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Why is Your Partner This Way? (1996)

Why is Your Partner This Way? (1996)

©1996, 2013 by Dallas Denny

 Source: Dallas Denny. (1996). Why is your partner this way? In Vanessa & Linda Kaye, Life with Vanessa, pp. 49-51. Vanessa & Linda Kaye, Oklahoma City, OK.





I met Linda Kaye in 1989. She was the wife of a crossdresser and both were active in Atlanta’s chapter of Tri-Ess, the Society for the Second Self. We served on the board of the group that launched the first Southern Comfort Conference. Linda was the chair of the first event. After a divorce she moved to the Midwest, where she met Vanessa, another transgendered person. I was flattered when they asked me to contribute a chapter to their forthcoming book. Life with Vanessa.


Life With Vanessa (PDF)


Why is Your Partner This Way?

By Dallas Denny


 Scientists, who spend their time and energy trying to figure out why things are they way they are, have speculated endlessly and done lots of research to find out why people are crossdressers or transsexual (transgendered). They have developed any number of theories, ranging from early childhood trauma to family dynamics to a subtle hormonal wash that masculinizes or feminizes whatever part of the brain it is that determines gender identity. They have conducted experiments on animals and attempted to generalize the results to humans. They have identified very feminine boys and observed them as they matured into young men. They have cut apart and rearranged chromosomes with high-tech gene splicing machines, searching for a genetic cause of transgenderism.

The upshot of all this is that scientists know as little as they did in the first place. No clearly identifiable cause for being transgendered a being transgendered has been isolated, and it is unlikely that one will be in the foreseeable future. This is because people most likely become transgendered for any number of reasons, and hat most of these reasons are the result of a complex interaction between their biology and their environment.

Many transgendered people desperately want there to be a biological cause, a part of their brain that is like that of the other sex. That’s because if there is a cause, they feel, they would be absolved of all responsibility for not only being transgendered, but for doing whatever they have done because of being transgendered—whether that is crossdressing, or even pursuing sex reassignment. In fact, many people are so eager to find a reason for their transgender nature that they do not deal productively with their lives; everything is on hold until the scientists “prove” why they are the way they are. Every new study is greeted with enthusiasm, and then disappointment, as it fails to demonstrate conclusively why they are transgendered. They keep hoping for the definitive study to come along, but it never does.

Obviously, it’s important for scientists to learn as much about human nature as possible, including how and why we become transgendered. However, why a person is transgendered is of no immediate importance in one’s life. A much more important question is “What are you going to do about it?”

Suppose you have strong feelings that your body and gender role are inappropriate, and that you want to change them—i.e., to have a sex reassignment. You might spend your money for all sorts of psychological tests which your therapist does not particularly want to give you and which will not prove that you are or are not transsexual (there is no test that does that) when the time with your therapist would be much more productively spent in working through the issues surrounding sex reassignment.

You might spend money for a chromosomal analysis, which will in all likelihood determine that you do not have a chromosomal condition—and even if it does, what real difference will it make in your life?

There is historical and cross-cultural evidence that transgendered people have existed throughout time, and all over the world. Being transgendered is one ay of being human, just as is being left-handed, having red hair, or having hazel eyes. In fact, some cultures (unfortunately, not ours) believe that being transgendered provides a special insight into both maleness and femaleness.

Questions to ask yourself and your partner:

1. Is it important to understand the why’s of transgenderism?

2. Is it worth the turmoil of trying to understand the causes of crossdressing instead of learning how to live with it?