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Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love, and Life Paperback – April 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: TitleTown Publishing; 1st edition (April 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982000960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982000960
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,790,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . an important and vital book. . . His honesty about his transition is one we don't see often and it's very refreshing.  This book . . . will educate the masses on what it means to be transgender and in today's society . . . FOUR STARS!!!"
- Larry King, Talk Show Host

"Ryan Sallans is an incredibly brave young man who has written a powerful book. Second Son will save lives."
- Dan Savage, co-founder, It Gets Better Project

"Ryan Sallans takes his readers on this fantastic, page turning journey about life as a transgender male. . . he offers insight to the personal struggles and triumphs he faces in order to be true to himself . . .a book that will both educate readers and help others. . ."
 
- Dr. Robi Ludwig- Psychotherapist, TV commentator and Author 

". . . a heartbreakingly modern American man's story . . . This is a book for anyone who has ever truly loved or tried to understand another human being. . . This is a brave man's story, bravely told."
-Michael Rowe, Lambda Literary Award and Randy Shilts Nonfiction Award-winning author of Looking For Brothers and Other Men's Sons

". . . When treated academically, gender identity can be a complex and even convoluted topic.  Second Son reminds. . .that living your life as you are meant to can be extremely complicated and yet so very simple." 
Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW- Sexuality education expert and Executive Director, Answer

From the Inside Flap

Second Son is a story that intimately explores the transition experience of Ryan Sallans, born Kimberly Ann Sallans. The reader is pulled through Ryan's transition from infant to child, child to body-obsessed teenage girl, teenage girl to eating-disordered young woman, female to male, daughter to son, and finally a beloved partner to a cherished fiance'. A unique lens on life and love.

Ryan candidly shares his struggle to find love and acceptance; a struggle that transcends through every layer of society. He nearly died from an extreme case of anorexia as an insecure female college student. The only thing that saved him was his inner spirit begging for a chance to live.

Second Son chronicles Ryan's battle with his family, his romantic partner, and his body. He unblinkingly focuses on the empowerment he achieved as he underwent gender reassignment surgeries and traces his evolution into manhood.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 38 customer reviews
Thank you Ryan for writing this and sharing your story.
Sunshine State
Somewhere I read an excerpt from the book and just had to purchase it.
William Manning
If you know anyone who is considering transitioning, read this book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By estraley on April 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ryan's raw narrative gives a view into a life that is as unique as it is powerfully "normal". Through honest accounts of life altering and ordinary events, Ryan shows his humanity with a side of gender nonconformity, discomfort, and the process toward acceptance. Those who are looking for a book to expand their understanding of transgender lives will not be disappointed. They may be pleasantly surprised by the accessibility and ability to relate to such a courageous author and activist. I couldn't put it down, and I predict other readers will have the same experience. Ryan's vulnerability is transformed into strength in the hands of the reader, and I hope that many have the opportunity to experience this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine on June 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was recommended this book from a friend of mine. I can't even begin to describe how helpful it was to a parent of an FTM. Ryan's story was so raw and real. He holds nothing back. Reading his words and exploring his surroundings took us through his journey. What I loved most is his candor and now willingness to help out others and their families with new information. I now have a starting point on how to help my child. I have already been in touch with others for resources, and he opened that door. He is willing to help out anyone who needs help. That is a blessing to this mom!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Richard on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ryan's book isn't just for transgender people or their friends and family. It is for anyone who has felt just a bit not in sync with the rest of the world. It is for people who want to take what might be seen as bold steps to become whole. It is for people who have had their relationships change over time and needed to adjust in life.

In a moving and compelling story, Ryan shares with others his own story. You walk away inspired to live your own life in a way that is truer to yourself and kinder to those around you.
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Format: Paperback
I met Ryan Sallans at the Gender Odyssey Professional Seminar in Seattle Washington on July 31st. Being a sex-positive therapist, I felt privileged to meet him and hear him present on transgendered issues. Before leaving the seminar, I became aware that he was selling and signing his new book, "Second Son." I positioned myself in line to buy his book - -inwardly promising myself I'd write a review when I completed reading it.

Ryan Sallans's autobiography, "Second Son," is written in the most candid, genuine, and heartfelt way. Growing up as Kimberly Sallans, she talks about her discomfort with her own body that led to Anorexia, depression, suicide attempts, and self-injurious behaviors. Upon deciding on transitioning from female to male, Kim, now renamed Ryan, talks about his relationship struggles, his family's lack of acceptance, and his ongoing journey toward living a truly authentic life. An amazing LGBTQ advocate and educator, Ryan tells his story with tremendous courage and dignity. He seems willing to be vulnerable and emotionally open in sharing his story. Ryan allows his readers the honor and privilege to bear witness to his inner world and personal journey. I am absolutely grateful to Ryan for giving me this privilege and do not take it for granted. Likewise, I was very emotionally moved and inspired by Ryan's recount of his experiences, including the way he overcame adversity and his sense of isolation. Ultimately, Ryan Sallans leaves us all with one final message of hope: Even in the darkest of tunnels, there is the possibility of finding that shimmer of light.
I highly recommend this book to pre/post transition individuals, as well as the partners and family members of transgendered persons
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By Tammy Hayes on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Ryan Sallans memoir, Second Son is a compact little book documenting his struggles with his gender identity as well as an eating disorder. In unflinching detail he has shared with us his childhood growing up in rural Nebraska and his struggles trying to fit in and be like the other girls, though it was obvious to most who knew him that he was somehow different. Once he went to college, his struggle to fit in didn’t change much, but while in college the issue was more with his overall body image. What he later discovered was that his eating disorder and problems with body image had a great deal to do with his gender and less to do with the pressure to fit in. He lived many years as a lesbian but when he came to the realization that he was transgender, he was also beginning a relationship with a woman who told him in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t attracted to men. Wanting to make the relationship work, he suppressed his true self as long as he could, but eventually he couldn’t continue to live a lie. He began to transition and slowly but surely, his girlfriend of many years drew further and further away from him.
This book is about more than a bodily transformation. It is also a transformation of spirit and the enduring power of familial love. It’s also about finding and making your own happiness and not letting anything stop you. You have to go after your own destiny and not let the nay sayers or negativity hold you back.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books I couldn't put down once I started reading. I've known who Ryan was for a while but never met him. And then I started reading or hearing about Second Son. Somewhere I read an excerpt from the book and just had to purchase it.

This is such a courageous book for a person to write. I realize what Ryan does for a living, but still; he put everything out there for everyone to see, sharing some of his deepest intermost feeling with the world.

This is a must read book for everyone. I don't care if you're straight, gay, bi, or trans. I think it's important for everyone to know what makes each other tick. Without knowing about each other, we'll never understand what others go through. With a true understanding, it is easier for everyone to empathize and realize people are people.

I'm not sure what make me think so, but I really believe this book has a huge potential to save lives.

Read it and share it with your friends. When they're done with it, get it back and share it again.
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More About the Author

Ryan Sallans, born and raised in rural Nebraska, began his transition from female to male in 2005. He is most known today as an international speaker who shares his journey from female to male-bodied and his struggles with an eating disorder. He is also frequently booked to speak at conferences and for organizations surrounding the topic of working with transgender clients in both medical and mental healthcare facilities. Ryan received a Master of Arts degree in English and Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In his spare time he enjoys building furniture and battling with home repair projects, both small and large, and is trying to overcome his fear of snakes to enjoy his new hobby - geocaching.

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