Book Description

Review 'Must read' is hardly adequate - it is a must-feel, must-understand kind of book...plunges the reader into the kaleidoscopic diversity and courageous decisions of transgendered experience. -- Patricia Nell Warren, author of The Front RunnerTrans Forming Families is one of THE, yes THE most PRO-FAMILIY books I've ever read. If you know of any grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse or child who is having difficulty dealing with a transgendered family member or spouse, you would show them a great act of love by getting this book into their hands. END -- Phyllis Randolph Frye, founder and past ED of the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy Read more From the Publisher Our Trans Loved Ones, Mary Boenke editor Want the ultimate book to give to your family when you come out to them? This is it. Self-published by Mary Boenke, the PFLAG parent who [helped] start the push to include transpeople [and their] parents in PFLAG, this book is entirely a collection of essays submitted by parents, siblings, children, SOs, and friends of transgendered people. If none of these essays touch your heart, check yourself for a pulse. More to the point, if none of them touch the hearts of your family members, give it up and disown them; they obviously turned to stone a long time ago. I was impressed with the fact that the book is pretty evenly divided between MTF and FTM stories; in fact, they alternate pretty regularly. Ms. Boenke is herself the mother of an FTM son, and understands the need for the less visible transmen to be represented in a work such as this one. I was also impressed with the sheer number of essays, and the many different voices involved. I found myself wishing that these were my blood kin; a sensation that many transfolk who read this book may also experience. Not every story starts with unconditional acceptance; many of the essay writers struggled for a long time with their issues before coming to a place of confort with their trans loved ones, but it is notable that they all eventually did. These illustrations of positive struggle can be role models for our own struggling kin and friends as they wade through the confusing morass of our transformations. Although all the essays are reasonably well written, given the nonprofessional author list, a few stand out in my mind as favorites. 'A Transsexual in Teheran', by Zari Ghasemi, hesitantly discusses the brutal treatment her male-to-female child Noosheen was given while growing up in Iran; you could sense in the pit of your stomach, through her understated narrative, her fear that her daughter would be dead by adulthood, either through murder, execution, or suicide, if they had not left the country. 'You Never Had A Daughter' by Susan Bennett, explores the journey of a mother whose FTM child finds out about transsexuality on the Internet. 'Birthing New Life' by Loree Cook-Daniels tells about a lesbian couple who deal with one partner's need to transition to male at the same time that the would-be FTM is pregnant with their child. And, of course, Tamara Alexander's stunning 'Silence=Death', about her intersex partner Max who battled sucidal depression and the physical legacy of infant genital mutilation to become a whole and healthy person, is in my admittedly biased opinion the best number in the book. Review by Gary Bowen, Coordinator-In-Chief, American Boyz. This groundbreaking work provides unprecedented insight into the diverse personal experience of families with transgender members. It will be of great value to all families dealing with transgender issues, as well as to others with an interest in learning about how families cope with such issues. It is to my knowledge the first such [transgender family] compilation, and without question the leading work of its kind. It will surely find a receptive and grateful community of families, friends, supporters, and service providers. We all owe Mary Boenke a debt of gratitude for its creation. Review by Nancy Nangeroni, Host, GenderTalk radio, Former executive director, International Foundation for Gender Education Read more See all Editorial Reviews