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She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders

She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders - Jennifer Finney Boylan Prejudices abound in the world, and I am no exception to that. Although I don't want to be on the receiving end of another's prejudice for being fat or gay or whatever, I know I still have my prejudices that need to be dealt with. My opinion of transexuals was one of them.

Before reading this book, I had already started to change my view on the issue. When I was younger, I was freaked out by the idea of transexuals and especially gender reassignment surgery. Even though I had started to develop the opinion that I couldn't decide for another whether they were happy as one gender or another, I still viewed it as a question of sexuality. A male-to-female transexual, in my mind was a gay man who wanted to BE a female partner.

She's Not There surprised me in that Jenny was attracted to women, but still felt to have been born into the wrong body. Such a thought never even crossed my mind. Gender identity, I see after reading this book, is not about one's sexuality (though sexuality cannot be completely separated from the experience; both gender identity and sexuality are part of the whole, after all).

As I said above, I had stopped being freaked out by it before reading this book, but I'm glad we read this for book club. I think I needed more insight on transexuals. Though I will never understand it existentially, I'm glad I have acquired an inside look at it through this book.