Saturday, November 29, 2008

Crossdressing Husband & Father on NPR

Some things you just never expect. NPR recently did a show about a crossdressing husband & father that was about as off the mark as Dr. Phil usually is. Pathologizing, full of the embarassed & shamed comments by the wife and commentary of the narrator, it was rife with ignorance and misunderstanding, and seemed to equate this person's other mental health issues with his need to crossdress.

Wow. I wish I were more often pleasantly suprrised by the media, but I really never expected this kind of crappy story-telling from NPR. Just one opinion that offset all the negativity would have been nice.

That the story is about someone who is deceased makes it all the more sickening. There is no one to represent Doug/Donna to explain what crossdressing is all about.

You can listen to it here - all of 12 minutes & nothing redeemable! - & narrated by a family "friend." Feh.


betsy said...

Hi gals,

I thought this was a beautiful story and very authentic! This censor actually made me not want to listen to the NPR story ... buty fortunately another story in tensgender news ..referencing this NPR item made me listen to this ...

What is it that this poster does not understand... I didnt hear or see the Phil episode but comparing this to Phil makes no sense.

Here is this woman, who stood by her man who is or was essentially a woman .. for 18 years after he suffered from and died of Parkinsons while she(her SO) says that a surgery made her uninhibited and unabashed about cding. While she, her SO, was in this la la land, she stood by her and SO and bore the brunt of the societal assault. She was a plain Jane who had the guts to take all the shots that the social terrorists sent her way aiming at her man\woman.

What more can you expect from a woman. I would worship her placing her at top of the transgender god\godess hierarchy.

I cant think of a braver CD\Transgeneder\transexual ...

This is a very beautiful story .. a story of love ...ofcourse she connected with her lover..(even though she laments about it .. bless her soul) ... I am sure they are an eternal couple for whom mortality is just a temporal interlude...

My two cents and absolutely outraged by this poster\imposter...



helen_boyd said...


Hi - it's Helen. My name is right there at the end of the post, not hard to find.

Please don't assume everyone reading is a "gal." This blog is for the whole of the trans community.

I didn't think the story itself wasn't good; I didn't like the way it was told. Their story, I agree, is a first-rate romance; but the commentary seemed to mix up the Parkinson's with the trans, as if one caused the other (or even expression of the other).

It also just made me a little squeamish that Doug/Donna wasn't around to comment.

betsy said...

Hi Helen,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Yes I am sorry I missed your name. I saw this in the transgender news group and there were two postings on the same issue.

So I was actually replying to the second instance from memory as it were and I didnt really remember who it was that had posted the earlier one.

Also it was indeed thoughtless of me to adress everybody as a gal.

I admit though I was quite a bit annoyed and am annoyed still.

Helen says: "the commentary seemed to mix up the Parkinson's with the trans, as if one caused the other (or even expression of the other)."

It didnt come out that way to me. It was clear that Donna had confided to her wife long before she had Parkinsons and infact when her wife was pregnant with their first child.

What the story says and which I find quite plausible given the transphobic environment within which they lived their lives was that Donna didnt express her gender in public except in stealth before the Parkinsons attack.

In fact the story quotes Donna who says that her operation made her lose her social inhibitions and which led her to the period of unbridled and fulltime living as a woman even when she was exhibiting the Parkinsonian disorder.

The story makes that clear ... that this is what she meant by the loss of her inhibitions. Donna's wife makes clear also that not only this loss of inhibition but also the fact that their children were now grownup and able to be on their own, made it all the more permissible to be so in Donna's mind.

I found nothing objectionable to the story or the way it was handled. Quite authentically and aesthetically if I may say so.

But yes I do feel bad for offending Helen's sensibility and for that my apologies.