cover image Where’s the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad

Where’s the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad

Trevor MacDonald. Trans Canada Press, $18.99 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-0-9919645-0-5

MacDonald’s debut memoir tells a tale noticeably absent from the plethora of parenting and breastfeeding books available: that of a transgender man in a gay marriage to a cisgender man who was himself adopted, both desperately trying to feed their biological child nothing but human milk. MacDonald’s story is in some ways a best-case scenario: his husband is a considerate, unquestioningly accepting lover; his job is never in danger; he is able to afford top surgery, to which he responds well physically and mentally; and his access to Facebook allows him a wealth of opportunities to obtain donor milk from generous sources. Only in the book’s final third does the author encounter circumstances that could be considered truly dangerous and challenge his privilege. But MacDonald owns his identity, using his elevated platform to call attention to issues faced by transwomen and transmen, people of color, and those living in poverty. Most importantly, his story of transitioning is frank, clever, and easy to process, providing plenty of parallels to his later struggles with nursing for curious cis readers. Despite a puzzlingly tone-deaf foreword from Fiona Giles (Fresh Milk), MacDonald’s book serves as a refreshing and insightful narrative. (BookLife)