Anyway. I just felt compelled to read this book, like I should read it. So a quick trip to amazon.com and it was on it's way to my mailbox. It is a shorter book, being only around 190 pages long. Well worth the read though.
I really can't say that I learned anything new by reading this book, (I learn quite a bit from browsing around the internet and talking to others) but I am still glad I took the time to read it. If anything it was a great reassurance of all the feelings and ideas I have within me. Although the book is geared toward helping others understand the idea of what it means to be transgender and the struggles, both inner and outer, that we as transgender people face, it is still note worthy for anybody to read. And since I'm terrible at book reviews, this is what the editorial review states:
"Understanding Transgender Diversity presents a fresh and remarkably clear look at the highly individual nature of human sexuality: why a vast spectrum of self-identities-including those we call "transgender"-will always exist. Part I offers a new model of human sexuality that's both logical and intuitive, enhanced by many creative diagrams and the author's personal experience. Part II provides a well-organized overview of the myriad forms of transgender expression, while Part III sheds thought-provoking light on the many kinds of relationships we can have with transgender people and how best to cope with and benefit from these. Though relatively short, this book is rich in content, written in an engaging and often witty style that draws you in from the beginning and keeps you reading with fascination to the end."
The one big thing that I really loved about this book was the idea that we are all humans and all individuals that was presented in the text. Each of us has this core identity, sometimes this is buried deep within us under layers and layers of social conditioning. It is because of society and the history of humans and our nature to segregate and label everything we are that sometimes to be our true selves puts us on the outside of what is considered "normal" or deviant from the social average. To show the world our true self is often the riskiest thing we can do in life. The idea being that we as humans must unlearn what we've been taught and learn to live with open minds. We are all humans after all and each of us with our own identity that makes each of us unique and different from one another, but that at it's core is what it means to be human.
This is something I strongly believe in. I would not be on this journey otherwise. I learned long ago, mostly through the music I listen to and personal experience, that society suppresses and ostracizes that which does not fit within its mold of what it believes a human should be. That's okay with me though. The other thing I learned is that I like being here on the outside. I know that I am striving to be an individual in this world, to know my true self. If that puts me on the outside for who I am, so be it. At least out here I can be with others who took a stand and said "I am who I am and I'm not going to be anybody else because I can't." Out here we can see the faults and try to educate others and make this world a better place.
I know that I would not trade the life I have for any other in this world. The life I am living, the path I am on, makes me who I am, makes me an individual, makes me human. Sure everything is not the best all the time and I've a long way to go, but I know I am getting in touch with my core identity. This journey is my own and no one else has the same experiences as I do. I am an individual and will continue to be one until the day I die.
"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare