My Interview with Feminist Current

Transgenderism is often discussed in terms of personal identity — a person expressing themselves, becoming their true self, connecting their outer persona to an internal feeling, etc. — but what about those around them? What happens when a woman’s partner decides he is, in fact, a woman? How does this impact the relationship?

In this episode, I speak with a woman who saw and experienced this firsthand. In a relationship with her husband for 14 years, Shannon Thrace’s life went into turmoil when her husband decided he was, in fact, a transwoman. She describes the extreme changes to his personality as well as the painful impacts on their relationship and on her life.

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My TEDx Maastricht Talk: The complexity of the transgender experience

ThraceWhen she is asked to describe herself, it immediately becomes clear that Shannon Thrace is a big lover of life, though life hasn’t always been easy on her. She’s a grad student, writer, IT professional and devotee of farm-to-table restaurants, summer festivals, all-night conversations and formidable philosophy texts. She’s passionate about unplugging, getting outside and seeing the world.

Shannon’s talk is about a tumultuous eighteen months of her life with a transgender spouse. “I speak about this topic because it’s much more complex than the Pollyanna media would have you believe”, Shannon explains. “Compassion requires us to let down our defenses and get frank about this issue, from acknowledging the existential pain of many of these individuals to considering options beyond early and aggressive medical intervention.”

Shannon would like to see a retraction of the relentless pace of capitalism, productivity and technology. “I’d like a world in which people have the freedom to log off, slow down, and enjoy food, friends and conversation”, she says. If she could have any kind of superpower, what would it be? “My favorite superpower would be the ability to read and understand books by lying my hands upon them, so that I could plow through the wealth of information in the world that interests me.”

Ninih Vang
Communications

Full story here.