Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
83 — Trans Widow: Off the Grid with Shannon Thrace

83 — Trans Widow: Off the Grid with Shannon Thrace

Shannon Thrace is a writer, IT professional, and devotee of farm-to-table restaurants, summer festivals, all-night conversations, and lifelong learning. She’s passionate about unplugging, getting outside, and traveling the world. She’s also a trans widow who has written a memoir, soon to be published.

Today Shannon tells about first meeting her husband, Jaime. She fell in love and married a man who was creative and artistic, with an eclectic but grungy style. He was down for anything, fun to be around, and spontaneous. They moved from the city to the country. This was a young open-minded couple that enjoyed a playfulness in their relationship. So when Jamie stumbled across trans porn and developed an interest in cross-dressing, Shannon was more curious than distressed. But then things took a weird turn. As Jamie started to spend more time in online spaces, and less time in the real world, his interest in cross-dressing changed from a fun activity to a real struggle with gender dysphoria. He spiraled into worsening mental health and their marriage took a dive. Shannon tells the story of how her loving marriage couldn’t withstand the pressure of Jamie’s obsessions, ideologies, and online activism. We touch on the role of affirmative therapists, the loss of her friends, and Shannon’s utter isolation from this complicated situation. Ultimately a solo camping trip helped her ground herself and make a decision about ending the marriage. She ends this interview with some advice to other women who may be in a similar situation.



Shannon's Book: 18 Months: A Memoir of a Marriage Lost to Gender Identity

Extended Notes

  • Shannon shares the story of her love for her husband.

  • Exploring Trans pornography was Jamie’s way of introducing Shannon to his transformation.

  • Jamie changed his personal style many times over the years.

  • Shannon identified as a lesbian before meeting her husband.

  • While testing out the waters of cross-dressing, Jamie was writing about his masculinity in a blog.

  • A brief comment from a stranger ignited Jamie’s gender dysphoria.

  • Jamie’s story closely fits into the gender dysphoria narrative on the internet at the time.

  • Jamie was so depressed he stepped out of his everyday life. He quit work and stopped having sex with Shannon.

  • Shannon’s therapist recommended she write a letter to say goodbye to her male partner.

  • The therapist commented that she thought it would be fun to transition Jamie.

  • Jamie started to pull away, sabotaged Shannon in tirades, and gave their mutual friends ultimatums.

  • Jamie has had surgery to fully incorporate his beliefs.

  • Shannon believes gender dysphoria can be acquired.

  • Shannon offers advice for those who have spouses in various stages of transitioning.

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Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in its fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.