Book Review: My Transvestite Addictions

| Jun 3, 2013
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addictions-cvrMy Transvestite Addictions

The Story of One Individual’s Odyssey Through Crossdressing, Alcohol, Escorts, Strippers, Sex and Money

By Jack/Jacquelina A. Shelia

ISBN 978-1-62646-325-7 400 pp.
Published by, Inc., Bradenton, Florida.
© 2013 Jack A. Shelia

The title of this book is enough to put some people’s teeth on edge. I for one have come to loathe the term “transvestite” as something described in the long distant past. When it is combined with “addictions,” a somewhat more gritty image emerges.

Jacquelina’s story struck a cord with me to be sure. There are so many bios and stories on the subject of gender expression and they can tend to exhibit remarkable similarities. Aside from a few minor details, trans women of many stripes share a great deal in common with respect to their gender expression, sexuality and basic approach to life.

Here is a quote that particularly struck me as far as wondering how many people haven’t felt this way:

“I’ve alternatively denied, ignored, embraced, felt guilty about, felt happy about, and just plain felt confused about my femaleness. There have been times when I thought that I wanted to pursue this so-called “transgenderism” all the way, and I’ve seriously considered surgically changing my sex to physically become a woman. I’ve undergone counseling with a clinical psychologist and other therapists to try to help me understand my feelings and impulses…”

The autobiographical tale that is Addictions is a fascinating read. Even if much of it becomes like watching a predictable train wreck unfold again and again. Jacquelina has been cooped up inside Jack’s guy persona for way too long and boy is she ready to have some fun! In true Jeckyl and Hyde tradition, Jacquelina takes the narrator of this story on a wild ride of freedom and excess to explore the feminine side of boring guy “Jack,” who finds himself continually in a quandary about whether he is destined to live his life as a woman or continue his schizophrenic duality that, pendulum-like, keeps his mind at odds with itself. A conflict which Jack articulates as:

…This constant back-and-forth has not only been confusing to me, but I know that it has also perplexed my friends- because one month I tell them I want to transition to female, and the next month I tell them I want to stay male. Because of the conflicting things I have said about myself since 2010, some of my friends probably concluded that I was totally nuts- or maybe even lying. My relationships with a couple of friends became frayed and broken over time. I can’t blame them. …living with my male-female duality has been emotionally stressful as I try to understand just what the hell is going on inside my brain.

Maybe it’s just easier to see someone else’s life from outside, but each time we see Jacquelina, fueled by alcohol and “on the prowl,” enthusiastically grasping life and living it as female. The addictions in addition to alcohol, which invariably leads Jacquelina down a path of debauchery that includes transsexual as well as female escorts, and men.

Another quote that I think many can identify with is the following:

…I eventually came to a type of conclusion: I am both Jack and Jacquelina. I do not have to choose between the two. When I feel like Jack, I’ll dress as Jack. When I feel like Jacquelina, I’ll dress as Jacquelina. I’m both male and female, depending on my mood. Thus, I consider myself to be more “bigendered” than transgendered….

The fact that the author wrote such a personal and revealing story is probably as therapeutic as it is an exercise in writing. I applaud the courage to put such a story out for others to gain insights from. Most of the action in the book is fairly recent, within the past few years so we get a picture of how all the excitement of going out publicly and having experiences as Jacquelina is being processed by the author practically as the text is being written.

The author

The author

I felt a great deal of empathy towards the narrator, if not frustration at seeing someone endure such seemingly irreconcilable differences within their own psyche. It is by no means a psychological treatise on addictions but I think through this anecdotal account much can be surmised about how addictions of all kinds become “wired” in the brain.

One of the things about Jacquelina and her alter-ego is that both are fiercely independent and need to learn from their own painful experiences. Jack wonders how differently this would have played out if Jacquelina had found expression with a support group that caters to trans people. But Jacquelina needed to express herself in natural settings, whether they be blue collar shot and beer joints, gay bars or martini or wine bars.

And we are left with the prospect that this dichotomy, which has finally found a voice is far from being completely played out.

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Category: Product Review, Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

Part-time T-gurl who discovered Angelas Laptop Lounge a number of years ago and found a new means of self-expression giving a long neglected facet of her personality fresh air and sunshine! Enjoys meeting and socializing others exploring their own horizons.

Comments (3)

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  1. jackieshe jackieshe says:

    Hey, thanks very much! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read the book and write such a fair and thoughtful review. I put 40 years of struggle and about 2 years of writing into that book… maybe it was all worth it! 🙂

  2. Gina-Vizavi Gina-Vizavi says:

    Here is link to My Transvestite Addictions FB page, which shared this review! Thanks, it is an honor to be the first to review the book. Good luck!