Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rethinking Normal - Katie Rain Hill (Spoilers?)

Note: as this is an autobiography, it doesn't necessary have what people would consider "spoilers," but as someone who likes to read books knowing as little as possible about them before I open the cover, I'm mentioning some incidents from the book in this review that I might consider spoiler-y, etc. 

The subtitle of this book is "A Memoir in Transition," and as you might guess, this is another well-written memoir of a trans woman's childhood and life up until the present day.  Can I just take a minute to marvel at the author's unbelievable courage? She faced down an entire high school full of bullies, and just by being herself changed hearts and minds to the point where she became friends with at least one of them later on. WHOA! I can honestly say she is a far better person than I could ever hope to be, because I could never be even half that forgiving. I want to be Katie Rain Hill if I grow up!

On a slightly more serious note, I am so happy that Katie's mom was loving and accepting and helpful, since not every parent is. It seems inconceivable to me that in 2016 there are still people so dedicated to spewing hatred that they'd disown their own children for trying to be their true selves. Katie and her family are a beacon of hope and love in the world, and I think their message is timely and more necessary than ever.

One thing about this book I really liked was that it was frank. It frankly described Katie's depression as a child living in the wrong body, and her subsequent coming out and transition. I think this could be very helpful and reassuring to other trans teens, to see that they are not alone, and to help anyone who is interested gain an understanding of what it means to be trans. I really liked the list of resources and the helpful and supportive hints for talking to a trans person - that could be very helpful to a parent or someone who has just learned that a loved one is trans and is trying to learn all they can.

A large part of this book is dedicated to Katie's relationship with Arin, a trans man who wrote a similar memoir - 3 guesses as to which book is next up for a review on my blog! :) It's not often one can hear a story told by two sides, so that's really cool. All in all, this is another enjoyable read I can recommend.

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