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My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser Paperback – December 23, 2003

4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A straight woman who has been married several years to a crossdressing man gives a thoughtful account of their relationship (as well as the relationships of other crossdressers she knows) in this forthright and revelatory book. "Instead of putting a 'pretty face' on crossdressing," Boyd writes, "I think this book paints a more realistic picture." Her interest is as much in the broader issues of love and acceptance, denial and repression, human nature and sexual identity as it is in the who, when, why and how of crossdressing. Boyd shares personal and often intensely private moments in order to illustrate her findings, describing her husband's ritual for getting dressed as a woman and candidly admitting that she once believed that she would never be able to accept his behavior. Particularly sharp is her chapter on gendered politics, which takes to task members of the crossdressing community who isolate themselves "from all the groups who could otherwise educate and liberate them: the feminist community, the gay and lesbian communities." Though such comments may be uncharacteristically harsh for a book that by and large supports crossdressers and their actions, Boyd's opinions lend her discussion a critical viewpoint and comprehensiveness that it might not have had otherwise. Boyd, who founded the online support group CDOD, helps out newbies to the topic by making distinctions among phrases like "transgendered" and "transvestite" that are sometimes unknowingly used interchangeably and by summarizing the history of and research into the behavior. Honest and well researched, this book is likely to become an indispensable guide for woman who are trying to forge stable, accepting relationships with crossdressing men. Given the topic and Boyd's approach, it is a shame that the author still felt the need to mask her true identity by using a nom de plume.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Boyd never expected to write about transvestites and their partners, yet here is her fascinating account of marriage to a cross-dresser, the intent of which is to reduce the tumult his cross-dressing causes in the couple's lives and to help more women deal better with having transgendered husbands. The originator of an online support group for such couples, Boyd supplements her own experiences with those of others to explore the diversity within a stereotyped group (the male-to-female transgendered) and answer questions concerning their behavior. Boyd was supportive from the onset of her knowledge of "Betty," but even after two years' socializing within a supportive transgender community, the Boyds' first outing in the real world terrified her because of her own and society's expectations--and that was the first of a series of painful realizations. Boyd's skill as a writer enables readers to enter a relatively hidden existence easily, and perhaps even to appreciate its complexities. Her account, though initially disquieting to some, well may become a standard text in gender studies. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (December 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255154
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Though this book will be of special interest and relevance to the partners of crossdressers, anyone intrigued by gender issues and they way they shape our lives, loves, and identities will be enthralled by this profoundly touching and well-researched book. Ms. Boyd offers a moving, honest account of her own courtship and married life with a crossdresser, illuminating every difficulty and joy with great insight. She also portrays the relationships of other crossdressing couples among whom she has found support and companionship. Having wrestled with her own gender issues, and leaving no stone unturned in her quest to understand her husband's crossdressing, Ms. Boyd seems to have read all of the trenchant literature in the gender-studies field (to her readers' benefit) and widens her scope to include the whole transgender community and the gay community. Though Ms. Boyd is admirably supportive of her husband's continuing struggle to be true to himself, she never sugar-coats the complexities transgenderism can impose upon a marriage. However, Ms. Boyd's integrity, engaging voice, and love for her husband leave the reader hopeful that happiness is eminently possible even for those who don't fit neatly into society's gender "boxes".
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Format: Paperback
For those looking for an insight into male-to-female crossdressing, this is an excellent choice. While it is written from the basis of a wife's point of view, it encompasses far more information than a single person's viewpoint.
Helen Boyd is founder of CDOD, an on-line meeting and discussion place for couples. In her position as moderator, she has thoroughly researched crossdressers, crossdressing, and their effect on marriages and families. While she is in a committed, monogamous, legally married relationship with her CD husband, Betty, she is also very aware of the stresses crossdressing can bring to a relationship.
Helen's in-depth study of wives and girlfriends reactions to their CD partners is both interesting and surprising. Interesting, in that they vary so greatly. Surprising, in the degree of acceptance - and yes, pleasure - many find in their relationships.
Helen stresses that keeping crossdressing a secret from ones own partner violates the trust required for a successful relationship. Where honest disclosure occurs early in the relationship, trust is strengthened. The potential partner can then enter the relationship with her eyes and heart open and the knowledge that her partner trusts her enough to disclose this "secret."
Helen's book does not simply paint a pretty picture. Many wives, especially where their partner's crossdressing has been kept secret for years, lose their trust in him. What else has he been hiding? Does he really want to transition fully and become a woman? Some try to restrict or eliminate their husband's crossdressing, with the result that the relationship is severely damaged anyway. Some struggle with keeping this situation a secret from their friends and families, damaging those relationships as well.
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Format: Paperback
?My Husband Betty? (?MHB?) by Helen Boyd is a remarkable book relating to a generally misunderstood, and also often fairly well-hidden, segment of our society: the world of heterosexual men who crossdress, and their female partners. The book is remarkable not only because it is one of the only books to address this group from the perspective of a wife of a crossdressing male, but because it is an extremely well-done melange of personal experience, shared experiences of others, as well as a survey of the available scientific and other literature available pertaining to this group. But the main virtue of MHB is that it is (at times brutally) honest about the significant challenges the author and other women have faced in the context of being in relationships with men who are crossdressers. In the end, it is this frank honesty, which some readers ? including ones who may be male crossdressers ? may find hard to swallow at times, that lends the book an enhanced degree of credibility, openness and accessibility to anyone interested in this area, and particularly to those who are living this experience.

The book begins with an examination of the crossdressers themselves, including the different kinds of things that they do, the different ?types? of crossdressing men, the different phases of crossdressing that a crossdresser may experience at different points of his life. This chapter of the book is enlightening for crossdressers themselves, but is invaluable for a partner of a crossdresser who is at square one. An extremely helpful appendix contains a glossary of crossdressing and related acronyms and jargon.

Next the book addresses the women who are the partners of crossdressers, taking into account the various experiences that they have had, their reactions to their partner?
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By A Customer on May 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an honest and intense account of what it is like to be married to a crossdresser. Helen Boyd's acceptance and openness, while at the same time acknowledging her own feelings of trepidation concerning some aspects of this new life, is remarkable and admirable. There are no cross-dressers in my life, (that I am aware of) and I still found this book to be very worthwhile for the honest approach and thorough investigation of the subject.
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