6 Trans Memoirs That Inspire, Impress, and Encourage
These coming-of-acceptance stories need to be at the top of your list.
Be it the big screen, television, or the pages of a memoir, the transgender community is taking center stage. And their stories are worthy of a standing ovation. On the cusp of back-to-back banner years, the arts are providing the trans population with a platform on which to share their experiences. And though no two are alike, all of these memoirs are inspiring, impressive, and encouraging.
The best-selling author of She's Not There shares the ghost story that is her childhood in this memoir that explores what it truly means to be haunted. When as a child in 70s Pennsylvania, Boyle spent a lot of time with ghosts: ghosts that went bump in the night, the ghost of her future self, and the ghosts of the family members she once knew. Weaving truth into the supernatural, Boyle crafts an emotional journey that is at once haunting and beautiful.
Today we know Janet Mock as a big-time magazine editor and MSNBC talk show host who puts pop culture under the feminist microscope. But there was a time when Mock was still finding her voice. In Redefining Realness, the multi-hyphenate icon shares her journey to womanhood, and it results in an inspiring, award-winning read that solidifies Mock’s influential voice in a diverse community.
This isn’t a tell-all. Rather it’s McBee’s journey to self-realization driven by the abuse he received at the hands of two men: his father, and a mugger who tried to kill him. Eschewing the traditional memoir, McBee writes a poetic tale that asks the question: What does it mean to be a man?
Loosely based on the life of Danish painter Elnar Wegener, Ebershoff’s book is more a comment on the nature of love than it is an expose on gender identity, and it’s headed to the big screen come November. When Greta asks her husband, Elnar, to pose as a female model for her painting, the two are changed forever.
Trans, by Juliet Jacques
Jacques covered the events leading up to her gender reassignment procedure in her column in The Guardian, and it was the first time anyone wrote openly about the topic in a major British publication. Trans, her memoir, follows her life post-transition. Self-deprecating and insightful, Trans is a moving memoir about self-actualization.
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen, by Arin Andrews
Growing up is hard to do. It’s even harder when you’re trapped in the wrong body. No one knows that better than Arin Andrews, a teen who undergoes gender reassignment as a high school junior. Here, he candidly dishes on his decision to make the switch, and the hope, humility, and heartbreak that follows. At once humorous and painful, his coming-of-age story is one for the books.