Transgender lives Complex stories, complex voices

Kirstin Cronn-Mills, 1968-

Book - 2015

"I didn't hear the word transgender until I was eighteen, when a person I was dating came out as trans. My boyfriend came out as my girlfriend, and I thought, 'What ... is that?' She said, 'I just don't think I'm a man.' And I said, 'Guess what? Neither do I.' And then the skies parted, and I understood who I was." Katie Burgess, nonprofit director and community activist/organizer Meet Katie, Hayden, Dean, Brooke, David, Julia, and Natasha. Each is transgender, and in this book, they share their personal stories. Through their narratives, you'll get to know and love each person for their humor, intelligence, perseverance, and passion. You'll learn how they each came to better ...understand, accept, and express their gender identities, and you'll follow them through the sorrows and successes of their personal journeys. Transgender Lives helps you understand what it means to be transgender in America while learning more about transgender history, the broad spectrum of transgender identities, and the transition process. You'll explore the challenges transgender Americans face, including discrimination, prejudice, bullying and violence, unequal access to medical care, and limited legal protections. For transgender readers, these stories offer support and encouragement. Transgender Lives is a space for trans* voices to be heard and to express the complexities of gender while focusing on what it means to be human.

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Minneapolis : Twenty-First Century Books [2015]
Main Author
Kirstin Cronn-Mills, 1968- (-)
Physical Description
88 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (page 83) and index.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

In this collection of narrative and photographic portraits, Cronn-Mills introduces her readers to individuals who defy generalization and span the transgender spectrum. Natasha, like many others interviewed by the author, says that ever since she was a child she has felt that she had to live for myself. Hayden's sister claims that he is the same person. Brooke thinks it is an honor to represent trans youth. Julia, in her freedom to express her fluid gender identity, says that she is just being myself. Interspersed with the profiles of each individual are informational sections regarding history, language, medical and insurance concerns, and politics. But speaking loudest and clearest are the full-page photographs of the interviewees, who honestly describe the journeys toward their refreshingly genuine life choices. Respectfully included by Cronn-Mills in each portrayal are allies, friends, and family members, who see only the person that they love. Even readers familiar with transgender narratives will grow with deeper understanding and compassion.--Bush, Gail Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This ambitious book combines interviews from self-identified transgender people with sections on trans-related information. It includes medical transition, historical information, and profiles of major figures, in ways both basic and more complex. Unfortunately, Cronn-Mills uses language that subtly alienates trans readers. For example, she states that trans people are "just like any individual you know," thereby assuming that readers are cisgender; the introduction relates a situation common to most trans people and then inquires, "Does this story seem strange to you?" The term "trans*" is often incorrectly used throughout the book. Cronn-Mills accurately defines the use of the asterisk as "a way to include all individuals who identify in some way with a 'trans' identity"; however, she also uses it when an individual is discussing their specific, discrete gender, rather than the whole spectrum. There are a lot of positives here, like her coverage of the CeCe MacDonald case and definitions of terms such as "transmisogyny" (albeit incompletely). But Cronn-Mills attempts to cover too much deeply complex information in a slim volume. Her resource list relies on Wikipedia and generic websites, and her bibliography is woefully limited. This title will provide a broad perspective, especially if presented alongside materials written by or with trans people about their lives and communities, such as Kate Bornstein's anthology Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (Avalon, 2010), Susan Kuklin's Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out (Candlewick, 2014), and books published by Topside Press.-Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Interviews with transgender individuals--mostly adults--are interspersed among broad informational chapters about medical transition, history, and various gender identities. Intended to give readers some insight into this admittedly complex topic, this primer for a general audience is an adequate overview but barely skims the surface of the topic. Susan Kuklin's Beyond Magenta offers a more focused approach. Candid photographs accompany the text. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

An outsiders' guide to the experiences of transgender individuals. Portraying a marginalized group for the consumption of the majority is always a dicey proposition, and Cronn-Mills' (whose Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, 2012, won a 2014 Stonewall Award) effort here illustrates many of the pitfalls. Short, third-person narrative portraits of transgender individualsall adults and all but one apparently whiteare interleaved with dry, overgeneralized informational segments about identities, health care, and historical and cross-cultural examples of gender nonconformity. Despite the title's promise of complexity, the portraits are too brief to give anything more than an impression of their subjects, and stories focus heavily on coming out and physical transition. Similarly, informational chapters give readers little to hold onto. A typically uninformative sentence begins, "Terms for individuals who have flexible gender identities may include" and then goes on to list 10 terms without attempting to explain or contextualize any of them. Entries in an erratically selected "Who's Who" unnecessarily and inappropriately include transgender public figures' birth names, and accounts of violence against transgender people are slotted jarringly among neutral or positive informational segments. Susan Kuklin's Beyond Magenta (2014), which documents the lives of transgender teens in their own words, is a superior title in every way. (timeline, glossary, notes, bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.