When there is uncertainty about the gender identity or social gender role of an individual, determining exactly who the opposite sex is can be a complicated question for both the transgender person and for those who seek to relate to her. Written in both an enlightened and a reader friendly style interspersed with vignettes, When the Opposite Sex Isn’t offers a combination of insights and common sense understanding of the diversity of the human condition together with concepts of gender and sexuality that expand the horizons of any mental health professional, regardless of the clinical focus of his or her work. Samons challenges concepts once taken for granted, thus providing stimulus for creative thinking which many lay readers will also find interesting and entertaining, whether or not they are (thus far) acquainted with a transgender person.
"When the Opposite Sex Isn’t is unlike any psychological account. Instead of cramming trans individuals into pre-existing etiological theories and taxonomies, Samons provides insights into transgender people’s lives and includes numerous helpful anecdotes that demystify their experience. This book will be appreciated and enjoyed by therapists and people interested in gender identity, human sexuality and transgender issues."
- Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
"Sandra Samons reveals with empathy and sensitivity the journey of self discovery and social emergence transgender people experience as they reshape their lives. It’s all here: from the wonderings of a child, to some questioning if it’s ‘too late’, to the wonders of lives fulfilled. Of special importance are Samons’ observations of the primacy of gender identity and the plasticity of sexual orientation during transitions, which raise deep questions about human nature and the words we use to describe ourselves."
- Lynn Conway, professor emerita at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; author of the transgender information website LynnConway.com
"Throughout this book, Samons offers advice to therapists working with transgender clients. She reviews the World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards of care (formerly the Harry Benjamin standards) and some of the associated ethical concerns. Samons provides astute observations regarding the roles of therapists and the importance of considering individual circumstances. Individuals seeking a broad overview of issues in psychotherapy can benefit from reading this book….Samons writes in an engaging jargon-free manner, which renders this book quite easy to read."
-Jessye Cohen in PsycCRITIQUES, May 6, 2009, Vol. 54, Release 18, Article 1.
List of Tables. List of Figures. Foreword. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Beyond Vocabulary. Sex and Gender. The Birth of the Research Project at Hand. Findings About Sexual Orientation in MTF Transgender People. Approaches to Therapy With Transgender Clients. Transgender Children and Transgender Parents. Wives and Partners. Some Further Comments on Transgender and Findings of the Current Research. Where Do We Go From Here? Appendix A: Mental Health Evaluation Checklist for Transgender Clients. Appendix B: Basic Data Sheet. Appendix C: More About Methods. Appendix D: More About Data and Findings. Appendix E: Internet Resources. Annotated Bibliography. Index.