on January 14, 2014
Genres/Lists: Diverse, Fiction, Gender-Based Books
Read synopsis on Goodreads
I received this book for free from Edelweiss.
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
When I was in college, I took a human sexuality course and sat next to a beautiful woman who had, as it turned out, been born a male. And so was her girlfriend. To top it off, one had reassignment surgery and the other had not (but was planning to). Naturally, the class was abuzz with whispering about whether they were heterosexual (due to body parts), homosexual (due to birth body parts), or lesbians (due to identity). But the best part about the whole thing was that the two of them opened up the floor for us to ask any question we wanted without judgment. Every single hand shot up within seconds.
Needless to say, it was an educational experience and, if I had to pick one, the single most educational moment of my college career (if any of my readers are in Gainesville, FL and know these lovely ladies, please pass on their impact). But this was ten years ago when equal protections for transgendered were being advocated for the first time (it passed) and the general population wasn’t reading books about it.
But although there are still zealots and nuts out there who advocate hate in the name of the Lord, the topic is less taboo and the decision to be openly transgendered is more accepted. Which is why I think everyone should read For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu.
Unlike many books on this subject, this one isn’t clinical. It’s not steeped in psychology and doesn’t make a big deal about it being an “alternative lifestyle” (a term I hate). There’s no abuse, suicide attempts, or sexual exploits. Instead, it’s about a second generation Chinese boy born into a family of sisters who, quite simply, feels like a girl. With a strict father, passive mother, and three sisters with their own issues, it’s about Peter’s struggles balancing his desires against societal and familial expectations and realizing that he has a choice in how he lives his life.
At first I was wishing that this book went a little deeper, but after giving it some thought I changed my mind. For Today I Am a Boy dips just far enough below the surface to give the reader a glimpse into a lifestyle that is often left undiscussed. But more importantly, it’s lack of clinical dissections makes it the perfect introductory book to transgendered life.
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