Monday, January 14, 2008

a public apology

This heartfelt apology goes out to Helen Boyd, author of She's Not the Man I Married and My Husband Betty (a book we've inherited from the now-defunct Thunder's Mouth Press and which we've just reprinted under the Seal logo).

Helen's book did not receive a Lambda nomination because of a mistake on our part. I wanted to write about this egregious oversight when I announced our two winners last Friday, but we were still trying to figure out the best way to handle it. But there is no other way to handle it other than owning it. A number of things---our move, turnover in our publicity department, and lack of follow-up---resulted in She's Not the Man I Married being sent in too late to be considered for this year's nomination to the TRANSGENDER category, the category under which we have two other nominations.

Both of Helen's books shine much-needed light on the subject of what it's like to love someone who's decided they want to transition. She is the partner, the one who's experience is rarely portrayed (perhaps because so many partners end up leaving when their wife or husband decides they want to transition). She grapples with the very difficult subjects of what her husband's crossdressing, and ultimately his choice to live as a woman, means for her own identity, what it feels like to want to have sex with her husband as a man, what their public and private life really looks like. Reading these books back to back is to experience what it would feel like to ride the rollercoaster of emotions and reactions that you'd feel if your partner went from occasionally crossdressing to choosing to live as a woman.

Helen and Betty are a delightful couple, an example of what it takes to make it work: sacrifice, honesty, love for the person despite their gender. I acquired this book because I thought every woman needed to read Helen's insights on gender roles and expectations, the nature of the male/female dynamic, and so much more.

She's Not the Man I Married not only should have made the list of nominees, it had a very real chance of taking the category. It's a memoir that's as moving as it is thorough and deep and utterly real.

Helen, we're sorry.

Public, read Helen, and buy her books.



Lynne said...

Very classy! Is there any chance they'd allow a late submission?

Krista Lyons-Gould and Brooke Warner said...

That's a good suggestion, Lynne. And I'll suggest that the publicist make the phone call at the very least.


Lynne said...

/me smiles