Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Just Add Hormones: An Insider's Guide to the Transsexual Experience

Just Add Hormones: An Insider's Guide to the Transsexual Experience, Matt Kailey, Beacon Press, 2005

This is an inside look at changing one's gender. In his 40's, the author made his female-to-male transition.

Among the central questions is what name to call them (transgender, transsexual, transman or transwoman). Another important thing to consider is whether or not to have Sex Reassignment Surgery (to change your genitalia). If not, then male-to-female transsexuals have to learn how to flatten, or hide, their genitals.

The biggest problem for anyone in the middle of their transition is public bathrooms. Do you use the gender that you are, biologically, or the gender with which you identify? Where's a unisex bathroom when you need it? Another problem is looking for a way to make it easier for sales clerks to call you Sir or Ma'am (without them choosing one and apologizing when they get it wrong).

As a woman, whenever Kailey got a flat tire, she could count on several men stopping to change the tire. As a man, Kailey was expected to do it himself. As a man, Kailey was expected to make disparaging remarks about women's bodies, and to be fascinated by bodily functions (and to think that farting was funny). A further revelation was being able to take his shirt off in public, and not hide the scars from getting his breasts removed.

Friends and family members may, or may not, support your transition. Some might consider it like a death in the family, while others might ask, "What took you so long?" The book also looks at how you tell your boss, and whether or not it is acceptable to ask a person what pronoun they prefer, if it is not obvious.

This book is very easy to read. The author does a very good job at calmly exploring parts of the transsexual world. For anyone who is transitioning, in either direction, give this book to friends and family members. It will answer a lot of questions before they are asked.  

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