I posted a bit about I am J by Cris Beam in a post about the healing power of art, but now that the book is officially available for purchase, I wanted to bring it up again. I am J has gotten three starred reviews so far and lots of positive attention for being one of the few books for teens on the transgender experience. Here is a line from the book that Kirkus included in its review that I like:
Being trans wasn’t special, and yet it was. It was just good and bad and interesting and fucked-up and very human, like anything else.
Cris Beam is also the author of the award winning book Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers. Act 1 of the This American Life episode Living the Dream from 2001 featured Cris Beam talking about the girls she worked with while writing Transparent. It is definitely worth checking out–the book and the TAL ep. Beam’s understanding of the culture around transgender teens who are struggling to find their place in a world that doesn’t always know what to do with them shows in I am J. For those of us unfamiliar with the transgender experience, this book can open a door that needs to be open. But for transgendered teens themselves, it is so important that they find this book and the few others that are out there. It is so important that they know they are not alone.
Here in the Twin Cities:
- Trans Youth Support Network
- Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition
- Rainbow Health Initiative
- Quatrefoil Library
Want to be an ally? Here is a pdf of a zine called Tranzmission written to help people close to transgendered individuals.