Crossdressing Husband & Father on NPR

Some things you just never expect. NPR recently did a show about a crossdressing husband & father that was about as off the mark as Dr. Phil usually is. Pathologizing, full of the embarassed & shamed comments by the wife and commentary of the narrator, it was rife with ignorance and misunderstanding, and seemed to equate this person’s other mental health issues with his need to crossdress.

Wow. I wish I were more often pleasantly suprrised by the media, but I really never expected this kind of crappy story-telling from NPR. Just one opinion that offset all the negativity would have been nice.

That the story is about someone who is deceased makes it all the more sickening. There is no one to represent Doug/Donna to explain what crossdressing is all about.

You can listen to it here – all of 12 minutes & nothing redeemable! – & narrated by a family “friend.” Feh.

3 Replies to “Crossdressing Husband & Father on NPR”

  1. I don’t know, Helen. In some ways, it seemed sympathetic, even though it did make crossdressing seem like something pathological. Doug/Donna’s friend regretted having addressed his friend as he did when he met him/her at the arts festival. The wife seems to have come to terms to some extent. I agree that the story could have used some balance, because it’s a “tragic crossdresser” story with nothing really to redeem it, and it’s all mixed up with the story of a rare disease.

  2. I wasn’t sure until the end, but yeah; nothing redeemable. I think it’s clueless to the larger point that our culture’s definitions of gender and sexuality are so rigid that some people build up unexpressed tidal waves of emotion within them that eventually burst out in crisis.
    When I worked for the druggies at the first Tranny store there was a guy, 6’7″ who walked in and with deep and sonorous voice shyly admitted “I’ve always wanted to do this”. It soon became an obsession and his life began to unravel in alcohol abuse, anonymous unprotected sex, and rather hideous fashion choices. He used to come in ad flit around and in a screechy falsetto say “Hi! My name is Susie!”
    He had a brain condition not dissimilar to this guys; his behavior was a symptom, not somehow the cause like i hear subtly spun in this piece.
    This story is presented as a cautionary tale of a fall from the mythical “perfect family” and a hint that,as you said, that the crossdressing itself is pathological. What if Doug had a secret penchant for men, or twelve year old girls, and that is what had come out instead? What’s such a pisser is the willingness to dismiss, diminish and infantalize a dead guy who can’t defend himself. In the interview with doug it sounded to me like he was DYING to find an excuse to release his inhibitions…

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