Becoming a Visible Man

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Vanderbilt University Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 231 pages
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Best Book in Transgender Studies, 2005
Winner, Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies (CLAGS), NY
2005 Lambda Literary Award Finalist

Written by a leading activist in the transgender movement, Becoming a Visible Man is an artful and compelling inquiry into the politics of gender. Jamison Green combines candid autobiography with informed analysis to offer unique insight into the multiple challenges of the female-to-male transsexual experience, ranging from encounters with prejudice and strained relationships with family to the development of an FTM community and the realities of surgical sex reassignment.

For more than a decade, Green has provided educational programs on gender-variance issues for corporations, law-enforcement agencies, social-science conferences and classes, continuing legal education, religious education, and medical venues. His comprehensive knowledge of the processes and problems encountered by transgendered and transsexual people--as well as his legal advocacy work to help ensure that gender-variant people have access to the same rights and opportunities as others--enable him to explain the issues as no transsexual author has previously done.

Brimming with frank and often poignant recollections of Green's own experiences--including his childhood struggles with identity and his years as a lesbian parent prior to his sex-reassignment surgery--the book examines transsexualism as a human condition, and sex reassignment as one of the choices that some people feel compelled to make in order to manage their gender variance. Relating the FTM psyche and experience to the social and political forces at work in American society, Becoming a Visible Man also speaks consciously of universal principles that concern us all, particularly the need to live one's life honestly, openly, and passionately.

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Becoming a visible man

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A leading advocate for transsexuality and the author of the "Visible Man" column on the web ( green), Green argues that the transsexuality movement is a struggle for ... Read full review

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Useful - again, shows one man's perspective. Green has been integral to the formation of TG/TS community. One thing about this literature is that it's good or not depending on your needs. So for the layperson, this presents a great overview of F-t-m transsexuality, the medical heritage, the formal community development in the 1990s, and one man's experience.
It's probably one of the best books out there by a transsexual person for a family member or friend of a trans-person
But for more complicated expressions, perspectives, or insights into transsexuality, this is very basic. Moreover, what I just said presumes that the layperson wouldn't want a complicated perspective. Another thing about transsexuality is that every person has a complicated experience of many questions, and you don't need to be an academic Gender Studies scholar to understand, through your bodily or social experience, super complicated gender. If this is the case, then a book like Riki Wilchin's is probably better.
It's interesting for a historical perspective to contrast this staid writing with the more radical expression of Leslie Feinberg or Kate Bornstein, who wrote at about the same time. Feinberg's personal experience of being publicly called out due to masculine gender presentation prior to transition was similar to Green's, but Feinberg chose to stop transitioning and proudly take a more liminal path. Green proudly chose to be out as a transman. Reading them both provides inspiration toward whatever path someone might be considering.

About the author (2004)

Jamison Green is currently board chair of Gender Education and Advocacy, a non-profit educational corporation, and a board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute and the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. He has also been featured in eight documentary films and numerous articles and books. He holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Oregon.

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