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Review: Trans Like Me

| Sep 24, 2018
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I started reading Trans Like Me over a month ago-before last month’s Page Pundit column. I wasn’t finished reading it, though, and decided to review an older book instead. I didn’t want to rush through it because this book required my attention.

It’s been a LONG time since a transgender related book required me to pull out a highlighter and post-its (standard procedure for me and books about Current Events and History.) This one screamed for it. That’s how seriously I took it.

Right. So what is it? It’s the first book by CN Lester, “an academic, writer, musician, and leading LGBTI activist. Co-founder of the U.K.’s first national queer youth organization, they (pronouns: they/their) curate the trans art event Transpose, and work internationally as a trans and feminist educator and speaker. Their work has featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, SBS, The Guardian, ABC, The Independent, Newsnight, New Internationalist, and The Toast.” (That’s their bio on Good Reads.)
Trans Like Me
The book is a series of fifteen essays, which can be read one at a time, or in groups. They build their points through all of the essays, but the essays don’t need to be read in order. If that makes sense.

I highlighted the parts that jumped out at me. What follows is a sampling:

“We hold off our transitions until it is transition or die. We are encouraged to do so.
And some of us die.
Many of us who live have tried to.”

“There is a tendency for some of us trans activists to look at ourselves and say, ‘We’re already damaged goods — we should focus on young people,’ because at least there’s still hope for them.”

“I wonder if this is one of the reasons why some people hate trans people with such a passion, wanting not just to stamp us out but to erase all signs of our transgressions. Not because we have failed at trying to live by society’s gendered rules, but because we have broken these rules and still found happiness.”

I could’ve written the same things, as that’s exactly how I feel. Not that I agree with everything they wrote — there are some parts with which I disagree, and others that I just don’t understand. Maybe that’s because the author is from the U.K., and that flavors their perceptions and ideas. While Brit-centric, they also cover the U.S. and other nations. They also mention the negative effects that colonialism had on the other parts of the planet vis a vis our intolerance toward people who are different.

Trans Like Me is a wonderful set of essays by a non-binary person which addresses the Transgender experience. If you are transgender (or care about someone who is) this book is required reading. It may a bit much for those who are just curious about the transgender life, but if said person is serious about learning, this book is a wonderful start.

I highly recommend this book.

Be well.

CN Lester Trans like me: Conversations for all of us. 9781580057851

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Category: Product Review, Transgender Opinion

Sophie Lynne

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