Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New and Notable - Trans* Reads

On the last Wednesday of every month we take a few moments to look ahead and admire some of the books coming to shelves. There is nothing quite like the joy of anticipation, of pre-ordering a book that speaks to your heart, and of then having it arrive in your hot little hands. It is like a present to yourself, and there is just something a little more special about a book you have waited for.

So, without further ado, here are the New and Notable releases coming to shelves in May.

Straight Expectations: The Story of a Family in Transition by Peggy Cryden

Available May 18, 2017 from Jessica Kingsley Publishers 

Ever since they were young, Peggy Cryden noticed her children's gender expression did not correspond with society's expectations of their biological gender. In this moving and honest memoir, Peggy details the experiences and challenges of raising both a gay son and a gay, transgender son and shares her family's journey of adversity and growth, which has helped inform her work as a psychotherapist.

Each chapter explores a particular year in the family's life, following the children from birth to adulthood and through their numerous experiences including coming out, depression, hate crime, relationships, school and various aspects to do with transitioning (legal, physical, medical, social) as well as their appearances in the media as a family. This book is insightful, charming and thought-provoking, and through levity and humour, offers a positive approach to parenting outside of convention.
I like the idea that this family's story is coming from both a mother and a licensed therapist, a woman who can share the intimate details of her family's development, and also look clinically at the implications for us all. - Sally

My Name is Ayla by Phetra H. Novak

Available May 1, 2017

Everyone should be safe in a liberal country like Sweden.

But, Peter Andreasson, a Police Officer with the Gothenburg Police, knows that isn't always the case. The day he walks into the hospital emergency room and meets a badly beaten woman, Ayla Aydin, he is heartbroken but drawn to her strength.

Ayla knows who she is.

She’s proud of the person she has become.

It’s her third generation Swedish family that cannot accept her transformation from male to female and she is not prepared for what comes next. She has dishonoured them, and for this, she must pay the ultimate price.

When two cultures collide, Ayla’s life is put at risk, will she run or stay and fight? Will she escape their wrath even with Peter by her side?
As much as I wish to see a day where society does not suffer from such ugly prejudices, stories of finding true love and rising above those horrors will never get old. - Sally

Available May 30, 2017 from Penguin Random House Publisher Services

Debunks the twenty-one most common myths and misperceptions about transgender issues

From Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner to Thomas Beatie (“the pregnant man”) and transgender youth, coverage of trans lives has been exploding—yet so much misinformation persists. Bringing together the medical, social, psychological, and political aspects of being trans in the United States today, “You’re in the Wrong Bathroom!”: And 20 Other Myths About Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Authors Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, a psychiatrist, and Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW-R, a psychotherapist, address a range of fallacies:

Trans People Are “Trapped in the Wrong Body”
You’re Not Really Trans If You Haven’t Had “the Surgery”
Trans People Are a Danger to Others, Especially Children
Trans People Are Mentally Ill and Therapy Can Change Them
Trans People and Feminists Don’t Get Along
While I wish books like this were not necessary, I like the approach here, and early reviews are very positive. - Sally

The Diary of Menorah Horwitz by Menorah Horwitz

Available May 6, 2017 from Floating World Comics

From the creator of Miss U.S. of Heya comes a true story about gender, Judaism, and gel nail polish.

Michael Horwitz, a shy 29 year-old gay illustrator, combines Judaism and a love of drag in all the wrong ways when he becomes Menorah, Portland's premiere Anne Frank impersonator. Dressed in a puke colored school-girl's uniform, stripper heels, and nails made from burning candles taped to his fingers, Michael explores Portland's queer and punk party scene, one bad lip synch at a time. He falls in with drug happy club kids, hot tempered local divas, and some of the world's most famous drag queens (sometimes disastrously)—all while waking up at 6 am the next morning to bag groceries. But not everyone is happy with Michael's new alter ego, specifically his very supportive family. Michael's creative detour takes a detour of its own when he realizes that Menorah isn't a persona but a suggestion of the person he's always wanted to be. What began as an imitation of someone famous for speaking their truth becomes a transition into his—or rather her—authentic self.

An autobiographical comedy about finding your authentic self in the artificial world of drag.
A first person account of gender transitioning.
An exploration of traditional Jewish identity intersecting with new gender norms.
Sure, this sounds a bit surreal, but it also sounds like a lot of fun, with some original ideas on gender. - Sally

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