Gae came to my attention with a pamphlet I picked up. But it was only when a Tri-Ess member asked if anyone had read her book and that chain of events is here. I wanted to add responses from others as well as from the individual that has probably lost a marriage as a direct result of this marriage. I am also going to include email exchanges with Gae.
the problems I have with the likes of Hall is the notion that if they don't like
something (or more precisely find something to be disgusting) they feel that
they must appeal to a higher authority to justify themselves. I am actually OK
with wives who are honest about their distaste for TGs even if it is their
husbands. What I am not OK with is the notion that because it can't work for
them, that it can't (and shouldn't) work for anyone else either.
Let me give a
little more background on Gae Hall and my perspective on the book.
This is the email sent to Gae by the individual that was harmed and her reply, unfortunately the damage has already been done.
Thank you for contacting me with feedback on my book. It is important that I hear the comments from people who have read my book so that I may ensure it is understood correctly. Thank you also for explaining your situation with your marriage. I am pleased to hear that you show significant respect to your wife by setting your own boundaries and sticking to them. While I have no knowledge for how long cross-dressing has been a feature of your marriage I feel that your wife has responded too hastily. I addressed this in my book.
“I recognise that not every wife will set a boundary of total abstinence from all cross-dressing. In corroboration with a prayer partner or a wise Christian friend, a wife may decide to permit some level of cross-dressing, if the wife believes her husband is able to control himself sufficiently to remain at that level. I’ll give an example. It may be that a husband desires to wear women’s knickers under his male clothes. This is a habit that only his wife knows about. The husband may have no desire to wear women’s clothing at other times, and be quite content to remain at this level of cross-dressing. His willingness to remain at this level gives the wife an opportunity to pray for him, just as she would pray over any other weakness he may have. It is when cross-dressing or other trans-gender behaviours become detrimental to the spiritual, emotional or physical wellbeing of family members that more decisive measures need be taken.
While I believe cross-dressing is a sin that must be resisted, it is true that a husband may well point out some sinful areas in his wife’s life. It is a blessing to help each other to become more pleasing to God, whether it is by turning from pride, greed, arrogance – or the habits associated with the trans-gender condition” (p 303).
Under the circumstances you describe, in which you have established your own boundaries and are willing to remain within them, I would not recommend separation nor divorce. As communicated above I recommend that your wife continue in prayer with a trusted friend and that you also pray for those areas in which your wife may need growth and repentance. As outlined earlier I do not believe that your situation has become detrimental to the spiritual emotional or physical wellbeing of your wife, unless you are attempting to convince her that your trans-gender behaviour is morally neutral or aligned with Christian living. While your wife may desire you to go to a ‘real counsellor’, by which I suppose she means a ‘Christian counsellor’ and get an accountability partner, these a good practices for any practicing Christian regardless of whether they struggle with trans-genderism. She too may benefit from seeing a Christian counsellor and having an accountability partner.
If your wife considers me to be an authority on religion and cross-dressing perhaps she could communicate directly with me. At this stage I would encourage her to pray for your cross-dressing habit, just as she would pray for any other weakness that exists in your marriage, and remain committed to strengthening and healing your marriage. A significant portion of chapter nine revolves around working towards reconciliation. In fact, I based the five points in chapter nine on Bishop Frank Retief’s book “Divorce”:
This book is primarily concerned with reconciliation – how the brokenness of a damaged marriage might be brought together again – and over and over again Retief advised unceasing prayer to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ should undergird all efforts to bring reconciliation.
Retief outlined five lines of action a wife might take in order to create a climate of reconciliation, these being:
Bearing in mind the five elements listed above, and the need for unceasing prayer, let us now consider how a wife who has been confronted by her husband’s cross-dressing or other trans-gender habits – and has been deeply hurt by them – might work towards reconciliation. (p 299)
I very deeply desire that your marriage be restored and healed. Please keep in mind that often when wives are shocked and overwhelmed that their marriage is struggling they will, in desperation, act hastily at whatever advice they find. As stated in my Action Plan of chapter 10, I believe consultation with an older mature Christian woman is the first step in working towards reconciliation in a marriage that is struggling. If your wife carefully read chapter nine she would have discovered that actions such as separation only take place when boundaries have been repeatedly broken (page 310). This does not seem to be the case in your situation.
I welcome your wife to contact me directly if she desires. I am confident she still desires for your marriage to be restored so that it is strong, healthy and mutually uplifting.
Yours in Christ,