This book stands alone and works as a complement to Katie Rain Hill's book, which I reviewed yesterday. This was yet another well written memoir, this time about growing up as a trans man. Arin's story has many obvious similarities to Katie's, which makes sense; they're from the same state and are the same age, etc. Of course everyone's story is different, so it's nice to read about his inner thoughts and feelings from a first person perspective after having been introduced to him in Katie's book. I'm so happy we have courageous young people like Arin who are willing to put themselves out there as activists and as role models, and to help educate people. Arin also won hearts and minds by being himself and I think that's admirable and shows how strong of a person he is.
One thing I really took away from this book was that parents should really listen to their kids, and try to let their kids be who they really are, rather than trying to force their kids into being what the parent wants. I am not trans, but I had a domineering, pushy, intrusive parent who squashed my real self and ignored my natural skills/abilities at every opportunity, and pushed me to be something I'm not, so in a very small way I can understand a bit of what that's like. If only more parents would truly let their children be who they are, there would be so much less depression and self-hatred. I'm so glad Arin had a supportive family that was able to see who he really was and to ultimately embrace him wholeheartedly. I wish that all trans kids could find that, even if it's through a chosen family.