Unwrapping the Onion: Part 2: Research 101

This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.

The next day started out the same as pretty much any other day. We had breakfast, and my Hunnie went out to the office. But unlike an average weekday, as soon as he left, I put in a movie for the kids, plunked the baby into the bouncer and rushed to the computer. I hardly knew where to start; it was all so unknown to me. I typed in “what is transsexual?” and sat there staring at the screen. My gut reaction to new things was to learn as much as I could, and I had a lot to figure out. In fact, I spent the next few weeks doing constant research; it was pretty much all I could think about. My kids watched far more TV than usual as I spent hours reading whatever I could find on the subject. When my spouse was home I asked him question after question about his experience, and he tried to answer every question as honestly as he could.

For starters, I learned that “transsexual” was just one of the terms used in reference to people who did not feel that their gender matched their bodies. And since “transsexual” seemed to be used more often in reference to people who were living life in the opposite gender they had been assigned at birth, I started using the more encompassing term “transgender” instead.

The old term “transvestite” that I had heard my parents use was actually a name of a sexual fetish that comprised of crossdressing to get a sexual thrill of some kind. I had never seen my spouse crossdressed, but as soon as he came home for lunch I asked him if he ever did. He admitted that he had been crossdressing in private since he was young, but said that it didn’t do anything for him sexually. Back to the drawing board.

I learned about men who considered themselves “crossdressers” meaning that they dressed up as women sometimes for the fun of it, or to express their feminine side. I learned about gender dysphoria, the name for the persistent subconscious understanding that you were somehow the opposite gender than you had been assigned at birth, and in discovering that, I found that there were people who had been born physically female who had this condition as well. I read about transgendered people who had felt that life was better for them living as the opposite gender, and I read about transgendered people who had decided to get medical treatments to make their bodies feel more in tune with their minds.

Once I felt more acquainted with the terms, I started googling things like “married to a crossdresser” and “my husband is transgender.” Was there anyone out there who had this sort of experience? From what I could see, many people who faced this issue after marriage ended up divorced. The fear was crippling. Divorce wasn’t supposed to be a word that Christian couples even used, and yet here it was popping up everywhere in marriages like mine. I saved countless links organized in folders to read again later or use for reference. It was so much information. I felt overwhelmed. Sometimes I cried at the computer, trying to understand what was going on and what was going to happen to us.

I prayed, again and again, that God would send a sign, or tell me what all of this meant, or at least give me an inkling of what to do. I googled things like “Christian and transgender” and “what does the bible have to say about transsexuals”. And I read through page after horrible page of links from ministries and groups who condemned LGBTQ people and insisted that they were deviant and would cause harm to children.

Many of these links said that they could help fix people with these perverse tendencies, but I still struggled to match what they were claiming with my Hunnie. These groups claimed that they had all the answers as to how these “perversions” were started, so I investigated, but all of the questions I bombard my spouse with met dead ends. He had never been sexually abused. He had never been exposed to explicit sexual materials. He had not had an abusive or absent father. He had not had an overly controlling mother, or a mother who wished he was a girl. I asked if he was gay, but while he admitting to having had same-sex attraction at times, he had always been more sexually attracted to girls, which had given him hope that maybe the gender dysphoria would magically go away if he just got married and had kids and had that role to fill, except it hadn’t. Even wracking our brains together, we just couldn’t get to the bottom of what had caused this problem, it just was.

I was encouraged to find that the teachings of the Catholic church were different than many of the Christian groups I encountered. They didn’t teach that being gay or transgendered was a special kind of sin that was extra evil or caused by anything. Instead, they taught that some people were born with these desires but God decreed that they must not act on them. This was a relief to me: being gay or transgendered was no different than any other struggle. I even felt encouraged in regard to the same sex attraction I experienced myself. Maybe I wasn’t evil or demon-possessed, I just had an unnatural interest that I needed to continue to battle, just like my spouse.

More than anything else I felt blessed to have a spouse who had trusted me enough to tell me his struggle. With our prayers and efforts combined, surely together we could conquer this issue. I wanted to help him in this fight he had been struggling with alone for so long. There was nowhere else to go for help – my spouse was a pastor, and I knew what happened to pastors who were suspected of being gay or queer in any way. My spouse had remained faithful to me and he was committed to our marriage. So he had a strange feminine side that I hadn’t known about, that was OK with me.

He could be a more feminine guy
and we would fight off the transsexual thing together.

Click here to go to Part 3

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17404542349133650549 Basil.

    I'm saddened that the online christian resources you found presented things that way. I am a Christian, and there is no denying that god is clear in saying that all sins are the same in his eyes. A sin is a sin, no one sin is lesser or worse than another. They all break Gods heart the same, and Jesus Christ died for all of them.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08135229596877003069 Michelle

    This is so incredible to read. I get chills reading how loving you and your husband are.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06410682651072046347 TwisterB

    When I was in highschool, we had a "day of silence" for the LGBQT community, to highlight the struggle many queer people go through even TELLING people they are queer. To illustrate how many people "suffer in silence". I participated because I was always hip with gay rights, but it wasn't until I began questioning my own sexuality that I actually knew WHAT that day was about. I couldn't tell anyone. I wanted to but the fear was paralyzing. Oh the irony.

    I come from a center/liberal academic household, my friends are all Queer positive people, many of them are queer themselves BUT I still couldn't say it outloud for the longest time.

    Part of not being able to say it was that I am married to a man who I love so so deeply and I didn't want to say or do anything that would jeopardize my relationship with him. So I kept it to myself. But the tension inside me leaked out into my life, tense moody and depressed, I became hysterical at times and completely inconsolable because I would never say what was really bothering me. In the end he actually guessed it was what was bothering me.

    The relief at being able to say it outloud was astounding.

    The relief knowing I hadn't lost the person I love the most is too great to put into words.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06233321050691782148 Michael Mock

    Oh, my. "He could be a more feminine guy
    and we would fight off the transsexual thing together." I understand that this is just a stage in your story, a part of growing and trying to understand, but I can't help thinking, Oh, that's not going to end well. Because this isn't, as I understand it, the sort of thing you can fight off.

    That said, I admire your ability to put this experience into words. More than that, I admire your commitment to working through this together, as a couple.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01407878783882226996 KTElltt

    Glad you're able to put this out there. I'm interested to see where the rest of this story goes. No one in my family (that I am aware of) wrestles with these types of issues, but we all have our own "sensitive" things to deal with, and in a society that is so polarized, I can only imagine how tough it would be… For the record, I am a member of a PCA church and the discussions on LGBT lifestyles I have had with my pastor and others in the church combined with scripture have convinced me that it is not a "special category" of sin either. It saddens me that so many want to demonize these folks out of fear. Peace to you both.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    That's fascinating that the Roman Catholics view it that way. Rushing off now to see what the Orthodox stance is hehe.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    Really looking forward to see how things develop from here. Is it posting this here in the open being freeing for you (apart from at least a bit terrifying)?

    Anyway, animo ^^

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09779444962182438901 Enigma

    "Even wracking our brains together, we just couldn’t get to the bottom of what had caused this problem, it just was."

    It just is. You both have inspired me so much to accept myself for who i am. Your story is so amazing. Keep posting! I'm sharing it with everyone i know :)

    <3

  • Margaret

    This is fascinating. You are so brave to 1) take the news as well as you did and 2) to share it here. I look forward to reading the rest of your series.

  • http://grace-filled.net jen

    He is blessed to have a wife like you who is willing to engage this rather than recoil from it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16430430847669544406 Mad Gastronomer

    OK, I'm curious, did you even look at scientific explanations for being trans at the time? Because all of those explanations have been pretty conclusively disproven. The Catholic Church's position isn't much better. The only thing found to improve a trans person's dysphoria (and the other problems that go with it, notably depression) is being able to live as their true gender (in whatever way best suits them and their gender). I assume you know all of this now, as you've had two years, but did you look it up at the time?

  • Anonymous

    I am saddened that you could not find help in the Christian community as well. I have found information from Christian sources that admits there is no definite cause and discusses solutions.

  • Aubergine

    It is a lot easier to be gay or transgendered if you are not religious. It is much easier to see your "condition" as simply a normal (if uncommon) variation in human sexuality or identity. I've watched so many trans folks from religious backgrounds go through a living hell because of their families' and communities' rejection of them – not to mention their own fear that they are going to hell because they have no choice but to be who they are.

    I used to feel fairly benign about religion, although I always have been an atheist. After accepting that I had to deal with being transgendered, I think religion is a poison.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    I read a wide range of explanations, including the scientific breathroughs. I tried to consider it all, but I was approaching the whole thing from the idea that this was unnatural and wrong.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    It is terrifying and freeing for both of us.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16430430847669544406 Mad Gastronomer

    Thanks for answering!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15454965172669677301 Bethany

    Oh hun, it breaks my heart that you two were going through this alone. I can't even imagine how much confusing or condemning information is out there, and this is part of why I'm so glad you're sharing your story. I admit, this is a subject I know nothing about except for the vague judgment I've heard from churchy circles, so I'm learning from you and looking forward to each new installment of this series.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16430430847669544406 Mad Gastronomer

    Not all religion is anti-gay or anti-trans. Not even all Christianity, or all Judaism, or all Islam is, and there are an awful lot of religions besides those. Don't think it's all like what you were raised with.

    (Not to say you shouldn't be an atheist. If it's what you believe, or don't believe, and it works for you, then clearly it's what's best for you. Just saying: There's a lot of other kinds of religion out there. Don't tar all of it with that brush.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04738076740941616678 Rebecca

    Just commenting quickly to say I'm reading and praying and sending much love your way! You are so brave to share your story and I thank you for being transparent and honest.

  • Aubergine

    My opinion of religions is based only in part on their treatment of trans and gay folks. But that's a different issue for a different day.

  • Nerdiah

    I'm a little perturbed by how many commenters here are trying to be reassuring by saying that being transsexual is not a special category of sin. Well no, you're wrong, it's not a special category of sin because it's not a sin at all.

    Granted it's a bit unusual, but there is variation in human sexuality and statistical distributions have tails. Besides, if we look across the animal kingdom, seeing that some version of it is present in nearly every species we've looked at, it starts to look a lot less like an abomination of nature and a lot more average and expected.

    I'm with Aubergine here, whenever religion renounces reality it causes unnecessary harm. Poison is as good word for this as any.

  • Anonymous

    This is completely ridiculous. I can't believe your going to put your children through this. It's wrong, gross, evil, and just messed up. It won't last

  • Awakingsleep

    Dear Anon,
    If you are trying not to seem like a troll, a good idea is to respond to what is actually in the text, not jumping ahead to conclusions. Just sayin'
    Love,
    Awakingsleep

  • Awakingsleep

    Melissa,
    Thanks so much for sharing. You're doing a fantastic job getting us into your heads *then* even though I'm sure you're in a different place *now*. Looking forward to tomorrow's installment

  • http://anxiousfornothing.wordpress.com Melissa B

    There has been so much misunderstanding and harmful attitudes and actions regarding this subject, on behalf of society in general and the Church specifically.

    I believe that all people should be treated with compassion, courtesy, and dignity, and should be allowed to tell their story. Yes, people will always have differences and disagreements, but so many problems would be eliminated or at least made easier to face if we practice the art of listening instead of jumping to conclusions.

    I have recently been listening to recordings of some conference sessions regarding the Church's place in relating to all sorts of gender and sexuality issues. The last session in particular, called "Outside the Box: When 'Boy' or 'Girl' Doesn’t Fit," is very informative for people who are perhaps new to thinking through such issues:

    http://new-wineskins.org/events/2012/03/gender-conference/

  • Anonymous

    Oh, how awful it must have been for him! Of all the families a transgender child could be born into, a fundamentalist one must be the worst. I explained transgener to my kids, and my four year old insists he'll have four babies when he grows up, a boy a girl, and one each of transgender boy and trans girl. Would'nt you love to be so innocent of the the hate and vitriol being transgender evokes in so many people.

    I gather this may have been what triggered your all- around transformation?

    I'm looking forward to hearing how you've worked things out and what your decision will be. Much love and support for both of you.

    Sarah

  • jemand

    I think you mean "you're" not "your."

    Incidentally, the grammar was the most correct part of that comment. It just gets worse from there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16430430847669544406 Mad Gastronomer

    Your opinion of religions is based only in part on how some religions treat trans and gay folks. I don't care that you're an atheist, I care that you are lying (at least by implication) by saying all religion is homophobic and transphobic. So many atheists go around saying religion is bad because it's lies. OK, then you're against lies. So stop lying.

    I'm a queer cis woman engaged to a queer trans woman, and I am religious. Issues of homophobia and transphobia affect me deeply and personally, and so does my religion (which is not Christianity).

    …I'm sorry, Melissa. I'll drop it after this. I just get so sick of people blaming "religion" for bigotry, when they're talking only about certain stripes of specific religions, and when atheism is not immune from bigotry. I want us all, theist and atheist, to fight the actual bigotry together wherever we find it, and blaming "religion" doesn't do that.

  • Anonymous

    Whereever your journey takes you, I am so glad you and your husband have each other. I don't know what God or Goddess I do or don't believe in anymore, but thinking about the love and honesty you share the only word I can use to explain it is "grace". From what I can see, it is an amazing gift that you were married to each other when you realized both that you have some attraction to women, and that he may be transgendered. So many people out there, even from "liberal" backrounds, would have treated each other quite differently. I am so glad you can be honest with each other. Maria

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11909365697912327583 Lisa Kroulik

    It's amazing that I ended up reading this story, because I went through a very similar experience. However, my marriage ended up in divorce. Unlike your husband, my ex never told me about this other side of him. I walked in on it after 10 years of marriage,and by that time he was cross-dressing regularly, sexually acting out with himself and trying to grow breasts. I tried so, so hard for nearly three years after I found out, but I never could get past how much he lied to me. I felt as deeply betrayed as if he'd had an affair. This situation rocked me to the core, and I just don't think anyone who hasn't lived with it could possibly understand. By the way, both my ex and I were conservative Christians.

    In the end, it wasn't the cross-dressing itself that made me throw in the towel. It was the manipulation, stonewalling, blaming, controlling, downright abusive behavior. Ironically, my experience in trying to find help was the opposite of yours. Every website said I had to embrace it, go along with it, but in the core of my being, I just couldn't. He had been cross-dressing for years before he even met me, and chose to conceal this fact. If he had told me, like your husband did, it might have been different. I just wanted to have a choice whether I wanted to be married to a transgendered man, and I never had that choice. We divorced in 2008. I remarried in 2010, and he is with someone new also. As far as I know, he has kept it a secret from her the 3 years they have been together.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Now now, I don't want a debate here and your latest comment just barely squeaked by Mad gastronomer, I do not like name calling on my blog. I recognize both of your opinions. Yes religion is a large part of the mistreatment of LGBTQ people, and yes, there are religious people and groups that do not mistreat LGBTQ people. I hope that both sides (religious and non-religious) can stand against hatred, and I feel that a good way to start that is by treating each other with respect even when we don't agree.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10254315970336710941 Catholic Mutt

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm reading, and I'll be reading every part of this story. Whatever else I do or don't know, or think I know, I do know this: it is impossible not to love and respect your frank honesty, and you and your husband's willingness to share your story.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09779444962182438901 Enigma

    Since the post ended with "He could be a more feminine guy and we would fight off the transsexual thing together," you should have no reason to assume that Melissa and her spouse have chosen to change anything about their lifestyle at all. Clearly you've already heard the end of the story, and instead of listening you're judging. It amazes me how people like you think they have the right to say hateful, volatile, unfounded things, so long as they say disagree with someone's lifestyle. The fact that you posted anonymously shows that you are at least a little ashamed of your bigotry. Good. I hope that shame grows into understanding some day.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    ((Hugs)) Thanks for answering =) At risk of repeating myself, you are both a great example of courage.

  • Aubergine

    Mad, you're making assumptions about what I meant. I was trying to avoid arguments with my second post; there are better places to discuss my overall thoughts about religion. Peace?

  • Aubergine

    Anonymous, my kids (both boys) are fine with me. Sure, it was a hard thing for them to handle for a while – change is always hard, and this is a big change – but in the end they saw that they had a _happy_ and healthy father, rather than one who hid away in depression. And they also learned some good lessons about life along the way. I think that the best thing is to teach kids how to deal with life's changes. Everything works out best when you give them the tools they need, rather than hiding the hard parts.

  • http://phoenixandolivebranch.wordpress.com Sierra

    All I have to say is: you're awesome.

  • Anonymous

    I have a wonderful vision of how this will work out, but can only hope I'm right:

    Your husband accepts his trans nature and transitions into a woman, while you accept your unexpressed desires for women, and learn to love him all over again, female-to-female.

    However it happens, though, you two are incredibly brave people, and I wish you all the best in your lives.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00664669064795403538 yuenkay

    Children only learn how to hate from adults.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for your postings. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. You've mentioned Catholicism in several of your posts, which has become an intense interest of mine. There's an excellent, very approachable documentary called "Catholicism" narrated by a Fr. Barron that may be of interest to you and your husband if you haven't already seen it.

  • http://loreleitracy.etsy.com LoreleiHI

    This is what I've heard in the groups that I'm in, where it doesn't work. It's not so much being trans, it's that it was hidden and lied about (in some cases, like yours, hormone therapy had started before the spouse was informed).

    Thankfully I knew from the beginning, and knew that it wasn't an issue for me.

    Of course, space must be given for those who are trying to figure out what they feel and are. I know it took years for me to be able to face being queer… but it's better now that I have.

  • Sercee

    The trust and honesty between you two is beautiful. That's the way any issue in a loving, committed relationship should be handled, and it's the best way for everyone to see that what seems like a devastating mountain of a problem at first can be faced, and that it may turn out to not even be a problem at all – just a "new normal" for the family. I can't wait to read the rest of your story so I can see it unfold.

  • http://mayayuxwatl.livejournal.com/ mayayuxwatl

    Indeed – HUGS to both you and your Hunnie!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17223859994666636372 Cluisanna

    So basically killing twenty children is exactly as evil as working on the Sabbath and both can be forgiven equally easily? Man, your god has some messed up priorities.

  • http://hall-of-rage.dreamwidth.org/ hall-of-rage

    It is wonderful to see how much you and your spouse love each other. I hope you can find a path that will be good for both of you, despite what other people have told you.

  • Anonymous

    Melissa, I am so happy to see how you are dealing with all of this, you are an incredibly strong woman, I am so proud of you! By posting all of this you are helping people deal with all kinds of different issues in their lives, I have peace in knowing that no matter how all this works out, I know that you will be able to handle it, Uncle Gene

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Thanks Uncle Gene, it means so much to me that you are reading.

  • Nerdiah

    Troll.

  • Eris

    I don't really know how to put this, but I'll try anyway.

    You say you're a Conservative Christian, right? So that means that you think transsexuality is a sin, yes? Furthermore, it means that you think that transexual people can overcome their transsexuality if they just do the right things? And you've said this, or at least not opposed it when those in your religious circle said it?

    Because if this is the case, then I don't know how you could expect that he would do anything other than hide this from you. Conservative Christians, as a group, have declared that they will do everything in their power to hurt, reject, despise, and be disgusted by tran people. To declare that trans people owe Conservative Christians the right to act on this desire to hurt, reject, despise, and be disgusted by trans people is too much. Trans people are not obligated to paint a target on their backs so that Conservative Christians have an easier time shooting at them.

    You say that you don't think anyone who has lived through what you lived through can understand how you are feeling, but can you understand what your ex felt? Can you understand being told that you will be sent to hell for being who you are? Can you understand knowing that the people you love and depend on will reject you if they know who you are? Can you understand believing people when they tell you that you can just make it all stop if you just do what you are supposed to? Can you understand not feeling safe enough to disclose under the weight of all this? You talk about your right to choose, but Conservative Christianity isn't interested in giving him a comparable choice. Conservative Christianity doesn't want to offer him the ability to choose a happy life surrounded by people who accept him. Conservative Christianity only wants to offer him the choice to either willingly expose himself to emotional and physical abuse or to hide from said abuse and then be punished for "lying." It is not reasonable, just, kind, or merciful to offer someone that kind of choice and then be upset when they don't choose "right."

    I do think your ex made a mistake. I think your ex should have rejected Conservative Christianity and its message, and that he should have instead sought out people who would have loved and accepted him. But Conservative Christians will insist that such a decision will damn him to hell. And when a man chooses to believe Conservative Christians over a liberal atheist, the Conservative Christians don't have the right to spit on him for it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Lisa- Our story isn't meant to be a standard or explanation of how this situation in marriage should go, every person and every marriage is different. I'm glad you had the courage to share yours, and I am glad you chose to end a relationship that wasn't good for you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11909365697912327583 Lisa Kroulik

    Thank you. Wow, I just see projection all over the above message.

  • Anonymous

    No to Cluisianna, What it means is that God has forgiven all sin no matter how "bad" it seems to us. We are the ones that place judgement upon one another thinking that one sin is worse than another. God not only judged it as all the same so that we need not feel any guiltier than the next guy/girl. But he also took all of the blame upon himself for us, by dying on the cross.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11909365697912327583 Lisa Kroulik

    Thank you. The reaction I got above is part of the reason I hesitate, but I think it is more projection than anything to do with me. You don't know me or my ex. I don't understand all the rage at a situation that had nothing to do with you. He is mentally ill (not because of his trans nature, but the abusive behavior I mentioned above) and unable/unwilling to change. I was slowly dying in the marriage and had to get out.

    I said *were* Conservative Christians, btw. I'm still searching. As for him, he still plays the self-righteous part while lying to his fiance about his true nature. After seeing what it did to me, do you really think it is okay to do to another woman?

  • Robin

    The orthodox church only cares if you act on it. if you do actually take steps to transition, however, it's classed as sacrilege.

  • Anonymous

    Damn me to hell and call me a bigot, but….one of the Anonymous' above believes the best answer to this is that your husband trend to female and you give in to some latent same-sex desires and all is well?!?!?!!??! HELLO!!!! What about the kids???????!!!!!?????

    Melissa, your attitude towards so many subjects is so very loving and open and curious, and I like what you write because of it. Your honesty and courage, etc. I agree with all of that. Your willingness to look at homosexuality and transgender issues in a different light, etc. All good. But please tell me that you DON'T think it's OK to raise children in a home where sex roles and gender are so fluid.

    There is scientific proof everywhere and all around that children need TWO strong role models in their lives – a male and a female. Love is great, love helps, but love cannot and will not stabilize basic emotional and psychological needs that are inherent within human beings and which for all time have come from families where there are strong, day-to-day male and female roles in the home.

    This series is amazing, but I hope that your kids come first. I am NOT deciding how the story here ends and I don't know. But I sure hope you and your husband aren't flirting with danger where your children are concerned. I don't want to speak to you like this and I'm sorry if I'm upsetting you. I, myself, am a woman who has a semi-gay past and I know how damaging it would be to my spouse and my children if I decided to force the issue.

    Kittengirl

  • Anonymous

    I believe that you will have to bring out the proofs to get anywhere with most of the commenters on this blog but I am in agreement with you and hoping to hear more. Thank you for your openness and honesty.

  • http://ms-daisy-cutter.dreamwidth.org Ms. Daisy Cutter

    There is scientific proof everywhere and all around that children need TWO strong role models in their lives – a male and a female.

    [citations needed... other than from right-wing Christian sources]

  • Victoria
  • Anonymous

    That study has been widely discredited, in case you didn't know.

    And why do people think that only right-wing Christians believe in the traditional family of one man and one woman? Last time I checked, all kinds of people on this earth for thousands of years, millions and billions of them NOT Christians, have seen it profitable to have similar families.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Daisy,
    My point in the first place was that innuendo and comments are just opinions. List some sources so that we can have some healthy dialog around this topic. Melissa have you found any scientific evidence in favor of same-sex parenting? Meanwhile,let's check out Victoria's article.

  • Eris

    I'm not sure what you think I am projecting, other than possibly anger at Conservative Christianity and the people who support it. Because if that's what you think I'm projecting, I admit to it wholeheartedly. I am angry, so very angry, at conservative Christians putting people between a rock and a hard place, at people being forced into a situation where they don't have any good options. I am furious about that.

    Do I think what you say your ex is doing is okay? No. Do I think it is expected, giving what Conservative Christianity has sold to him? Yes.

    I'm not saying this is somehow wholly your fault. I'm not saying you are THE person to blame. I am saying that this kind of fallout is what is to be expected as a result of the institution of Conservative Christianity. You and your husband were both sold a bill of goods that is incredibly harmful, a bill of goods that both of you (at least at one point) sold to each other and other people. If you buy the poison pill, if you sell the poison pill, it isn't shocking that people will start getting sick.

    It's understandable if you were tricked into thinking the pill wasn't poison; it's especially forgivable if you've come to understand that the pill IS poison. But if you bought the poison pill, if you sold the poison pill, you have to try to understand that the people who also bought the poison pill (potentially from you) are going to suffer the ill effects even after you've stopped taking it.

  • Sociologist

    There is substantial scientific evidence that on average, children do better with two parents than one. But this is an average–there are specific situations in which children are better off with a single parent than the two parents they have. There is no serious scientific evidence that children need a male and female parent. Here is a thorough review of the scientific literature on the subject: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00678.x/abstract

    And people have absolutely not raised children in 2-parent, mixed gender nuclear families throughout all of history. In many tribal societies, men and women don't even live together. you are welcome to an opinion that contradicts history and evidence, but please don't try to pass it off as immutable fact. It makes you look silly.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10578876353740016770 Patty

    Melissa, I posted this in reply to a negative comment where this was published on the NLQ website. I hope that this gives you some comfort. Just know that there is another "trans-partner" out there that is thinking of you, and knows from experience many of the things from which you speak. My reply follows:

    ——

    My thought on this is that when anybody has this significant a reaction to something, they really need to research what it is they are reacting to before they go shooting off their mouth and end up shooting themselves in the foot. The first thing that this person should do is actually meet a person who has transitioned and listen to his or her story, rather than picking apart a written story and simply reacting to it. I have to admit that I once had a very serious curiosity about the T community, but knowing a few of each gender who have transitioned to the other has given me significant respect for who they are and what they have had to go through. Why would a man in a heterosexual relationship (a position of power and privilege) transition to female (creating in herself an object of discrimination, confusion and hate), stay with her wife (assuming the wife was able to stand by through the transition) only to now be a trans-woman who is also a lesbian (a two-fold object of discrimination, confusion and hate, as well as creating in the process, the same thing in her wife/partner). Remaining a man would have certainly been the "easy way out." This, by the way, is a very common transition scenario. It is never gone into without significant soul searching, thought and therapy.It is never gone into without significant thought about and input from the loved ones – children, spouse, siblings, parents and extended family as well as friends, church, social contexts and employment. Nobody EVER does anything this significant in a vacuum or on a whim. The process takes YEARS, and the transition is unpleasant physically, socially and emotionally. Please, people, before you decide you cannot love someone, get to know them first.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00612950889549668702 shaed

    Children do best with myriad strong role models of all genders. It takes a village, not an isolated nuclear family of any parental makeup, to raise a child.

    But there are studies that lesbian married couples raise better kids than straight ones.

    In either case, a kid is better off with a parent who has transitioned, than a parent who is constantly trying to repress her inner nature. That is what would be clearly damaging to children, and that is what you are insisting should be done, anonymous.


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