect for transwomen themselves is questionable as evidenced in her discussion of lying and emotional maturity.
It’s too bad this book is so inflammatory. The spousal/partner community of the transpopulation, as small and undervalued as it is, needs to speak out, and for this I am grateful to Elizabeth. I hope to see another book down the line that will do a better job of showing the respect and value of transwomen.
Spouse of MTF post-op transsexual