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Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men Paperback – June 30, 2009

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1584656838 ISBN-10: 1584656832 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


“…gives us perspective into the long history of gender variance and its natural place in human cultures…”―Feminist Review

"Sociologist and activist Lori B. Girshick provides a literature review of the most cutting-edge gender theory, gives us perspective into the long history of gender variance and its natural place in human cultures and among animals of other species, and ends with advocating the adoption of a radically inclusive alternative model of gender and sexuality. The book's greatest strength, however, lies in its extensive quoting of the in-depth interviews with 150 sex- and gender-variant people that formed the basis of Girshick's research. Their candid and sometimes heart-rending accounts reveal diverse experiences of self-definition and coming out, of evolving relationships and sexual orientations, and of all-too-frequent encounters with discrimination and violence. These stories, and Girshick's insightful analysis, clearly show how normal and natural gender variance is - and how much harm is caused by cultural assumptions that it is not. Transgender Voices points a way forward toward a more inclusive and liberated world for us all."―Feminist Review

"... interesting and important book . . . highly recommended for readers at all levels."―Choice


“Lori Girshick's helpful, provocative book is a real contribution to the science and sociology of transgender people. Her many luminous interviews allow trans people to speak for themselves; her uncanny and cutting-edge criticism provides both the theory and the compassion in order to further illuminate these voices. Transgender Voices speaks with wisdom, complexity, and insight on a topic key to our understanding of men, women, and everyone else.” (Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and I’m Looking Through You)|“Transgender Voices will become required reading for my Sociology of Gender and Psychology of Gender classes. Lori Girshick's comprehensive style of writing and presenting information makes it a first choice for someone planning to read only one book. The personal testimonies from her interviews are very compelling and touched my heart.” (Allison Elise Cleveland, Executive Director, the Gender Center, Inc.)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: UPNE; 1 edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584656832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584656838
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Nettles on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The individuals that Lori quotes obviously have suffered much, longed for acceptance and struggled with their own understanding of gender. Some are sad, some defiant, some exuberant. Each voice tells a different story. From stone butch lesbian to genderqueer to intersex individuals to crossdressers to transitioning MTF and FTM to non-transition MTF and FTM to transmen to femme lesbian, butch, Dyke, soft butch, every variation and more has a chance to speak. They tell of the twists and turns that the developing fetus can take where perhaps the brain and the body don't quite follow the same path, or perhaps the body only only strolls along a path, not quite sure if it wants this one or that one. They tell of birth and doctors who are overly fast at making a decision without consulting that person whom the decision would affect the most. They tell of children praying for God to correct his mistake and give them the bodies that fit their minds. They tell of parents, teachers and peers mostly hostile to their true self, policing the gender binary, enforcing a rigid interpretation and what is allowable and what is not. Then they talk of puberty, with it rush of hormones and changes, which mostly just makes things much, much worse. They talk of family, jobs, friends, bathrooms, laws, love and intimacy. They talk of their own self-doubt, of their own sense of identity. And each one has their own story and their own path.

And through it all Lori organizes and comments and analyzes, always with sympathy and insight and wisdom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Cotten on July 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lori Girshick has done a terrific research job and has explained a very dificult topic in a very simple, sensitive and easy to understand manner. She starts from the very basic definitions and goes all the way to the most intricate aspects of being transgender. Her interviews are very thorough and goes a long length describing the hard and difficult world of transgender people both male-to-female and female-to-male. And by using 150 subjects, she was careful to include everything under the transgender umbrella. This book does not miss any detail and is what I consider a very complete account of everything transgender.

Skilled writers like Ms. Girshick are needed to add light and educate the world about these very and easily misunderstood concepts.

Caroline (Carrie) Cotten
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie De Clark on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has been argued that the transexual is the last minorityand it's a statement that's hard to refute. As Lori B. Girshick, in her brilliant book "Transgender Voices: Beyong Women & Men",points out to be fully human means accepting both your female and male natures.

Ms. Girshick asks many questions in this book such as what is the relationship between gender identity and sexual orientation? Many of the answers were an identification of androgeneny. But as Girshicks point out, this terms has multiple means.

Gircheck is not the first to address this subject of gender idenity and sex reassignment. Dr. Renee Richards, pediatric opthalmologist and tennis coach to Martina Navratilova wrote about beginning life as Richard Raskind in "Second Serve". Famed trael writer, now retired, Jan Morris wrote about her transformation from James to Jan in "Conundrum".

Still, the subject of the transgener is one that is urually not addressed because it remains uncomfortable for many. Yet anyone who has been rejected by family or friends for any reaon will relate to the pain that endures.

Ms. Girshick's profound book deserves wide distribution and study especially by those who usually avoid this senstitive subject. The book has a few faults but too minor to mention. I hope the book will be read and more reviews posted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Jenkins on April 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is not an easy read, but a serious study based on medical records, surveys, and interviews and has surprising information on gender issues I'd never considered before. Apparently, statistically, only one baby out of 100 is born completely "normal" according to cultural gender expectations and XX and XY norms, with many varying degrees of both biological and mental gender blending possible. People have their internal sexual identify, the preferred gender which attracts them, their physical/internal genders, and their appearance to others, any of which may fail to line up in the expected manner. Drugs taken during pregnancy, stress, the number of males born to one woman in a row, and many other factors also contribute to degrees of hormone expression and many people spend their lives forcing themselves into specific gender roles to avoid persecution. After reading this book I'm more inclined to think of us as "human" than any culturally defined gender.

Here in Thailand, there is more acceptance of male gender/female identity than in the U.S., so boy/girls are common. I've not seen it the other way as much, but since women here commonly run their own businesses and drive motorcycles, maybe a female/male gender identity doesn't need as much validation.

I'm a feminine looking woman, very tiny, etc., yet I've always hated shopping, gossip, small talk, decorating, house work, fixing hair, make up, parties, talking on the phone, chick flicks, etc and instead love snakes, insects, breaking horses, crawling around in the underbrush taking photos of wildlife, racing my horses, building gadgets in my shop, etc., but in the U.S. at this time in history, that is acceptable.
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