QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I am gay and have a wonderful boyfriend. He is absolutely perfect in my eyes and he knows that I think that. He has Gender Identity Disorder, which does not bother me in the least, but I think that he feels that it does. What I need to know is how to make him believe that I am ok with this. Also, is there anything that I can do to make him feel more comfortable. I realize that he needs a "strong man", someone to dominate him, but how should I act? I have always been myself to him and always will, but is there anything that I can do?

Answer

You've asked some challenging questions. Before I get to them, I want to respond to your request that I not post your address. We *never* post the address of anyone who writes to any Self- Help & Psychology Magazine question and answer department--unless you ask us to do so.

Now to your questions. While I am experienced in dealing with gay and lesbian issues, I do not have experience with transexual or gender identity concerns. You might want to seek out someone who is experienced for a more informed opinion.

You asked what you can do to "make your boyfriend believe you." No one can ever make someone believe something. What you can do is to act in ways that show him how you feel. By the same token, you can't make him feel more comfortable, but you can do things that help him feel comfortable. I suggest you ask him ideas about what to do.

By the way, I'm a bit concerned that you think he's "absolutely perfect," just because no one is perfect, even the most wonderful of us.

To learn more about Gender Identity Disorder, try joining the alt.transgendered newsgroup. Also, Lambda Rising, the gay bookstore, has a bibliography that includes books like Uninvited Dilemma; Stuart, Kim Elizabeth; $12.95. Their bibliography describes this book as "A clear-headed discussion of Transexualism, cross-dressing, gender roles, psychology of transexualism and socialization of transsexuals."

Hope these suggestions help.

03/13/98


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

 

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