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Customer Review

on September 5, 2008
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. So in the end you see how society fears transgressions against gender norms and fights to maintain the status quo, how society uses ridicule, sarcasm, hate, bullying, put-downs, cruel humor and fear to enforce the gender binary, but how really the rigid gender binary doesn't make any sense biologically or culturally, how the rigid gender binary is a denial of our true selves.

Lori talks about how transitioning isn't really about transition from being one thing to being another thing, it is really about changing society's perceptions so that society can perceive our true form.

And Lori shows us a vision of a society where we don't have to fear the unknown, where a person can be free to be attracted to that kind of person they are attracted to. Where they can express whatever form their gender identity takes, whether it is highly masculine, moderately, slightly, not at all **and** at the same time highly feminine, moderately, slightly, not at all.
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