Coming out is not as simple as stating your truth. For many, it takes years, if not decades to gather the courage to reveal who they really are. Built-in, (which goes without saying) is the fear of rejection from family and friends.
Once a Girl, Always a Boy: A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey, by Jo Ivester, was published in 2020. It is the story of her transgender son, Jeremy, and his journey to becoming his true self. Given the name Emily at birth, he never felt right in his body as a child. As soon as he hit puberty and junior high/high school, the issues became magnified due to the natural difficulties of the age.
As he grew into an adult, he slowly began to accept who he was and go through physical changes (medical procedures included) to match his outsides to his insides. The narrative is told from multiple perspectives: Jeremy, Jo, his father, and his siblings. It is more than the fight for his identity, it is his right to be respected as he is by society and the law.
This book is fantastic and different from other memoirs about this subject. What makes it unusual is the multiple perspectives. It gives the reader a 180 view of what it is like to come out as a transgender person and the multiple ripples this revelation creates.
I also very much appreciate the political action Jo took. She became an advocate not just for her son, but for the millions of LGBTQ Americans who are being discriminated against simply because of who they are.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Once a Girl, Always a Boy: A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey is available wherever books are sold.
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