Dear friends and other interesting creatures,
On the evening of the launch, I purchased a copy of Anastacia Thomson’s book, “A Transgender Life in South Africa” .
The book is a first hand account of a woman, who was assigned male at birth, due to external genitalia.
I was naive in my thinking that I was reasonably informed regarding terms used within the LGBT community. The book exposed me to much deeper layers of vocabulary and seeking definitions. Not only in language, but a sincere comprehension on the topic of living a transgender life.
By nature of the topic, the book is a very personal encounter of Anastacia’s life. The emotions surrounding her journey are captured in depth, yet I found it difficult to connect with the obvious capable and intelligent writer.
The book includes many instances of setting the scene, or describing an individual that is not mentioned in the book again. I felt irritated by the mundane details while searching for the meat in the storyline.
The relationship between the writer and long term partner, Jennifer could have been explored more, giving the reader a better understanding of the persons involved and how being transgendered hindered, or even helped the relationship. Same with brother Leo. I found the “character” lacking in realism. While addressing the difficulty in being Jewish, as Judaism has clearly defined gender roles, I was left with many questions. Where to from here?
The relationship between the writer and her mother was better developed. Perhaps because the process brought them emotionally closer to one another.
We need brave writers to educate, expose and challenge topics with truth, evoking empathy and compassion within the reader. I do give Anastacia a standing ovation for bravery!
I rate this book as a 3/5 with gratitude for writing honestly about such a difficult topic.
I wish you enough,
I am in no way attempting to make light of the topic, but endulge me a moment. When I close my eyes, I see myself as the girl dancing on the table. Wearing knee high socks, with a mini skirt and a flirtatious laugh to match.
My 43 year old self has never truly moved on from the 16 year old me. I do not feel at ease with the fat woman, in clothes bought for comfort, with zero sex appeal. With thanks to a random illness, I cannot climb stairs, forget dancing on the table!
So in my odd, simplistic and much less traumatic way, I could perhaps identify 5% of what it may feel like to not relate, but hate your own image in the mirror. The physical looking back at you, not reflect who you know you ARE in your own truth.