To Be A Trans Man
Our Stories of Transition, Acceptance and Joy
by Ezra Woodger
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Pub Date 21 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 01 Oct 2022
Men in all stages of transition have come and gone from my life, and each one has been entirely different. It's difficult to feel as if you fail at being a man when you know there isn't a singular 'right' way to be one.
In this illuminating and radically honest book, Ezra Woodger interviews trans men and transmasculine people to interrogate what masculinity is and what it means to be a man. Covering a wide range of topics, from dealing with judgement and expectations - both external and internal - to the experience of gender euphoria, finding a community and the growth and openness that trans-inclusive spaces can provide, the stories in this book highlight the power of being true to who you are.
With contributions from trans men from across the UK and US, including Fox Fisher, Ezra Michel and many more, their words offer comfort, guidance and an important reminder of the joy and strength of existing as a trans man, regardless of how you look.
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Average rating from 57 members
This is an absolute must-read, no matter your pronouns. I’m a cis-het woman who wanted to understand what my trans loved ones may have experienced or if their experiences were “the norm” and let me tell you, this book brought it all. I felt the same pain and misery reading the accounts of realization and the hope felt with the start of transitioning as I’ve watched others go through in person. And one thing really stuck with me: the hope. The fact that a haircut was so often described as the first way to truly start to express oneself in these pages aligned perfectly with my loved one’s experience that I wanted to run to that person and say that I get it even more now. Or the pain of knowing that family may not fully accept one of these people who shared their stories. That slayed me because I can’t imagine trying to squelch someone’s actual true self, but I know it happens all too often.
But not all tales related here were sad. And even those tinged with sadness had hope and happiness. Just knowing that access to care is better, yet still an issue, or that toxic behavior and beliefs are just as possible among the transgender community as others, reminded me that we’ve come a long way but are nowhere near done with the fight yet. And I say this as an ally. One person here said that it’s a political fight and they’re absolutely right. It is. Even if you’re accepted by your own friends and family, someone else isn’t. Or some stranger hates enough to try to push everyone else to their misled ideal of perfection. So this was a perfect reminder not to give up because so much good has already come and more should follow.
This isn’t just a read for the LGBTQIA+ community. This is actually a read for anyone. And cis people may need it more than anybody else because it will humanize those deemed “other” and will hopefully make the reader think more about equality and just how much everyone deserves love and the chance to be themselves. After all, without some discomfort or self-reflection, folks will never learn to do better.
As a queer person who felt they were a pretty strong ally to the trans community, this book taught me I wasn't - but in all the right ways.
This book taught me many things about trans experiences, gender expression, identity and representation with the consistent overarching concept of masculinity; how its perceived and presented both by the patriarchy, and by different members of the trans community.
This book takes the format of a series of interviews of several transmen and transmasculine people. Woodger does a fantastic job of bringing a range of people from different experiences and identities together to consider similar concepts and to share their experiences throughout their gender journey's.
This book helps to demystify the stereotypes of what trans people "must" do (Spoiler: They don't have to do anything). It helps to stop (completely demolish) the concept of being "born in the wrong body" (Spoiler: that phrase is wrong in so many ways! In my opinion, that phrase is to make cis people more comfortable, this book helped me to realise that.)
I didn't know of many of the people highlighted in this book prior to reading, however appreciate the positive nature Woodger brings to the interviews, and gives them space to share their stories, it made for a pleasant read.
"I am not a man because of my biology, I am a man because I am"
I highly recommend this book to everyone, not of any specific gender, race, religion or age.
Simply, to everyone; it's a must read.
Let's all be better Ally's, together.
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