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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Dean, a 22-year old female-to-male-transsexual, is no LGBT poster boy. Unemployed, depressed, mid-transition, and still living in the upstairs bedroom of his parents’ house in a conservative suburb, he can think of little to do but write his memoir. In the third person, he tells the tale of his would-be love affair with his college roommate, Colin, another trans man with a ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published April 11th 2011 by Createspace (first published April 1st 2011)
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Aphrodite Calling by Jennifer LynneThe Day the Music Died by Blair EvansRefuse by Elliott DeLineParrotfish by Ellen WittlingerStone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
Books With Transgender Characters
3rd out of 25 books — 27 voters
Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBrideThe Christmas Throwaway by R.J. ScottDance With Me by Heidi CullinanSplit by Mel BossaBreathe by Sloan Parker
2011 Rainbow Awards
11th out of 103 books — 32 voters

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I loved this one! Six stars! This novel really spoke to my condition, so YMMV, but I will tell you why I liked it. I will let you live vicariously through my reading experience. As soon as I saw that Refuse was about a depressed young man who is transgender and obsessed with Morrissey, I knew that I had to read it. But terrific subject matter does not neccessarily make a terrific self-published novel, so I was also very apprehensive about this book. Clearly before I even cracked the cover I had ...more
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Summary: Dean is not your average, run of the mill, happy-go-lucky, young adult. Not only is he a transsexual male who questions his sexual preferences, but he seemingly hates everything around him, including himself. Then again, having rage against the world and not knowing who he really is could be considered a common trait amongst many of today’s youth. What teenager or young adult doesn’t feel awkward and out of place? Sadly, it is Dean’s discomfort and self-hatred of himself that has him fe ...more
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Potentially really offensive (and obnoxious!), but it was thrilling to finally read a novel with characters whose lives are like mine (trans & queer).

Also, the narrator hints at some really compelling issues of identity and being --especially in the conversations between Dean and Teddy-- but then quickly retreats. I would've enjoyed further explorations of those themes. (Sure, I've read tons theory about gender and transness, and I've done a lot of thinking of my own, but sometimes I wonder
Christopher Moss
So many transgender novels I have read are light, humorous, safe, but not this one. The dark mood of this novel as an authenticity not often found in the genre, baring the self-absorbed and sarcastically pitiable world view of late adolescents. It follows transgender student Dean as he enters college and starts to find his fellow transmen. Obsessed with the British indie rock band The Smiths Dean is drawn to his new roommate, himself a musician bound for success in the indie rock industry, also ...more
Eccessivo, crudo, ossessivo. Uno spaccato di eccessi giovanili, ricerca di identià e del sè. Forse ho superato l'età in cui posso identificarmi. Di sicuro i disagi, il male di vivere e le psicosi sono tipici di una generazione e non solo. In particolare il problema identità di genere e transizione sono solo una delle tante sfaccettature del disagio. Il protagonista potrebbe semplicemente essere, gay, nero, drogato o con turbe caratteriali. Libro cupo, in cui nessuno si salva, in cui emergono le ...more
Confusion was a big theme of this book. My inability to understand Dean’s reasoning probably equaled his own. Like a jigsaw puzzle for a brain, his outlook was scattered across the table, and finding a single piece of the puzzle was never enough to understand the whole picture that made up Dean.

Does he like women, does he like men, or does he like transgender men or women? Does Dean ever find closure and acceptance with himself? Those are questions best answered by reading the book.
I had to make my way past the heavy self-referentiality and teen angst to enjoy this story of the romantic travails of a group of contemporary queer and trans college kids. Dean, our hero, is a fey and contrary fellow who loves the Smiths and is rebelling against whatever you got, which I'm always going to appreciate. There's a real voice here, and a sharp ear for dialogue, but the novel as a whole wants editing, badly. Still, I'll be looking for more from this young writer Elliot DeLine.
Wart Hill
I've been trying for the better part of today to put my thoughts together in a way that forms a coherent review without just pulling quotes. I still haven't really been able to, but I'm going to give it a go.

There's a quote about 84% of the way through: "That's the tragedy of Dean." And I think that does begin to show you what this book is. But I'd say it's also the triumph of Dean.

This story, Dean's story, is very human. Very real.
This book was moving, sad, acerbic, and hysterically funny, and I enjoyed it immensely. The main character is a young trans man in college struggling with feeling socially awkward and isolated, wrestling with his depression and doubts, vulnerability and attractions, based on experiences and feelings that I found very resonant as a trans woman. Read this!
I downloaded this a while back but did not get far into it. Then, I read John Irving's new In One Person and thought Refuse would be a good followup. Found it awkward to follow and while I enjoyed parts and hated others. Glad I finished it although had it not been for Irving's book, I doubt I would have finished.
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Influences: Steven Morrissey, Philip Roth, Oscar Wilde, J.D. Salinger, Quentin Crisp, Leslie Feinberg, David Sedaris, Frank McCourt, James Baldwin, Dostoevsky, Mike Judge, Tard the Grumpy Cat

Elliott DeLine (born 1988) is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist from Syracuse, NY. He is a transgender man writing fiction about transgender characters: a very rare animal indeed! His first book, Re
More about Elliott DeLine...
I Know Very Well How I Got My Name Show Trans: A Nonfiction Novel The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard

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