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Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  64 reviews
What does it mean to be transgender? How do we discuss the subject? In this eye-opening book, CN Lester, academic and activist, takes us on a journey through some of the most pressing issues concerning the trans debate: from pronouns to Caitlyn Jenner; from feminist and LGBTQ activists, to the rise in referrals for gender variant children - all by way of insightful and mov ...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published May 25th 2017 by Virago
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4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  342 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
Trans Like Me is a mixture of memoir and writing about the current climate around trans people. Lester, who is non-binary, has created an informative introduction to issues surrounding trans people without ever being patronising. While trans people may be familiar with much of the introductory topics Lester provides, I suspect that much of the information about current issues for trans people will be new to many cis people.

As a non-binary person, I found reading Lester’s struggles with presentat
Fred Langridge
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intimate, informative and moving - I want to get a copy of this for everyone who celebrates or supports my transness, everyone who doesn't really get it and everyone in the overlap.
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely wonderful book. It combines memoir with fact, and is so affirming for non-binary and gender-nonconforming people.
A very good combination of memoir, social science study, political polemic, history, and opinion piece on feminist theory (and the limitations set by its historical lack of intersectionality.) Lester does not acknowledge in any way the source of people's discomfort with gender nonconformity, and I think just glossing over that discussion limits this to a book that will be broadening to trans allies rather than people still trying to figure things out. One notable example, there is an acknowledgm ...more
A clear, well thought-out introduction to trans issues from the musician, academic and activist C.N. Lester. This book meets the reader where they are likely to be, tackling many of the questions/myths that tend to crop up in the media - why gendered public toilets are problematic for trans people, the reality behind the scaremongering around trans children etc. The latter particularly stuck in my mind when Lester highlighted the double standard of expecting trans people to have known they were ...more
Verity W
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really very, very good. Immensely thought provoking, I hope this makes a big impact. I picked this up because I became aware that, despite my best intentions, I could be accidentally hurting or offending trans people because I was not well enough informed on the subject. I have a couple of other books on the pile to read to help me improve my knowledge and make me a better cisgender ally.

CN Lester does a wonderful job of setting out their points of view and the way that they are perceived by so
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-cis
THIS is the book I'll be recommending to cis people who aren't ready for something as dense as Serano's Whipping Girl. It's written on a 101 level without speaking down to the reader. I have mixed feelings about its tragic overtone, but overall I feel it's vital: Too many cis people have a tendency to focus on the advances they've seen and either ignore or just don't get that there continue to be very real, current, everyday struggles that trans and nonbinary people face.

Good exploration of cri
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever read their meticulously researched, yet incredibly readable blogs that the musician, academic and activist CN Lester did not produce the tell-all trans memoir so beloved by the tabloids. Instead, CN blends personal experience with academic rigour to create a clear-eyed, non-judgemental work that sensitively tackles everything from gender neutral pronouns, to puberty blockers, to Caitlyn Jenner. I raced through this book, which I’d argue is ess ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(2.5 stars)

I had a hard time rating this one, because I didn't want it to seem like I didn't think that this book was important. It is most definitely important. However, I thought that its readability and accessibility weren't the best. I think that everyone needs to be aware of these issues and the issues the Lester presents, however, they didn't make it accessible to people who may not be educated about trans issues.

I wish more people could read this book, but the density might make it too
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Starts with the basics and gets progressively more complex (in the good way) as it goes along, so I got more interested as I went. The stuff that is basics was definitely solid though, I now know what to suggest to people as a Trans 101 book.

For me the joy was more in the memoir, the history, the theory, and the solid proof that you really don't need very many jargon words to talk about pretty complicated stuff. Very well-done.
Rhiannon Grant
A really good read which explores these issues in a clear and lively way. Lester's historical background is used to good effect - I especially appreciated their history of gender variance in Western society, as accounts of 'third genders' can sometimes be exoticising/orientalising - and throughout there's a good balance of references to other writers (Lester clearly knows the field inside out) and use of personal experience. It's funny how much a book dates in two years, though; there is an opti ...more
Emma Gerts
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This should be compulsory reading for all cis people. Lester writes an informative but moving treatise on the experience of being transgender, genderfluid and nonbinary in the world today. It's tragic, but hopeful, and Lester's writing allows outsiders into a world we cannot imagine.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 maybe, but overall definitely a read I enjoyed, and I liked that it was a mix of perhaps somewhat more academic, or at least source-based writing, as well as bits of personal writing as well.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hoopla
Squares nonbinary and trans-identifying people today with long history of gender nonconformity. Triumphs and trials individually and as community.

This is a terribly unexciting review, but I really enjoyed this book!
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 if I could. Pretty readable, informative, moving; sometimes goes on a bit. A decent-ish guide for the clueless, but not always entirely clear and not exhaustive despite feeling overlong and slightly overwrought. But mostly good. Part-way through I thought it'd be nice to set up a stand on the street, maybe next to those people who hand out biblical tracts in crowded areas, and give out copies for free. At a minimum I'd like to give my copy a good new home. Maybe I could talk the biblical bun ...more
Jessica M
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it

Trans Like Me breaks down the stereotypes and misconceptions about trans people. It sheds light on society’s incorrect terminology and treatment of trans, and it also highlights (and condemns) how the media can incorrectly position them.

“The question I am most often asked about being trans – on the internet, in the pub, on the bus, at work – is the one I most dread answering. Sometimes it’s delivered through euphemism, sometimes crudely, and worst of all by a groping unin
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, non-fiction
This quote from the book does a great job in explaining why it should be read: "The more we learn about the intricacies, overlaps and contrasts of our experiences, the more we can dismantle the totality of gendered oppression."
Anita Cassidy
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful writing. Insightful, engaging, moving and an insight into what it means to be fully human and true to the self
As a cisgender ally, I learnt so much from this book. It's easy to read, but still rich with points to contemplate. I would like to buy copies for my friends and family and everyone who is willing to listen to something more than the limited mainstream media version of what being transgender means. It is painful to think about all the ways CN and so many others are suffering from society's transphobia, and how unnecessary all types of gendered oppression are.

I particularly loved the chapter abo
Christine Burns
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Trans-related books are in vogue at the moment. We are thankfully moving away from the confessional autobiography, which was the publishers' mainstay for much of the last forty years, and now we are seeing a greater diversity of angles about trans people's lives and their relation to society. Trans Like Me signals the way to go. It is one of the best and most articulate books on the subject that I've seen in a while — up there with Julia Serano's 'Whipping Girl'. It's a really intelligent discus ...more
Julie Cohen
This is accessible, readable, thoughtful, insightful, incisive, educational and touching. It made me cry several times—at the author's description of their journey, at the appalling descriptions of transphobia, and at its hopeful appeal for inclusive and intersectional feminism. It's one of the best books I've read this year. I think everyone should read it.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautifully written, with so much information. There was so much I learned from reading this book, and so much I learned about myself from reading it too. I can't recommend this book enough. No matter what gender you identify as you should read this book.
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book in the library to learn more about trans people because my daughter has a transgender friend. I found the book well written, full of educating trans history and hopeful.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Really good book. A nice mix of personal feelings and historical/societial analysis that doesn't assume too much but doesn't talk down to you either.
Ben Truong
Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us is part autobiography and part anthology of personal essays written by CN Lester a musician and LGBT activist. This book is a collection of personal semi-autobiographical essays about the transsexual and genderqueer movement.

CN Lester is a British classical mezzo-soprano and alternative singer-songwriter, as well as an LGBT and transgender rights activist. Lester is out as genderqueer and has been hailed as a role model for the combining their identity
Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Engaging, humane, and well-researched, 'Trans Like Me' weaves together personal, cultural, and scholarly perspectives on trans identity and trans history to offer a galvanising and affirming snapshot of the place of trans people in contemporary society.

With immense patience, tolerance, and wit Lester charts, interrogates, and challenges the norms and assumptions that undergird and amimate transphobic speech and violence, making an impassioned plea for more visible, varied, and nuanced depiction
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Forgot how I heard of this, but at the time the book was not yet available in the US, so I bought it from the UK. Author Lester talks about their trans experience as well as providing commentary on sex, gender, transgender experiences and more. Everything from Caitlyn Jenner to how Lester navigated dealing with people who questions their gender and more.

The book was very much a mixed bag. I appreciated that this was not a 101-level text but at the same time some of the information seemed repeti
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not certain how to describe this book - a series of essays? Commentary on important aspects of the trans community/trans history? Whatever category Lester gives their work, all of it was interesting, although not necessarily smooth reading.

However Lester's mind works, it doesn't tend to follow the typical cognitive pathway that most academic or activist writer brains do. Often while reading, I wondered why this paragraph had followed that paragraph, wondered where we were headed next. Yet e
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is chicken soup for the trans soul. Lester is clear-headed as they deconstruct and debunk arguments used against the acceptance of trans people. They give real-life insight into the experiences trans people face when attempting to access services or public spaces.

If you are trans, read this. This is the book I've been searching for for years; something that reflects my own experiences back at me, and assures me that I am not alone. Lester convinced me that my invisibility and people's
Sean Harding
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Second book I've read in my recent "transgender" research and thinking (there was another one read a while back but I think I need to re-read that one)- way better than the other book, this was I have called a series of essays (and that is a debatable qualification) they are linked, but really can be read separately.
It is hard to argue with many of the points that Lester makes and the questions that they ask, but some of their conclusions I disagree with.
Still a passionate defence for transgende
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CN Lester is an academic, writer, musician, and leading LGBTI activist. Co-founder of the UK's first national queer youth organisation, they curate the trans art event Transpose, and work internationally as a trans and feminist educator and speaker. Their work has featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, SBS, The Guardian, ABC, The Independent, Newsnight, New Internationalist, and The Toast.

A singer-