Not only a navigational aid for any woman contemplating gender change by one who’s been there, but a heartfelt plea for mainstream American society to understand, accept and support gender diversity.
Kailey was born a girl, but after 42 years of feeling out of place in a female body underwent gender reassignment. In his case, this meant chest surgery and testosterone injections, but not genital surgery. He reveals very little of his first four decades but is astonishingly open about the transition period and his present life as a self-styled “gay transman.” (The designation “gay” signifies that he is attracted to men since his sexual orientation remains the same as when he was a female, and the prefix “trans” indicates that he is not truly a man since he lacks male genitals.) Going bare-chested in public, having to change his car’s tire without help for the first time, trying out a fake phallus, getting rebuffed in the Internet romance game, using a public men’s room, going to a gynecologist for an annual Pap test, attending a conference with hundreds of other female-to-male transsexuals—Kailey describes all with frankness, and by engaging his reader with honesty and a touch of humor, he makes his life seem less alien than it might first appear to the straight world. In Kailey’s ideal society, there’s a place for every sexual persuasion—straight, gay, lesbian, transsexual and the intersexed—and the only way such a world can come about, he believes, is if people like himself speak up and show everyone who they are. If educating the public means sacrificing his privacy, Kailey seems willing to go far to get his message of tolerance out.
An eye-opener, sometimes shocking but never smutty.