An interview with Jean Vermette about her experience of recognizing that she was female, and taking the risk to share it with the people she loved. She ultimately chose to undergo sexual reassignment surgery and wrote a book, Je Me Souviens (I will remember) about her experience of MtF genital surgery. Jean spoke movingly about how her need to feel whole was so strong that she was willing to risk the loss of sexual responsiveness. Jean described the process as an example of the universal spiritual story of death and rebirth, and the sense of loss of her male self that was a necessary part of embracing her female identity.
An interview with author and gender studies professor, Helen Boyd about being married to a trans woman. Helen describes her early courtship to a man who “occasionally cross-dressed” and how this evolved into loving her partner through transition into becoming a woman. She accepted the experience as an invitation to explore her own relationship to gender from being a young tomboy, to pressures to conform to traditional ideas about femininity as she grew up. Helen explores what it is like to be perceived now as a lesbian because she is married to a woman, and how she and Betty have each worked to honor each other’s sexual and gender needs through the process of transition.
An interview with the director of the Maine Transgender Network, Alex Roan. Alex defines the terms transgender, transsexual and cross-dresser, clarifying the difference between sex, gender, gender expression and sexual orientation. He describes his own story of experiencing the gap between his sex and his gender , and his experience of transition from female to male. He gives poignant examples of experiencing male privilege from the “other side.” He also describes common issues that trans people struggle with, especially coping with the reactions of family and friends.
An interview with body psychotherapist Betta de Boer van der Kolk about Tantra as a way to heal from sexual abuse. Betta describes Tantra as an exchange of energy that brings presence, connection, safety and play into sexuality. She teaches me a technique for couples to harmonize their breathing in order to give to each other through their bodies. She also describes ways that a woman can receive sexual healing through tantric massage, and men can learn to dissociate orgasm from ejaculation, in order to experience ejaculatory control.
An interview with couples therapist and certified sex therapist Wendy Maltz about the impact of sexual abuse on sexuality, and ways to reclaim pleasure, safety and intimacy. [Read more…]