The White Book
A really indispensable manual for inhabiting a trans man's being.
Edited by Stephen Whittle
There are an increasing number of books on the market for the benefit of those changing over from male to female, some merely spelling out the nuts and bolts of the process, others going into more detail. Most of them include some information for females going to male. Such books may be accused of tokenism, but they never, I felt, were satisfactory.
This book, having finally appeared, is more comprehensive than anything else I have seen. It begins by charting one's progress through the therapeutic minefield, including persuading reluctant fund-holders. There are detailed accounts of the medication and surgery, with the risks and benefits - and the drawbacks of some surgery. There is also a detailed account of one's legal position, the steps that are being taken to improve it, and the procedures necessary to change paperwork, such as driving licences and bank accounts. There is also the complete Harry Benjamin 'Standards of Care.'
As with most books of this genre, there is some pretty shaky science, which you can ignore or accept as you wish. In the end, it doesn't matter whether its hormones, brain development or early experience. It won't stop those who wish to persecute you. But you are you, and that's all there is to it.
For the past few years there has been an ftm network but, although I had spoken to many ftm people on the telephone, my birth sex excluded me from membership, and whatever shared experience there was in the network's newsletter rarely appeared in other transgender journals. What is especially valuable, then, is the sharing of others' personal experiences, and the little tips and tricks that they have devised. Then, after all this, there is a massive reading list.
A really practical, down-to-earth book about changing from female to male is long overdue and I believe this is it.
For anyone making the journey this could be the best £15 they ever spent.
Published by Press for Change, BM Network, London WC1N 3XX,
|Copyright GENDYS Network. Page design Jed Bland. 30.12.98 Last amended 01.02.04|