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To My Trans Sisters [PDF / Epub] ★ To My Trans Sisters By Charlie Craggs – Lambda Literary Award Finalist LGBT AnthologyDedicated to trans women everywhere this inspirational collection of letters written by successful trans women shares the lessons they learnt on their jour Lambda Literary Award Finalist LGBT AnthologyDedicated to trans women everywhere this inspirational collection of letters written by successful trans women shares the lessons they learnt on To My PDF/EPUB ² their journeys to womanhood celebrating their achievements and empowering the next generation to become who they truly areWritten by politicians scientists models athletes authors actors and activists from around the world these letters capture the diversity of the trans experience and offer advice from make up and dating through to fighting dysphoria and transphobiaBy turns honest and heartfelt funny and furious or beautiful and brave these letters send a clear message of hope to their sisters each of these women have gone through the struggles of transition and emerged the other side as accomplished confident women; and if we made it sister so can you.

10 thoughts on “To My Trans Sisters

  1. Kara Babcock Kara Babcock says:

    So I guess this is my coming out review? I actually have a blog post for that but of course some of my transition experiences thus far will be interspersed throughout this reviewHello world I’m Kara now That’s pronounced Car uh I’m a trans woman My pronouns are sheherTo My Trans Sisters seemed like a perfect book to read and then review on the day I came out online It’s a collection of letters from trans women to trans women—so if you had asked me back when I read For the Love of Men I wouldn’t have considered myself the target audience Now I most definitely am Oh how time makes fools of us all Charlie Craggs has engaged a very diverse set of voices which is commendable These women are from all sorts of places—UK and US predominantly but there are other voices here too They are a variety of ages and have followed many career trajectories strangely high proportion of military or ex military women though This is the anthology’s principal strength it accepts and highlights that there is no such thing as a monolithic transfeminine experience As someone who is coming to womanhood towards her middle age I find that extremely reassuring and helpfulThe letters in this collection are varied yet also similar Many are written in the form of a letter to one’s younger self dispensing wisdom the author wish she had known then Some are written to the hypothetical trans reader Others are poems or extremely short tidbits of ideas As with any collection of this size the uality of the writing is extremely varied Not every letter is going to be a hit; indeed it’s possible most letters won’t be a hit I found myself agreeing with some disagreeing with others and even agreeingdisagreeing within the same letter And that’s pretty neatI basically was looking for two things with this book The first was confirmationvalidation of my personal trans journey The second was advice or wisdom from women looking back after years decades even of being out as transgender and their perspective which is of course so different from mine as a trans woman in her first year of this whole process I am a babyI really liked Laura Jane Grace’s admonition to “Live as fully as you can always without apology” 10 That’s definitely a motto I’ve always followed my whole life and is likely why I’ve so abruptly and publicly decided to come out it’s how I operate I cannot compartmentalize I decided it was time to acknowledge I’m trans; I started telling the people most important to me; and then I laid the ground work to come out to everyone else Today I came out to my colleagues at work; on Monday when my new classes start I will come out to my studentsSimilar to the above motto Andrea James says “transition can liberate you from fear As much as we might hope and dream and plan transition is ultimately a leap of faith an act of courage” 117 I like this It acknowledges the immensity of this journey while congratulating us and celebrating us for who we truly are courageous You know a lot of my friends have commented as part of their reaction when I told them that I’m brave And I see it But I’m also super privileged I’m white able bodied have secure employment and housing I have a lot of privilege that many trans women don’t have when they consider coming out and hence why some never do So I’m not sure I’m courageous so much as savvy Nevertheless I won’t lie This is a huge thing and I feel brave for admitting this to myself firstly and then for deciding to make it a realityJen Richards also gave me a poignant reminder that “Being trans does not make you special it just makes you trans” By this she means that if one fixates and obsesses over one’s transness at the expense of cultivating other hobbies interests and relationships then of course one’s trans journey will be daunting I find this very important to keep in mind This is all so new to me so fresh and I feel an incredible euphoria—after all I’ve just reframed my entire existence in a way that makes me comfortable Yet at the end of the day yeah I’m trans but I’m so many other things I’m a best friend I’m a teacher I’m a knitter I’m a reader Being trans is as much a part of me now as any other aspect of my identity but it doesn’t make me special It’s my uniue combination of all these attributes that makes me special Obviously for a little while I’m going to be obsessed with my transness This is a huge adjustment and learning curve But eventually I’ll heed Richards’ words and settle downI also really identified with Martine Rose’s perspective on acknowledging one’s trans identityFrom a very young age I have always had the wish that I had been born female and this wish only go stronger with time But I have not felt this wish arose out of the way I was born; I just felt intensely jealous of females for their freedom to wear beautiful clothes make up etc and I thought that being a painfully shy person life would have been so much easier for me if I were female in a world that still largely expected men to take the lead in those early daysThis perspective coincides much with mine than some of the stereotypical narratives about being “born in the wrong body” or “always knowing” one is trans which are great if they apply to you but they don’t apply to me I’m still sorting through my past re evaluating my actions in hindsight uncovering things that might be indications earlier of how I felt It was just so nice to hear another trans woman express this sentimentThen Rose goes and ruins it by adding in her conclusion “please don’t lose your femininity if you are MF after you have had the op I see so many who used to enjoy ‘dressing up’ as attractive women before but seem to lose interest after the op” Ugh Who cares what you wear?? Clothes do not make the woman; makeup does not make the woman I’m going to dress exactly as feminine or masculine as I want regardless of the status of my genitals and in every single outfit I’m still going to be a cute girl And I’m really sorry that Rose doesn’t have the freedom to see the world that wayBecause Charlie Craggs the editor closes out the anthology with her letter and I also really agree with this point but without even poppin’ a single ’mone without any surgery or laser without eve presenting as female my perception of myself totally changed because I finally accepted myselfYES SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE TRANS WOMEN AT THE BACK That’s exactly how I felt during the sleepless night I had my epiphany Like yeah new glasses and a new hairstyle and new clothes are going to help Hormones might help one day But none of that stuff matters as much as this enormous sense of rightness that I felt in the days that followed As I talked to my friends and family as I tried out my new name I kept experiencing that euphoria rather than the dysphoria that so many of us face I loved itThere were definitely some viewpoints I didn’t appreciate For instance Eve says “If this isn’t something that manifested in you from a when sic you were little it’s probably not legitimate”What the actual fuckThe only thing worse than doubt and shaming is doubt and shaming coming from within the house I went out and checked Eve’s Twitter feed after this and I probably shouldn’t have I didn’t even have to read past the first line of her bio “Intersectionality is nothing than a loser matrix for terminal self pity”Nope Nope nope nope nope nope Every Single Tweet Is problematic Oh myThis kind of toxicity within the trans community within any community is awful and I don’t want it around And honestly it’s making it harder for me to recommend To My Trans Sisters wholeheartedly to well my trans sisters It’s one thing to welcome diverse and even contradictory views in an anthology like this Nevertheless it is still very important when creating an anthology directed at marginalized people that one considers the overall ethos one wants to foster An anthology can be open and still have minimum standards and I don’t think people like Eve meet those standardsAlso the actual editing? Not great There are typos and grammatical errors and it doesn’t seem like Craggs or any other people who copy edited the book took the time to work with the various contributorsI wish I could unreservedly recommend this book to my trans sisters I don’t know I liked elements of this book certain letters and certain people and certain sentiments I disagreed civilly with others and less civilly with a few It’s worth mentioning that for all I sought validation from older trans women in this book I went into it with an extremely firm and confident grasp on my newfound identity—that is I was easily able to shake off the doubt or dismissiveness I felt from people like Eve So consider that tooYou know what would be great? If we had of these books Because then we could pick and choose which trans focused trans targeted books we read Yes I know there are others out there and maybe I will even get to them soon—but we need Until then like many other collections of writing by marginalized people To My Trans Sisters is uneven enjoyable uestionable and all rightBut I I am much than all right

  2. Janani Janani says:

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest reviewI'm a little unsure how I feel about this one? I was really looking forward to falling in love with it; a collection of letters by trans women to their trans sisters edited by a trans woman sounded fantastic What this book does offer is a wide range of experiences in terms of age nationality general life stories etc which I thought was really amazing It was also interesting to see where these experiences intersected with and deviated from one another I was surprised to see that India Willoughby was included in this collection I've heard from some trans women that she's a bit problematic I was also a little uncomfortable by some of the judgement over fashion choices makeup etc in a couple of the letters I did also find myself skimming through some of these there's definitely a lot of repetition of the narrative of the journey itself super important but the similarity in the language choices made it hard for me to remain hundred percent engaged with the text some of the time I think this would be a good read for trans women looking for solidarity love inspiration and advice I'd honestly be interested to read reviews of this book by trans women

  3. Corvus Corvus says:

    To my knowledge To My Trans Sisters is the first book of its kind An anthology of letters written by trans women and a few other trans identified AMAB people written for the same demographic I will begin this review saying that I am not the target audience of this book I am a trans person but of the AFAB butchgenderueertransmasculine persuasion That said I was still inspired by the advice many women in this book gave Many of their stories are uniue to trans women and femmes but many are those that all kinds of trans and gender nonconforming people can relate to Cisgender people non trans people will gain insight into the lives and experiences of many women who share their stories in this book Most people will recognize at least a few of the names in the book and people who have been part of LGBT communities and who follow LGBT Western media may recognize many of the names It was lovely to see women from so many different backgrounds come together to send a message to other women and trans femmes out thereOne of the main strengths of this book is the sheer range of diverse experiences expressed by the women whose stories were included From what I could tell ages ranged from teenage to eighties There were voices from countries from most continents on Earth though it is very heavy on English UK representation because that's where the editor is from There are women who are activists physicists athletes programmers artists military personnel celebrity reality show participants musicians politicians doctors dancers and many others There are women of many different racial backgrounds and many different ages of transition Disability is underrepresented but Emily Brothers' letter along with her acknowledgement about how disability and illness compound struggles to obtain medical transition was very nice to see as a disabled trans person While the book does heavily highlight the voices of famous and wealthy trans people there is still a wide range of experiences among them and other voices included as wellAnother one of the book's strengths is the vast range of opinions expressed on gender womanhood transition gender expression passing sexuality and so on Due to generational geographical cultural and other differences there is a wide range of terms people use for themselves and their experiences But there are also a wide range of tips allowing the reader to take what they need and leave the rest Some women say to tone down your look in order to pass others say to look however extravagantly you like and ignore the haters Some women say they were very supported when they came out others say they lost everything Some women have very traditional trans narratives others have fluid experiences of genderRegardless of these differences between entries though there is a common thread that runs through all of them Sisterhood an insistence on the great value of the women and other trans people who are their target audience and a message that being who they are is right no matter what anyone else says Regardless of their differences all of the writers in this book express a love for and solidarity with their target audience Other common pieces of advice that ran through many writings were making sure being transgender doesn't become everything in your life to still hold on to things you enjoy to never settle for an abusive partner because you are trans and also not to assume that everyone in the world is ridiculing or even paying attention to you It was nice to see these messages of hope tie together such a wide range of peoples experiencesI thought hard about whether or not I wanted to critiue the voices of trans women in a book that I was not the target audience for I decided that I would tread cautiously So what I will say is this There are uite a few women in high ranking military positions in this book who have very pro military messages that do not line up with many messages I have heard from LGBT people and women in general in military or related fields who were out or outed These type of messages as well as messages coming from women who successfully feigned hyper masculinity amassed great wealth and rose to the top of a male only or male dominated fields before coming out or transitioning may upset or simply not apply to trans womengirls and other trans people reading this who are poor of color who were always clocked as femmegaygender nonconforming or who have otherwise not had the same privileges or access That said I realize that there is a place for these voices as there are women right now who are in the same position waiting to come out who need that last little push from someone who is in the same position as them I also realize that privilege and even a neoliberal or conservative political bent does not mean a woman's experience is not valid Further women in these positions tended to address and be well aware of the difference between themselves and a poor girl who began transition at 15 or something I will limit my criticism to that paragraphAnother thing I noted while reading the book is that a few of the entries mention that they were asked by Charlie Craggs the editor to write a letter to their younger selves However only a few of the 85 letters included in the book followed this model I really wish that of the letters would have followed this model as some are very short and I really wanted to hear from those people I am not sure if it was lack of resources organization or just being able to get what she got from people I would have liked to read a book with fewer entries if it was a little cohesive in this way and a bit better edited and that is why I am giving it 4 stars out of 5Overall I am happy this book exists and happy to have read it I believe it could bring some joy and companionship in the sea of loneliness one can sometimes feel living as a trans person in the world I am very grateful to all of the women and other trans people who shared their letters in the book and to Craggs for taking on this projectAlso published on my blog

  4. Max Max says:

    Funky fun submissions were pretty obviously from big name contributors that didn’t take this project seriously and then the rushed email responses were subseuently not so very edited Letters range from solid if bland inspirational or solid practical advice “don’t smoke cigarettes” can’t argue with that to pretty aggressively spicy stuff like “lots of people are just going along with trends and shouldn’t ever transition” or “autogynephilia is real and it is my friend” or “stop trying to trick straight guys it’s dangerous” or “Germaine Greer has a point” or “As an omniscient entity” or “we need to ally with conservatives instead of liberals” Some of the worst poems I’ve ever personally seen in print That one billionaire’s letter to trans sisters is just one single cryptic sentence but I’ll let you find out for yourself what that sentence was Wild ride Hard to imagine a way this book could have been enjoyable to me What an incredible disaster that no one will face any conseuences for

  5. ASHLEY ASHLEY says:

    Great read Craggs puts together a great collection of love letters with personal stories from trans women involving hope heartache and triumph Don't assume this isn't for you if you are not trans If you know nothing of the trans community this book could help you gain some understanding and empathy for the struggles they face Love your sisters

  6. Rachel Rachel says:

    An eclectic mix of short letters from women who have experienced the trials of transitioning to those who younger or older are beginning or contemplating transitioning This collection's strength is that is it inclusive or as the cool kids say intersectional Charlie Craggs resisted the temptation to only include those voices who represent her perspective or ideology Kate Stone for instance writes The aim of transition is to come out the other side my aim was to achieve obscurity my goal to reach a place where being trans was a very obscure part of who I was I no longer considered myself as trans it does not define me Then she was in an accident and the hospital released her personal information and a Newspaper ran the headline Sex Swap Scientist Gored by Stag Kate tells us They stole my obscurity and I've honestly never recovered from that 24 29 Instead of surrendering she made herself unwillingly a public figure so to fight for others Another contributor Miss Sahhara writes The air of despondency never leaves you even after your affirmation surgery because you are faced with new obstacles such as defending your womanhood your right to love your right to a good uality of life your right to a job and your right to exist in public spaces 47 Caroline Paige believes she has a duty to be visible to be visible to you to others to show you aren't alone to let you see you can be who you are to show by example to inspire 75Juliet Jacues warns that it is easy to fall into being a professional trans person 121 Rachael Padman seconds that sentiment trans is simply one aspect of your history and personality it is not nor should it be a career 200 Joan Roughgarden an ecologist and evolutionary biologist author of Evolution's Rainbow encourages people to Read my stuff about gender in biology and across different cultures We are eternal and global 230Good resource although the uality of the individual contributions varies widely

  7. Jade Walters Jade Walters says:

    Some of these stories letters and essays were incredibly touching and affecting Many however utilized abstract language to draw upon the same narrative of transness as journey transness as metamorphosis story that saturates popular culture This is not to say that that narrative isn’t important or useful but I found myself skimming through many of the letters because they essentially repeated what others had said This I think might just be a problem with the format of the collection as i’m sure long form autobiographies of any of the women featured in this book would offer some amazing stories and insights One thing I really appreciated was the breadth of women and non binary femmes features in this collection Women from all over the world are represented with viewpoints ranging from army serving corporate republicanism to ueer anarcho communism Each letter is prefaced with a brief bio and cv of the author as well which I appreciated If anything this collection serves as a great cross section of contemporary figures in the trans femme community

  8. Ben Truong Ben Truong says:

    To My Trans Sisters is an anthology of over seventy letters collected and edited by Charlie Craggs This invigorating anthology was written by transgendered women for transgendered women which is a welcome departure from the established genre of texts about transgendered individuals that seek to explain their lives and experiences for a presumed audience of primarily cisgendered individualsFor the most part I really like most – if not all of these contributions To My Trans Sisters contains over seventy collected letters from transgendered women writing letters to their sisters who are just starting their journey sharing their advice they wished they have been given earlier in their life Rather than documenting the psychological or physiological steps of self discovery and transition these letters discuss transgenderness as embedded in fully individual livesContributors are predominately from the United States and Great Britain though a scattering of letters are from other parts of the world like Kenya and Thailand The impressive professional and activist credentials of the letter writers are rather diverse from the creator of the transgender pride flag and the first to serve openly in the United Kingdom military to the ordinary tax paying citizenLike most anthologies there are weaker contributions and To My Trans Sisters is no exception However comparatively speaking they are far and few in between Some are just better in conveying their feelings and advice than others but it did not diminish my joy in reading this anthologyAll in all To My Trans Sisters is a wonderful collection of letters written by transgendered women for transgendered women giving sensible advice and aid in helping those going through the same experiences they have and continue to endure While written for a transgendered audience cisgendered readers will find value in reading a work not written primarily for them

  9. Martha Martha says:

    This is a truly wonderful book It is a collection of letters from trans women to their younger sisters the women who are earlier on in their journeys of understanding and accepting themselves for who they are The premise alone is wonderful because there were just so many successful trans women in here to celebrate Hugely successful women in every industry you can think of icons and trailblazers in their field It highlighted the lack of visibility of trans people they are here they have always been here and I hope very much that it gives the reassurance to younger trans women that everything is possible As a cisgendered woman I am not the audience for this book but I still found it hugely empowering inspiring and hopeful This book should be read widely it offers so much in furthering our understanding of a multitude of trans experiences while not focusing solely on how difficult and traumatic it can be It is uplifting diverse and just bloody wonderful Content warning while the spirit is certainly positive this book does contain some instances of transphobic language descriptions of violence where individual authors are recounting their experiences However in all cases it is brief and not particularly graphic

  10. Tam Tam says:

    Great insight into the struggles transwomen face day to day Highly recommend reading this if you have trans friends and want to gain a better understanding of the issues and BS they are forced to deal with or obviously if you are trans and want to not feel alone in your transition

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