Caidyn (he/him/his)'s Reviews > If I Was Your Girl

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
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did not like it
bookshelves: queer-reads, young-adult-fiction, dnf

DNF at 12%

After seeing a lot of reviews laud this book for having fantastic rep, I decided to push past my deep reservations about this book and the content in it.

A little bit about me first. I'm 23 and I've lived in Kansas my whole life. I'm a transman. I've been out to my family/friends since I was 15. I stayed deeply closeted except to those people until I was out of high school and into college. I lost friends when I came out to some of them. To this day, I only keep in touch with two people I graduated with who have supported me through everything. And I love them deeply even if we don't talk as much as we used to because, well, we're now adults with lives going on.

December 10, 2014, I started hormones. That means I'm coming up on five years of stabbing myself in the leg every week (it's how I lovingly phrase it). March 13, 2018, I had my top surgery. I just passed the one year mark. This year, I finally decided to give facial hair a try because this is the first time I've been able to actually grow something substantial. I've never been happier with how I look at my body.

I'm glad that my fellow transpeople have this book and find it authentic. I love that it's written by a transwoman and we get that true voice since it's hard for our stories to be told like this.

However, I take a very deep issue with the fact that the author changed so much about trans experience so Amanda is very inauthentic. She wouldn't have been able to start hormones. She wouldn't have been able to get all those surgeries. It's impossible in this day and age. People with transkids have to fight for them to get hormone blockers so they don't start the wrong puberty and have to do it all over again. (Trust me. It's hell doing both even if you know the second one is better.)

And, that means I can't read it because it upsets me that this is what cispeople see when they read it. Yes, we're normal and just like everyone else. But it's just not the experience everyone else will get. I hope that one day it will be able to happen, but that's not how it works right now. If Amanda wanted those surgeries, she would have had to travel outside of the United States to get them done.

As I said, I'm sincerely glad that transpeople have this story and it resonates with them, but it does nothing but upset me.
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Reading Progress

May 18, 2019 – Started Reading
May 18, 2019 – Shelved
May 18, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
May 18, 2019 – Shelved as: queer-reads
May 18, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult-fiction
May 18, 2019 –
12.0% "I'm hesitant about this book. I know the author is ownvoices, but she fudged the facts of what could even happen in this situation. That fucking bothers me as a transman who was closeted throughout high school and had zero access to any of this until I was 18.

It really rubs me the wrong way. I don't like that the author watered the typical trans experience down."
May 18, 2019 – Shelved as: dnf
May 18, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary S. R. First, I'm so absolutely happy for you and how you love the way you look! I wish you the best support from friends and the utmost strength against anything that might come in your way 💛

And I have had this book on my TBR specially because of the many trans friends who've recommended this book, and still mean to read it—however, thank you for writing this; I'm now gonna go in aware of the inauthentic experience and will definitely keep it in mind and do extra research because I don't know a lot about trans experience and really want to understand.

Caidyn (he/him/his) If you want to know about trans experience, Mary, I highly recommend Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue! It's a fantastic read. A bit older since it mentions the DSM-IV R rather than the DSM-5.

But, this book is if the situation was ideal. And, in America, it's far from ideal. That's the way most places are. I'm just not a fan of it. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did! I'm sure it's a good story, but I got hung up on the details mentioned in my review.

message 3: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary S. R. Thank you so much for the recommendation! I've been looking for good sources, this is very helpful :)
And I'm sorry it made you feel that way.

Caidyn (he/him/his) No problem! I also recommend Becoming a Visible Man because transmen so rarely get their voices heard. We're hidden. It's more of a memoir, but it provides great insight into the struggle to get the T in LGBT.

message 5: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary S. R. Indeed, it's rare to come by these books, I'm so grateful for this! I always strive to understand, but the situation in my country is also not very open. I'm really eager to read it!

Caidyn (he/him/his) Yeah, I understand that. It's difficult when there's not a lot of information and the information out there isn't good/supportive. Those are two books I loved that really gave a great understanding!

message 7: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary S. R. I'm immeasurably grateful :)

message 8: by Akita (new) - added it

Akita Alvarez I am SO sorry to comment on an old af review like this but BOOOOOOI!!!!! THANK you for this. THANK. YOU. SO. MUCH for sharing your voice because 99% of the reviews that I have read are all from non-Trans people and they differ DRASTICALLY from everything you've said here. I gave the book 4 stars but I ripped into it because nah, homeskills. What we're NOT gonna do is fill a book with token characters, misrepresentation and inauthenticity then say 'It's for the culture." But like, given the fact that the author IS Trans and this IS a novel that focuses on the Trans community, I didn't want to rip it to shreds but I REALLY didn't like the direction this novel took at ALL

Caidyn (he/him/his) Hi, Akita! I know a lot of people I follow who are trans have loved this book and found it very affirming. I just can't get passed the idea that the author changed a lot. It's not a bad book, just not for me and it's one I would recommend to people but with a huge caveat.

Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ Was reading up on bookish scandals and learned about something regarding this author:

Which really upsets me bc I'm sure JKR is going to stumble into this and wave it around as proof to justify the TERF mindset . . .

Caidyn (he/him/his) Yep, I've seen that and known about it. So, yeah.

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