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Just Add Hormones: An Insider's Guide to the Transsexual Experience Paperback – June 1, 2006
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Alas, it ain't that simple--that is, just adding hormones, stirring, then coming out on the other side of gender. Fortunately, Kailey explores the complexities of the female-to-male (ftm) transition he, then 42, started in 1997. Raised in a traditional two-parent home with a stay-at-home mom, he recounts the details of his change, including chest surgery, and options open to male-to-females (mtfs) as well as the more complicated, expensive surgeries now available to ftms (whose numbers, he notes, approximately equal those of mtfs). The self-proclaimed "transman" also explores the internal changes as he deals with gender resocialization, "passing" in the initial stages of transition, blending masculine and feminine personality traits in the new persona, and navigating postchange medical care (Kailey raised some eyebrows in his gynecologist's office when arriving for his pap smear). Including a list of definitions helpful for negotiating the world of trans-speak, this book is a natural for the gender issues shelves. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Parts of Just Add Hormones dwell, wittily, on the author's own experiences . . . other chapters offer a cheeky insider's discussion of pesky pronouns, pants-packing, bathroom blues, and on-the-job jitters. But the real worth of Just Add Hormones stems from its thoughtful analysis-at times philosophical, at times political, and at times polemical-of a life-changing decision.--Richard Labonte, Q Syndicate
"A heartfelt plea for mainstream American society to understand, accept and support gender diversity . . . Kailey describes all with frankness, engaging his reader with honesty and a touch of humor."
"This book is a natural for the gender issues shelves."
"Anyone who has ever contemplated, is just curious about, or finds him or herself in the midst of gender transformation will appreciate and applaud this extraordinary, comprehensive journal. Both informative and quite fascinating, Kailey delivers his life story with a compassionate eye and a true heart."--Jim Piechota, Bay Area Reporter
"This is the perfect primer for those of us with transsexual friends and loved ones, those on their own path of self-discovery, and those who simply have questions about it all. For all of us, Kailey has the answers." --Michael Thomas Ford, author of My Big, Fat, Queer Life
"Just Add Hormones successfully transcends the great gender divide. It has a little something for everyone, no matter your gender or lack of one. Matt Kailey paints an accurate and entertaining landscape of transsexual life."--Kate Bornstein, author of My Gender Workbook
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Top Customer Reviews
I am pleased to say that JUST ADD HORMONES does't only reach out, it embraces. All the awkward and intimate questions about what it means to be trans are answered. It's an INSIDER guide but it is not cliquey. It is personal but it is not embarrassing. It is funny and smart and warm.
Recommonded reading for anyone of any gender. So says this man.
The book is well organized, inspirational, practical, and informative. It characterizes transgender identity in a relatable no-nonsense way. In some ways it is outdated, but it is not like that is a bad thing, illustrating how far the LGBT+ community has come, but also how far we have left to go.
With sage and helpful advice coming from a place of practicality and compassion, I recommend this book to transgender individuals as well as families who wish to gain accurate perspective of ftm transitioning from physical and emotional vantage points.
He admits that a transman (due to the strong influence of testosterone) can generally assimilate more easily into the larger culture than many transwomen (MTF) can. But assimilation--although tempting for personal reasons--doesn't change society for the better. Through this book and via his consulting work, Kailey works to educate others into a greater understanding and acceptance of trans, gay, lesbian, and bisexual civil rights.
For anyone interested in autobiographical information beyond the scope of this book, I'd recommend Kailey's volume of personal essays written after Just Add Hormones, Teeny Weenies: And Other Short Subjects.