cover image She's Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband

She's Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband

Helen Boyd, . . Seal, $15.95 (311pp) ISBN 978-1-58005-193-4

I've been preparing myself to lose my husband for the past few years," observes Boyd in this humorous, self-deprecating follow-up to her first memoir, My Husband Betty . "There is another woman, in a sense. My husband is that other woman, or might become her." Delving deeply into the question of gender identity, she explores the role of gender and its impact on how and who we love. Boyd, an androgynous-looking heterosexual woman (often mistaken for a lesbian), is married to a heterosexual man, who for the past few years has been "presenting as female" most of the time." Betty hasn't yet decided to have "the surgery," while Boyd isn't sure she'd be able to stay in the relationship if Betty does fully "transition" into being a woman. When referring to Betty, Boyd switches back and forth from "he" to "she"—even within the same sentence—portraying the confusion that a "trans person" presents daily in defining gender. Though she covers her complex topic well, and even includes a chapter of sex advice, Boyd's attempts to conceptualize her experience are unnecessarily repetitive. Part love story, part psychological treatise and part cautionary tale, this book will speak most directly to those who are confronting gender's perplexing contradictions. (Mar.)