Five Questions With… Alice Novic

alice novic, richard novicAlice (Richard) Novic is the author of Girl Talk magazine’s “Go Ask Alice” column and also the author of the newly-published Alice in Genderland, a modern (readable!) memoir by a crossdresser. Dr. Richard Novic, Alice’s male self, is a psychiatrist who lives with his wife in the LA area, and his femme self, Alice, has a steady boyfriend.
1) How did being a psychiatrist aid/hinder your self-acceptance?
Well, Helen, I’d have to say it’s good to be a crossdresser and a psychiatrist. As I trained in psychiatry, I came across more people and ideas than I ever would have encountered on my own. That perspective gave me the confidence to shrug off all the conventional negativity about crossdressing, and instead see it as an exuberant and healthy part of human diversity.
2) It struck me as odd that you mention in Alice in Genderland that your wife preferred not knowing exactly what you’re up to as Alice, and yet – there it all is, in the book. Either she knows it all now, or she didn’t read the book (or sections of it). Which is it? If she does know it all now, how are you two handling that change in your arrangement?
Truly, Melissa, my wife, has not only read most of my book, but she has helped me to improve vast stretches of it. Nevertheless, I’ve spared her my steamier interludes. And although she knows about Frank, I was careful not to share too many of the details of me looking for and finding a lover.
3) Since you’re out to your family, I assume they know about the book – how do they feel about it?
When it comes to my family, the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy I describe in my story continues. They don’t care to ask about Alice in Genderland, and I don’t care to tell them much about it. My in-laws, however, have been wonderful. Though I’m judicious in what I disclose, Melissa and her mother and sisters have been behind me from the very moment I told them I wanted to write the first modern memoir of a crossdresser.
4) At one point in the book, you go out with your wife, as Alice, and let a man put his arm around you. This bothers your wife. The conclusion you came to in the book was not to go out with your wife anymore, which surprised me – as I would have expected you to not let men put their arms around you when you were out with her, instead. So my question is: why that decision?
That incident occurred when I was only allowed to kick my heels up one night out a month, as opposed to the last several years, in which I go out once a week. Given that girl-time was such a precious commodity, I had to make sure I could use it for what I craved most: that back-in-college-but-this-time-as-a-girl euphoria, and flirting with boys was a big part of it. If I could have had that and a more chaste night out with Melissa, then we might never have stopped being girls on the town together.
5) Do you think your bisexuality would exist without your crossdressing – or vice versa?
Like many of my friends, I wouldn’t be a bisexual, if I wasn’t a crossdresser. In fact, I’m not sure how good a bisexual I really am, because, as Richard, I would never have sex with a man and, as Alice, I’d prefer not to have sex with a woman. It’s not that I have anything against these things; it’s just that they don’t excite me. And as you can see from Alice in Genderland, I haven’t been too shy to explore anything I thought might be exciting.
(Alice in Genderland is available now at,, and other online bookstores.)