Sunday, October 14, 2007


I have to give a quick shout-out to the book I'm reading, Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. So good! The author is wicked smart, is writing from a very sensible perspective in clear articulate language that neither caters to the layperson nor obfuscates with jargon. She has a lot of fresh and new (to me, at least) ideas that make a whole truckload of good sense, and I have the feeling that once I've finished reading it (I'm about a quarter through thus far), I'm going to start over and read again, with a pencil to make notes in the margins. I highly recommend it.
My sister and I have been talking/joking about writing a book. She's an excellent memoir writer, and has written quite a few beautiful short pieces about her/our childhood. I've got all these scraps thrown up hereon this blog, of course, as well as a lot more thoughts and ideas and memories that have yet to be written down. Reading this book Whipping Girl has got me thinking about the kind of book I'd like to write, and how, like this one, I'd like to be part of a project that's different from the Tranny Tell-All memoir that has been the standard to date.

I realize that last sentence sounds a bit disparaging, which is not my intent- I admire and applaud the few hardy folks who have published their stories for the rest of us. They've been trailblazers, certainly, and a great resource. I'm starting to think, though, about what kind of new stories could be written. We all have our own stories, of course, but mine is different from and yet the same as a lot of what's out there. I have in some ways a traditional arc to my narrative: tomboy to dyke to genderqueer to transman to trans man. But a) who's to say that's traditional? There are at least as many transmasculine storylines as there are identities- which is to say, a lot. and b) I have some unusual twists. I did not insist on my maleness from an early age- there was no "Where's my penis?" or "But I'm not a girl!" moments when I was little, though I had a plenty masculine childhood. But on the flip side, I came to an understanding or my gender relatively young, and was well underway in my transition by the time I was 20. Now, at 22, I'm looking forward to enjoying my early twenties and the rest of my life as a man, having never really lived as a woman. As a boyish girl child, and then a dyke-gendered adolescent female, but never a woman. So that's a perspective that I haven't seen published yet.

Not to mention, I have an incredibly articulate and literate twin, who might be just the person to collaborate with on a project like this.

It puts me in mind of that book What Becomes You that came out last year, jointly written by a (trans) man and his mother. I enjoyed it, too, because of its fresh perspective and lovely language, though I found it to be rather long winded and hard to take in some ways. Still, I think family projects are great when they can come together and offer multiple perspectives on such an interesting story.

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