Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub. Date: 2017
Genre: Informational Nonfiction
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Trans Voices: Becoming Who You Are, by Declan Henry, compiles the words of trans individuals and explanations of issues. The book discusses everyday experiences, transitioning, treatments, surgeries, discrimination, and legal and healthcare issues. In this book, Henry attempts to educate the cisgender population about the lives and experiences of trans individuals to increase acceptance and understanding.
What hooked me to read this book was the first sentence of the introduction: “As a gay man, I decided to write this book because I was ashamed of how little I knew about trans people” (19). With the intent to educate cisgender people about the issues of gender, he not only focuses on trans men and women but also on non-binary people, health, and discrimination. The back of the book includes a glossary and a list of resources in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The book is written in an easy style. He does use clinical language, but it helps for understanding aspects of hormone therapy and surgeries. If he noticed this as an issue, the excerpts from interviews could inject only so much emotion back into the book. On that note, I found information about treatments and laws that I did not know previously.
For the chapter on health, it was a basic overview of certain health needs and issues. The physical health needs aligns to an article I read in a medical journal about the gynecologist’s role in the care of transgender patients, though the book speaks to the non-medical person.
I read reviews of the book when I was partway through the book, and I read reviews about some problems in the book. One of the mentioned issues is that Declan uses excerpts from his interviews with trans people and uses them to help his paragraphs of general statements that more support an argument. Declan does include multiple perspectives on any given issue or statement, so he is working to provide as many perspectives as he can. I too cringe at the chapter on cross-dressers for the terminology.
Declan Henry’s Trans Voices: Becoming Who You Are provides an introduction to the issues of transgender and non-binary people in the UK.