Reviews 1999-2003

invisibles3The Invisibles: A Tale of the Eunuchs of India, by Zia Jaffrey. The hijras have a long and colourful place in Indian culture. This is a sensitive, non-linear and insightful investigation of India’s most elusive subculture.

 

 

travestis3Travesti: Sex Gender and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes, by Don Kulick. It’s a strange and interesting world. That was the recurring thought going through my head as I made my way through this sometimes astonishing book.

 

tmen1Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities, by Jason Cromwell. A book that effectively captures the breadth of the FTM experience, but ultimately a worthwhile addition to any trans book collection.

 

The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff. Before the film, there was the book. In its portrayal of the complexity of human nature, The Danish Girl demonstrates that well executed fiction with a trans story can be relevant to all readers.

 

3gender3sex1Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History, edited by Gilbert Herdt. Once you’ve dismissed the notion that there is one simple, fixed definition of man and woman, which this book does very thoroughly, you become aware of the astonishing ways in which gender diversity has been expressed, tolerated, and institutionalized in various cultures.

 

invsblelives1Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People, by Viviane K. Namaste. In this scholarly study, Viviane Namaste argues that transgendered people are not so much produced by medicine or psychiatry as they are erased, or made invisible, in a variety of institutional and cultural settings.

 

Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up with Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents, edited by Noelle Howey and Ellen Samuels. Only five of the 21 essays in this collection of essays are about having a trans parent, yet this book is still a worthwhile addition for trans parents trying to reach their children.

 

crossovr1Crossing Over: Liberating the Transgendered Christian, by Vanessa Sheridan. The title refers to the hope filled story of the Israelites escaping oppression and the Pharaoh’s army by “crossing over” the parted waters of the Red Sea. That it has a second more literal meaning for trans people makes this an apt title for a small book that delivers a message of hope for conflicted transgendered Christians.

 

howsex2How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States, by Joanne Meyerowitz. This book brings together all the plots, subplots, themes, and characters that shaped the current position on sex changing. You may know some of this history already, but there is much here that is fresh and Meyerowitz does an excellent job of putting it all in context.

 

Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary, edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell, and Riki Wilchins. The collection of essays in this book speak for the liberation of all of us, and not just the “genderqueers” that society at any one time finds acceptable.