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Trans Forming Families:

Real stories About Transgendered Loved Ones

Editor Mary Boenke

Book review kindly provided by by Dr. Tracie O'Keefe DCH

This 150 page collection of personal stories about sons, daughters, parents and relatives of trans and intersex people is lovely piece of work and Boenke has edited it sensitively, but with detachment and non-judgmentalism. It is a modest book that teaches us more than many volumes of academic clap-trap have managed to do in the past. These are the voices of those who have had, themselves, to change profoundly as someone metamorphosed around them, into what may appeared to be a different sex or gender, or who has attempted to claim their true identity.

The stories are those of the loved ones whose own metaphysical realities are challenged as the previous concepts of sex and gender are often shattered causing them to re-evaluate what sex and gender really are. The writers display much bravery, compassion and understanding as they move towards a position of pride, and away from victimisation. We are talking about the relatives of people who are trans-gay, trans-Iranian, trans-deaf, and not allowing people who are intersexed to fall into the freak mentality.

I see this book as a very useful tool because its wholesome approach can reach out directly to people who have no previous experience of being involved with people of shifting sex and gender identities. It will certainly be used in my practice in trans-family therapy. It is important not to forget that a relative has, in some ways, lost the person they may have known before, when a person transitions, and that they have issues of their own they have to deal with. Sometimes the journey from shock through understanding to pride can be a difficult one for them to travel and guides such as this book give humane formats to ease that journey.

This is the kind of book you can give your granny, aunt or cousin and just leave them to work it out for themselves. It is also the kind of book that people of trans or intersex identities should read themselves so that they can more appreciate how to help others to help them. More than that it is a book you can give to a nine year old and not have to explain a great deal. A positive family resource for all family who can be pro trans and intersex, living in accepting harmony together.

You may order this book from the editor, Mary Boenke
Make international money orders payable to her at: 180 Bailey Blvd., Hardy, VA 24101, USA. For further information 540/890-3957,, or The cost is $13.95, including shipping and mailing, for one through three books. Enquire about costs for quantity orders.

Dr Tracie O'Keefe DCH is a clinical hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, and counsellor formerly practising at The London Medical Centre, Harley Street in the UK. Now the Director of the Sex, Gender, and Sexuality Identity Clinic, at The O'Keefe Institute, Sydney, Australia.
In association with Katrina Fox, she is the author of a number of books, details of which may be found on her website:
Their latest publication is Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex & Gender Diversity, published by Jossey Bass Wiley

Published by Oak Knoll Press, 2003
Paperback, 224 pages,
ISBN 0615123074
GO TO TOP Copyright GENDYS Network and Dr. Tracie O'Keefe. Page design Jed Bland. 13.02.01 Last amended 28.01.04