Short Story #83: A Man May Not Marry His... by Robert Graves

Title:  A Man May Not Marry His...

Author:  Robert Graves

Summary

Robert Graves - The Shout and Other Stories
The story is an overheard conversation among several religious leaders within the Church of England trying to make sense of the issues surrounding transsexualism and how that would apply to marriage within the church.  The leaders explain the technicalities around whether it would be acceptable for someone to remarry within the church and how it is dependent upon how the the gender performance dynamics between the two.  The conversation covers under what elements it would be acceptable and unacceptable but at the end of all this discussing, the narrator asks a simple question, "off record" about what would an "ex-man" do if he wanted to be married in the church without fanfare to which the reply is for the person to find a parish that is far enough away to not know.   

Reflection

A curious story within this collection; that's for sure.  The language uses around transsexualism is clearly antiquated and it's fascinating to see this topic being addressed in an anthology that was originally published in 1965.  Of course, that's not entirely surprising giving this is the decade following the earlier successful full surgical transitions.  There were also some promising elements within the views in that the church did not excommunicate or refuse marriage (or remarriage) to transsexuals. 

Short Story #83 out of 365
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  3/21/2014
Source:  The Shout and Other Stories by Robert Graves. Penguin Books, 1978.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.



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