Samantha's Library

Quotable Quotes

She's Not The Man I Married

Chapter 1 - Girl Meets Boy

"I don't claim to know by what miracle Betty and I have managed to stay together despite all this adversity. But I do know one thing that gave us more tools, more leeway, more fluidity, and more latitude when dealing with our problems — and that was our ability to forget how we were supposed to be as husband and wife." p.32.

"But the one thing you learn when you hang out with someone who might be transsexual is that almost nothing is more important than gender; not relationships, not children, not employment, not career goals or financial stability. When something isn't right with someone's gender, nothing could be more wrong or more important." p.33.

"My personal crisis — in trying to figure out why my partner's gender change might prevent me from loving him — or her — is the basis of this book. To understand why gender was so invisible to me before, and why it's so unavoidable now, I had to try to figure out what gender is exactly, and why it at once means so much and signifies nothing." p.35.

"We have to figure out how to put gender away when we love someone, and to do that we need to recognize what gender is." p.38.

"It's a cold, cold day when death seems easier than what you're facing. A cold, lonely, miserable, heart-wrenching day." p.43.

Chapter 2 - Confessions of a Grown-up Tomboy

"… has it hurt to see my husband take to femininity like a fish takes to water? Of course." p.61.

"For me, all Betty has done so far is strip away some layers of artifice to reveal who she truly is. Yet, I don't want him to keep stripping until all that's left for me to see is that my husband was never a man at all, and that who I fell in love with was something he had constructed during the course of his life to get along in the world." p.91.

Chapter 3 - The Opposite of 49

"Love to me is a little more mundane than single people and teenagers and newlyweds think it is. What it is is hard work. It's fantastic in the same kind of mundane way, too …" p.95.

"If they're allowed to transition at younger ages, and to come out as transsexual before beginning adult life and making adult commitments, they won't marry people before they know they're transsexual." p.97.

"… it's good for partners to cut through the sentimental stuff about love and being soul mates — not because that stuff isn't true but because so many of our romantic roles are so gendered they don't always hold up when your partner is trans." p.110.

"… transition is not about one person when that trans person is in love: Both people need to transition when someone is changing gender, and each person does it in his or her own way." p.123.

Chapter 4 - Snips & Snails & Sugar & Spice

"Ironically, gender can be much more stereotypical in trans circles, than it is in the rest of the population, because for trans people, figuring out how to fade into the woodwork is a means of survival, literally life or death." p.127.

"Gender is kind of like that tree falling in the forest. Without someone to observe it, it's just an idea." p.146.

"Bucking gender roles is huge. Monumentally, backbreakingly huge. The overwhelming pressure to conform to masculine or feminine ideals — or die trying — is constant." p.157.

"When your husband's name changes depending on what clothes he's wearing and how he's styled his hair, you're pretty much tossed out of the 'normal' category." p.157.

Chapter 5 - Wearing The Pants

"But while there's humor to be found in all this same-ing and opposite-ing, we do live in a country where some people find the idea of same-sex coupling so horrendous they are passing laws and changing state constitutions to prevent it. My proposal is that we should tell them they can have their amendment as soon as someone can tell me categorically and with no exceptions what the opposite of a feminine man is, and whom exactly he's supposed to marry." p.194.

"At the very least it would be helpful if more people started reminding themselves that what genitals you have doesn't necessarily determine how you are as a person. Gender is a vital part of identity, and yet people don't seem to figure who they are or what they want their partner to be." p.197.

Chapter 6 - Genitals Are The Least of It

"Do I wish that Betty and I were perfectly regular about our gender roles and our sexuality? Of course. It would be reassuring to know that I fit in, that who I am and who we are wouldn't raise eyebrows. But so many couples I've known were so perfectly gendered, and are so perfectly not together any more." p.206.

"Growing up trans has to suck. As much as female socialization is my personal bugaboo, I still wouldn't trade growing up socialized female for growing up trans, not for a second. Trans people express such deep levels of shame and repression and outright unhappiness." p.245.

Chapter 7 - Love Is A Many-gendered Thing

"For a gender feminist such as myself, whether or not someone is a woman on the chromosomal level is hardly important, because living in the world as a woman is the defining characteristic of woman-ness. Living as a woman may be what "makes" you a woman." pp. 245,246.

"As long as there are inequities in the way men and women are treated, I fear, one will always be considered better than the other, and the chasm between Mars and Venus will persist." p.250.

"The most fundamental problem for partners who didn't know about their spouses' gender issues or desire to transition before marriage is that there is no one to blame. Most partners will, rightly or wrongly, blame their trans spouse, because the whole idea of "I knew but I really didn't know" just doesn't make any goddamned sense to anyone who hasn't been inside the brain of someone who has lived it." p.253.

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