Raising Rosie

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

I got an ARC of this book.

I have a total of two issues with this entire book. Considering how strong my feelings are on gender identity, sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation this is an astonishingly low number. The first issue is one of language. The Lohman parents refer to Rosie's enlarged clitoris as a phallus. That strikes me as strange since they had to explain that it was a clitoris before they could explain they used different terminology for it. The issue I really have is phallus is very much seen as another word for penis or penis shaped. Why is this word being applied to a clitoris when everyone is in agreement that the organ in question is a clitoris? If that is what makes it easier on Rosie, then they made the right decision (they made so many decisions that I was cheering for them in my head and dancing in my seat through so much of this book, that it was hard to find fault with anything they did. I vote for parent of the year awards!). If this is because they can't help but see an enlarged clitoris as a penis, then I hope that they continue to learn more. Though I doubt that their commitment to learning and activism could be called into question, especially after reading this book. 

My second issue is comparing intersex treatments with transsexual treatment. They are similar in some regards and vastly different in others. There is also, strangely, a huge issue between the communities that I was unaware of until an intersex person actively attacked me because I was, he could tell, "jealous" of his testosterone. I would like to point out that I am quite happy with my testosterone and that I was upset upon hearing that he had surgery forced on him as a child. I am so very thankful that Rosie's parents view Rosie and her body as being hers and not theirs to control. My main issue is that they said that WPATH guidelines should be followed with intersex kids and trans kids. My issue is mainly in the fact that those guidelines are outdated and do no take into account what the kids actually need. There are surgeons that are performing gender confirming surgery on kids at 15-16 now. The children were ready, their bodies were ready, and the surgeon saw that the risks were far outweighed by the benefits for the trans kids. So in truth, my issue is WPATH, not the Lohman parents. I started taking hormones at 15 to start my medical transition. I had to fight and prove that I was able to make that decision about my body, I had to even take an IQ test. In the state I was in, 16 was legally an adult for medical decisions, but I still needed parental consent to get a hysterectomy at 20. In California, you just have to sign a waiver saying you understand the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, then you could start. Why would we subject kids to needless psychiatric tests that have no bearing on the issue at hand (children being trusted to know their own gender). 

The Lohman parents are amazing people. They fought for their baby. They continue to fight for their child. There were doubts expressed and I want to say, from the perspective of a trans person who did not have the best support as a kid: You are doing the right thing. Continue to love Rosie and listen to her. Continue to allow her to grow and teach her her body is nothing to be ashamed of. She may be embarrassed or angry about this when she is a teenager, but she will thank you when she gets older. I know I would have if I had you two as parents.
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I found this book 50% brilliant and 50% difficult! It's a hard one to review. I really loved the personal account, so all the parts of the book that were about the family and about Rosie - I really enjoyed hearing what had happened, learning about Adrenal Hyperplasia and I learnt a lot about it, in a great way.
On the other hand, I felt that the book had too much 'scientific' detail in - yes, I wanted to hear about why the parents had made the decision they did and the facts behind it, but in some parts the book verged on a textbook rather than a personal story. I also felt that the ending was way too abrupt - I would have liked to have known if Rosie did ask questions as she got older, what happened when the parents told Rosie's siblings about her condition, how Rosie coped with medication more fully as she got older, and then an update at the end of the book about life today would have been good too. 
All in all, I enjoyed it, but felt it was too focused on the actual condition rather than the personal aspect.
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