Natasha and I decided several months ago that we would write a dual memoir about her transition. We thought it would be helpful to both TS and partners of TS. We plan to start it in the next couple of months, after I finish a screenplay I will enter into the Nichol Fellowship competition. It's also generally about a couple who are dealing with transition. Who knows...
About two weeks ago, I was contacted via email by a PA on the Dr. Oz show. They wanted to do an episode about MTFs and their wives. I must have spent an hour or so with the PA, and I explained a lot about the condition that she was not aware of. I also warned her about the pitfalls of sensationalizing it... like showing before and after photos. She also spoke with Natasha and both of us refused to have our kids on the show. Lo and behold, today the episode aired. It was sensationalized... complete with TS folk to offer up their before and after pictures and older children who were willing to express their shock and dismay.
I'm a bit frustrated with this community. On the one hand, nobody wants to feel like a freak. They don't want to be stared at. They don't want to be mistaken for the wrong gender. Yet, some sell-outs got themselves some spotlight time at the expense of those same fears. You know what people who watched that show will see if they see those TS folk on the street? The BEFORE picture. Plus, now the spouses have a permanent reminder of the sensationalist view of their marriage. I don't have much hope for those couples. Some, but not much.
So then, as a member of a tiny, closed FB group, someone posted this article: "Thematic Analysis of the Experiences of Wives Who Stay with Husbands who Transition Male-to-Female." Fantastic review of a study about this, based on a previously written book about it. Generally, I found that I could identify with what the wives in the study/book revealed, but not everything. It's a bit dry, I warn you, as it is a scholarly paper, but it's worth the read for both parties. It proves that this difficult and tumultuous road can be survived, and that a smoother road can be found ahead... provided that the wife truly, utterly loves the husband for "his/her" person.
Did Dr. Oz present that?... What do you think?
Is that important?...
It is to TS folk who are in relationships they do not want to end. That's not what the Oz show was about, though. He missed the mark... a quite dramatic mark, if I may say. He would have had his ratings, much like Oprah might have had if she had handled it... maybe... but not with sensationalist perspectives. Those TS folk who were on the show... well, I hope it was the editing that did the most damage. But they were the ones who offered up those photos: items that should be kept for one's own memories and not for prying eyes. So was it the spotlight that got them there? Were the spouses thinking clearly before deciding to tag along? Was it about love? Information? Support?
Not from my perspective.
Read the article. It's great!