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My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  201 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Author Helen Boyd is a happily married woman whose husband enjoys sharing her wardrobe - and she has written the first book on transgendered men to focus on their relationships. Traditionally known as cross-dressers, transvestites, or drag queens, men like Helen's husband are a diverse lot who don't always conform to stereotype. Helen addresses every imaginable question co ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by Seal Press (first published December 2nd 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 501)
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Dec 30, 2009 Imogen rated it it was ok
When I clicked on the 'add review' button, I heard myself let out this long sigh. I mean, I don't WANT to talk a bunch of shit about this book, right? I want this to be a really valuable resource for the het women who date het crossdressing het men, without any flaws or terrible things in it. And it kind of is! Kind of! It's not totally worthless, which is a pretty weak blurb.

Also, I read the followup first, out of order, and had some kind of mean things to say about it.

So, okay. A couple pages
Nov 21, 2009 Kira rated it really liked it
Shelves: gender

I'm giving this four stars rather than three, because Boyd (her nom de plume) really does think her way through crossdressing unlike any other author on the subject. The only one who comes close is Julia Serano, whose first book is really not about the same subject, despite having one excellent chapter on crossdressers.

The long answer to why I give it four stars: Boyd 'gets' that MtF crossdressers are transgendered, but also that they're not transsexuals or fetishists (for the most part). Crossd

Feb 02, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
I cross-dress. And it has had a major impact on my life, including the demise of my marriage. In fact, my ex-wife is still pretty upset about it. So I finally decided to get more familiar with the "why" of cross-dressing, and the various aspects of how it affects our relationships. Why? Because I don't want it to adversely affect another relationship I get into. Now that I have read most of this book, I COMPLETELY understand my ex's point-of-view and I have a new appreciation for how to incorpor ...more
Mar 22, 2012 Minerva rated it really liked it
Shelves: sub-culture, feminism
A frank and honest portrayal of life with a cross dresser highlighting the positives as well as the negatives and paranoias that come with it. Written by a feminist the chapter on gender politics is particularly fascinating pointing out the irony of the female persona many cross dressers' chose to portray versus the reality of life facing women in the modern age.
Jan 28, 2011 Shawn rated it liked it
A comprehensive read for those looking for an introduction into the broad spectrum
of gender politics. Especially interesting because it adds yet another twist into the confusing
issue of gender and gender identity.

Vern L. Bullough sums up the book well: "This is an insider's view of transvestism. It is sympathetic, understanding, but also
realistic and critical. It should be essential reading not only for wives of transvestites (the author is the wife of one), but for transvestites
and transgender
Moonyean Carlton
Sep 15, 2007 Moonyean Carlton added it
Recommends it for: partners of gender/diverse
Shelves: genderdiversity
I have had several relationships with TG people, and am
interested in the psychology of both partners in this kind of relationship. Cross-dressers are not my especial
interest, but My Husband Betty is one of the first books I have read which presents a candid view of how the
"significant other" is affected by any change in gender identity in her partner. Helen Boyd, the author, is both
funny and very sharp in her autobiography of her husband's
journey into cross-dressing, her struggles with wondering
Jan 02, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it
For gender studies and to learn more about cross-dressing and the confusing and abundant terms used in the LGBTA world, this book was very helpful. I enjoyed this book because it was from Helen's viewpoint and she stated as such. She shared resources and groups that were both good and bad, didn't hold back on criticism or suggesting ways systems and programs could be improved. The dictionary of terms in the back was extremely helpful, but more so - was the fact that throughout the book she state ...more
Rachel Eliason
Dec 12, 2011 Rachel Eliason rated it liked it
Shelves: transgender
My Husband Betty is an interesting book and very well written. I found it an interesting glimpse into the lives of cross-dressers and their wives. The book seems to give a fairly balanced view of the subject, it is not the rosy view a cross-dresser might give nor the completely negative view that some of the wives might give.
I would give two small disclaimers on this book. The first is that this book is not in fact about her husband Betty. This is about cross dressers and their wives. The perso
Sep 29, 2007 Jesse rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lots of folks.
This book is written by a woman who is partnered to a person who is a crossdresser and sometimes identified as transgender. As a trans person, reading this book was really enlightening for me to hear what some partners (particularly people who are based mostly in the straight world) experience when their partner explores transitioning. I got angry at the author from time to time but for the most part it made me a more compassionate person. I've lent this book out a couple of times when I feel li ...more
May 16, 2007 Will&lena rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to know what it might be like to date a transgender man.
Shelves: transgender
The writer writes from the heart in this book. Her husband is a cross dresser who also has a deep need to know what it is to be a woman. The book covers everything from dressing, going out, living with, emotions, sex and a bunch of other stuff. She wrote about her experiences and experiences of other people she has meet or talk to and made friends with. The book is sad and it kicked me in the face when I read it. It also made me cry a couple of times. I had no idea what other people might go thr ...more
Apr 30, 2008 Melvina rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books, part memoir, and part Trans 101, Helen gives a good, thorough review of what it means to be a crossdresser, and a crossdresser's wife. There's also a very tender love story weaved throughout. She follows up with her next book, She's Not The Man I Married, by detailing in more intimate and painful ways, what it means to be married to a man who has decided to be a woman. Helen's writing is so raw and honest, there are no easy conclusions and answers. But you find yourself ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Alice rated it did not like it
HB really takes for granted her white privileged straight girl lifestyle. She is constantly making generalizations based on her small bubble about all people who are not gender normative. It's so biased towards her own small community and her uncomfortableness with crossdressing that I do not see this as being a useful resource to others. She flirts with and occasionally embraces some transphobic points-of-view and her interviews with trans people come off as more voyueristic and self-serving th ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Jaye rated it liked it
This is a good book on a subject that is seldom covered outside of psychological texts. It doesn't speak to me as much as it once might have, but there's still some good material here. I heartily recommend it to anyone who crossdresses or loves someone who does.
Mar 31, 2007 Karen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yes
This is a great book it helped me with understanding the world and how people need to be more accepting of who people are. What matters is on the inside not the out.

If you have a friend going through the "trans" processor this is a must read.
Anne Paschke
Jul 25, 2008 Anne Paschke rated it liked it
A great resource for female partners of male crossdressers, but much less interesting than He's Not the Man I Married from a general gender studies standpoint.
Mar 25, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: crossdressers and their friends
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok
Not bad, just kind of slow. She can be quite repetitive at times, even across chapters. I think I would have liked it better if I were part of the target audience. It's basically a "how to" on dating/ marrying or being a crossdresser. She has some interesting thoughts & (obviously) unique insight, but the points she made could have been conveyed just as clearly (perhaps even more clearly) if the book were about a third of the length. I was constantly checking to see how many pages I had left ...more
Veronica Beta
May 14, 2015 Veronica Beta rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book because of the references included. The tone of the book was upbeat. The complexity of the subject did not seem to intimidate the author and she provided almost exactly what I was looking for with regard to the subject matter.

A wonderful insight into interpersonal relationships of people sharing lives outside the mainstream. Also my friend Emma recommended it and she's cool, so it had to be cool. :)
Nicole Lemke
Jan 09, 2012 Nicole Lemke rated it liked it
I would say this was a good book if I was in college in comparison to other text books, and in that circumstance I would appreciate the redundancy. I imagine yhe professor not making me read somechapters about Tri-essa. However, in college I'd read it and go off to Roscoe's; for a stay at home mom reading for entertainment, it's a bit boring. It is anecdotal, but I didn't feel especially engaged in any characters. I enjoy non-fiction and appreciated Boyd's candidness, but felt she could even bee ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: half-priced-books, tg
One of the few books about crossdressers and one of the even fewer books written from the perspective of the wife of a crossdresser.
David Horney
Apr 30, 2009 David Horney rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-41st-year
Fascinating insight into a culture I don't know much about. She makes a lot of assertions that when you look at them closely are based on her own suppositions/personal anecdotes rather than hard fact. But (there's always a "but")she is actively involved in the life and has a bird's eye view as it were.
Interstingly, Helen gives a lot of good relationship advice that is applicable to anyone not just those involved in the TG/TS/CD etc community.
Jul 31, 2007 Erica rated it it was amazing
There are all sorts of differences between people. We don't have to like all of it, but everyone should be free to do what fulfills them, and not have to stay in the closet. Each of us really need to look at how we individually feel/act/react towards gender issues, and ask why the lines between what defines and man and a woman are so strict and distant from each other.
Mar 29, 2009 Jill rated it liked it
This was hit or miss for me. Solid research reporting, but somewhat disjointed. The author seemed to discuss about her husband's crossdressing as a badge of her own hipness at times, which had me rolling my eyes. However, I applaud her efforts for writing this book. Lots of information and intelligent, compassionate (albeit biased) writing.
Jul 15, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
I picked this up because I knew Betty back when she was living as a man, whereas nowadays, she lives mostly as a woman. The book is written by her wife, and it seems like it would be great primer for those living and loving crossdressers. I don't live or love one, but it was interesting nevertheless.
Denise Kawaii
Jul 11, 2013 Denise Kawaii rated it it was amazing
Wonderful look at understanding and loving your partner for who they are (and getting the same love and understanding in return). Highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for answers to questions around gender roles and related relationship issues.
Jan 14, 2012 Jon rated it liked it
I skimmed the second half of this book, the author mentions time and time again she is trying to make a comprehensive book on crossdressing, well she did that and them some. Just too dense sometimes.
Ingrid Biery
Oct 07, 2012 Ingrid Biery rated it it was amazing
Very informative about cross-dressing/transvestism. Funny how I have never expected other types of people to be all the same, but I'd bought into the idea that there was one way to describe all cross-dressers.
Feb 17, 2014 WonderGoon rated it really liked it
Shelves: transgender
I really had to slog through this one. Its not bad, just one of those books best read slow to really absorb what is being said.
Feb 14, 2011 MT rated it really liked it
An excellent book for significant others of cross-dressers. Helen Boyd's written account of her life with a cross-dresser.
James Bridges
May 29, 2012 James Bridges rated it liked it
Informative, touching and well written. Essential reading for anyone who is, knows or loves a transgender person.
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Helen Boyd is the author of My Husband Betty (Thunder’s Mouth, 2004) which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and is often referred to as the “field guide to crossdressers”. Her second book, She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband (Seal Press, 2007), has been called “a postmodern reflection on transness” by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Her blog (en)gender can be found on ...more
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