Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Understanding Steve by M.C. Questgend (#trans #crossdressing)

If I could sum up Understanding Steve in one statement, it would be this - appearances can be deceiving. The characters here are not who or what you might initially think, and neither is the story. M.C. Questgend takes a serious look at gender identity and expression, exploring the darkness that too many of us flirt with, but infuses the story with hope and (ultimately) even joy.

When his best friend commits suicide, just hours after an awkward conversation, Chris finds his own life thrown into a tailspin. He is hurt, confused, and wracked with guilt about what he could have done or said differently. As secrets are exposed, he comes to realize how little he really knew about Steve, but he becomes increasingly determined to do whatever it takes to understand him - and her.

When family, friends, and even the funeral home refuse to help, Chris takes charge and gives his friend the funeral he - or, rather, she - would have wanted. Thanks to him, Steve is transformed into Stacie one last time, and it is at the funeral that he meets Rita, the person who knew Steve best. What follows is an awkward journey, full of second thoughts, regrets, and unexpected emotions and Chris learns (quite literally) to walk a mile in Stacie's shoes.

Despite the pain, the sorrow, the harsh words, and the ugly thoughts that dominate the first half of the story, Understanding Steve is ultimately a beautiful read. The idea that anyone would go to such lengths to understand someone else is just wonderful, as is the way Chris comes to understand so much about himself and the people around him. His explorations (gender and erotic) feel so genuine, it becomes very easy to identify with him. As for the book's final revelation, it has a sadness all its own, but ultimately transforms this from tragedy to triumph.
Born in 1971, M.C. Questgend traveled the country with his parents as a military brat. Settling in Texas where he was first introduced to alternative lifestyles, he was able to finish high school and continue his new "hobby" in college. After college, he and "she" returned to start a family, but the strain of his "secret" was too much for his now ex-wife. Married a second time was not the answer, so M.C. has transferred the stress to the pen and keyboard. Writing erotic stories - some loosely based on his and "her" life as well as stories involving aspects of the LGBT community, a community and lifestyle he has come to privately embrace. M.C. Questgend is a pen name used to protect his privacy and anonymity. The intent was to write stories that entertain, inspire and motivate - which are as much sensual and heartwarming as they are sexual and explicit.


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