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.