Trans

Trans Joy: Uplifting, thought-provoking book about trans lives by trans authors is a must-read

Vic Parsons December 8, 2021
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Nineteen essays about Trans Joy

'Gender Euphoria: Stories of Joy from Trans, Non-binary and Intersex Writers'. (Unbound)

For this week’s slice of Trans Joy, we’re delving into a cosy, joyful read that’s perfect for these winter nights – a collection of essays by trans, non-binary and intersex writers all on the topic of gender euphoria.

The book is called Gender Euphoria: Stories of Joy from Trans, Non-binary and Intersex Writers, and it’s edited by trans activist and author Laura Kate Dale.

As Laura writes in the introduction: “So often, when we see pop-culture portrayals of trans and non-cisgender people’s lives, hear stories shared by trans people about their transitions, or accounts by the media about trans people and their transitions, those stories focus on misery and discomfort.”

This is especially true of the mainstream media, and it’s one of the reasons that PinkNews has a new, dedicated series all about Trans Joy.

Laura continues: “I have thought a lot about the importance of celebrating the fact that stories of transition are not all just about doom and gloom, as much as it may sometimes feel that way.

“I’ve experienced countless moments of elation, pride, confidence, freedom and ecstasy as a direct result of my coming out as a trans woman the better part of a decade ago, and I know I am not along.

“When I talk to my trans, non-binary, agender, genderfluid and intersex friends, I have heard countless wonderful stories about the ways that coming to terms with gender brought unimaginable happiness and love into their lives.”

The book expands on this sentiment by flipping on its head a tired stereotype about transition: namely, that trans people transition to escape gender dysphoria. While this may be true for some, many people transition because it’s something that brings them joy. Be it the first time a loved one uses a new name or the haircut that makes us feel really us, gender euphoria is something that many trans people seek, and transitioning is one way of unlocking it.

In the groundbreaking anthology, 19 writers share their experiences of trans joy and gender euphoria. From T4T sex and legal gender recognition to body positivity, roller derby, body hair and gender-creative parenting, the essays span a huge range of different experiences.

Authors include Laura, who wrote around a third of the essays in the 70,000 word collection, as well as Emmett Nahil (“Epidermis: Tattoos and Transmasculine Selfhood”), Mia Violet (“Reflections: A Bridesmaid on Beauty and Letting Go”), Mari Wrobi (“Life at the Trans-Intersex Intersection”), and Olu Niyi-Awosusi (“Fashion, Gender and Not Knowing You’re Non-Binary in Nigeria”).

The essays are brilliant, moving, thought-provoking and deeply joyous. But don’t take our word for it – buy a copy here, and see for yourselves.

More: gender euphoria, LGBT books, trans joy

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