We. Need. To. Do. Better.

In one of my classes, I am required to write a research paper on a topic of my choice. Naturally, I was curious about what studies and peer-reviewed articles have been conducted and written about transgender humans in relationships. When I searched for “transgender relationship” in the library site, I received 18 hits, most of which are articles/studies conducted on specific ethnicity groups or transgender drug use. As someone who has been approached by a handful of researchers requesting I participate in their studies on the topic of my relationship as a cisgender human with a transgender one, I know we are bound to see more information on this subject matter in academic spheres. That said, 18? Really? I thought I searched incorrectly. I tried many variations of “transgender” “transexual” “couple” and “marriage”. Still typically saw less than 20 hits. The volume increases when broadening the search to include “family”, but not by much.

It’s astounding to me to see so little. I’m not sure if I’m more shocked at how little there is or how it feels to be so poorly represented in academic research. How, when there are so many of us out there, can there be so little? I’ve met and talked to so many people like me who choose to stay with their partner or whose partners stayed with them in the wake of coming out. Where are we accounted for in the world’s understanding of human development? It feels overwhelming to know how much work needs to be done to realize equality and respect in our community and political system, especially in the wake of how little there is in formal study on the subject. I know more is coming, I know it. But dang – this big, white, patriarchic curtain is so heavy.

We. Need. To. Do. Better.


8 thoughts on “We. Need. To. Do. Better.

  1. karabtg

    A lot of the lack of research can be brought back to the nazis, unfortunately – before the war, the Institute of Sexual Research opened in Germany, for studying and assisting with gender and sexuality. It was actually here they did the first GRS we know of. Long story short, the nazis destroyed it, executed all the researchers, burned all the documents except the patient lists, and used those to round up all patients to be gassed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seph

      I wonder how much of this is the increase in eggs cracking in recent years. My therapist wrote her thesis around partners like us several, several years ago. She was only able to find a small handful, and she was in the DC area and motivated.

      I’d be fascinated to see the growth in transgender individuals and suspect the growth is exponential. And the growth of staying partners is probably at a higher incline, percent-wise, since that depends on both increasing transgender individuals and then also the increase in people staying.

      All of this could be and probably is skewed by my recent diving into the deep end, what with life events and such. But yes, better representation everywhere!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michelle Peters

    Thank you for raising this issue, it is not only in academia that there is a lack of anything to do with partners and families, even trans publications and groups (UK) write mostly for single trans individuals. Trans people definitely have families and partners, myself and my wife have 3 kids (she has 2 step kids with me).
    There was one thing I objected to though, you mention patriarchy even though there are multiple gender identities in academia, women and men more so that non binary and trans. I would be interested to know what you meant by that comment?

    Liked by 2 people

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