If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter
Recently my wife and I were discussing a Facebook conversation regarding trans issues. The topic was heated and the poster was looking to head off confrontation by warning readers not to engage if they were going to offend her trans friends.
Our discussion wandered into the many difficult topics that comes with even discussing trans subjects. Civil, legal, and personal responses are all areas where things can go sideways.
Side Note: One of the most missed things I'll experience when I return to the office is multiple daily walks with my wife. Our cats are probably going to go through withdrawals as well :)
When we got home, I decided I was going to try and find a book that might provide some guidance on the issue. I wasn't looking for anything specific. I was interested in something that would provide insight into the live reality of the topic. Not just some for/against treatise.
In short, I didn't even know what I didn't know.
My first glance at the books regarding the topic didn't really help. Low and behold, a few days later, somebody I follow on Twitter mentioned they were reading Trans Like Me. This seemed to be a good starting place.
The primary reason this isn't a review was that I didn't intend to read the book for review. I was reading the book to gain a better understanding of the topic from an author that is transgender. Therefore, I didn't highlight a bunch of stuff. I didn't bookmark pages. My goal was just to take it in. Get a feel for the lay of the land so to speak.
I only decided to write about it after I had finished the book and so my points are going to be vague and undirected.
I would highly recommend this book to people who are trying to better understand the topic from the point of view of someone who is transgender. It's a quick read. Clear. Concise.
While the author is an activist, they are also a person. And the struggles and difficulties of their lived experience opens the door to understanding the issue at hand as it relates to a human ... not just some political or sociological phenomenon.
"What About Sex?" (Chapter 5) was full of interesting information on the complexity of the not-always-so-obvious details of gender and sex.
In "The Denial of History" (Chapter 11) there is a great discussion on the erasure or mis-categorization of what we would refer to as transgenderism today. A potent reminder that the history we receive is not free of "whitewashing".
"Trans Feminisms" (Chapter 14) provided an interesting look into the struggles within and between the trans and feminist movements.
The book served my purpose: to gain a better understanding of the situation from somebody with lived experience. If you're looking for something like that, this is a great resource.