Trans like Me: Conversations for All of Us

C.N. Lester. Seal, $16.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-58005-785-1
Musician, scholar, and trans rights activist Lester tours the history, activism, and common experiences of people whose sense of gender falls outside of the binary of “male” and “female” in this winning collection of essays. The author offers perspective and clarity on issues that, time and again, are stumbling blocks to trans acceptance and celebration of human gender diversity, such as the conflation of sex and gender in everyday forms of speech or, more pointedly, when people use arguments about XX/XY chromosomes to invalidate trans people. Lester addresses the caricatures of trans people in mainstream media, the disproportionate harassment and violence trans people face, and the pressure to conform to gendered expectations. Lester, who identifies as nonbinary, draws on personal history including more than a decade “experiencing life at the margins of sex and gender,” as well as pop culture. In one essay, Lester recounts reading the 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall and recognizing a shared experience in the novel’s “murky and complex” descriptions of gender. While the work is clearly written with a nontrans audience in mind, this book will likely also be an affirming read for many trans people, especially young ones, who may find in its pages recognition from a fellow traveler. Agent: Laura Macdougall, United Agents. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 03/13/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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