The Book Chat 09.05.13-Controversial Topics

This week’s Book Chat topic is book’s that tackle controversial or tough topics.


I read Chaz Bono’s book Transition, for this very reason. The book is about Chaz’s journey from discovering his sexuality when he was younger, to realizing he was not identifying with his gender, to making the decision to begin the process into gender reassignment.


I was hoping for further insight into transgenderism. I was hoping to further my own understanding of the psyche behind such a process. I work as a high school counselor and encounter diverse situations. I am always looking for good reading material to help me empathize and understand each student I come across, and, if I feel it can help, pass along that book to a student who may benefit from it.

I admire Chaz’s courage in being true to himself, and sharing his story with the world. I appreciate that he told his own story, and cannot fault him for who his parents are and the privilege he was born into. However, I felt that his journey was a relatively smooth process, fueled behind his upbringing, celebrity status, wealth and fame. Gender reassignment is terribly expensive, yet he was able to start the process without much adversity. Overall, he had a strong support system of family and friends, who made the transition much easier for him.

I may be terribly ignorant or coming from a place of judgment, but his journey did not seem as realistic at what others transgender individuals, who do not have familial support or financial backing, encounter in their journey.

I do appreciate his advocacy and openness, but I rolled my eyes more than once when he talked about how the media was making this a tough process for him, or when he talked about entering yet, another rehab center (paid for by his mom). I am sure those were both true issues for him to contend with, but again, it just did not feel like that could resonate or help someone else who was going through or thinking about gender reassignment. It was hard to sympathize with “celebrity” issues, when I am sure there are some transgendered individuals who face much bigger obstacles than the paparrazi following them around.

This book was interesting, but not what I was looking for. If anyone has other suggestions about books on the subject, pass them my way.

Check out other posts on this topic here

6 thoughts on “The Book Chat 09.05.13-Controversial Topics

  1. I worked with a man who transitioned into a woman and witnessed first hand the hardships he (and she) had to encounter along the way. I really just wanted to be her friend because she certainly didn’t have many at work, but she pretty much kept to herself. It was fascinating to watch the very long (and I’m sure painful) transition though.

  2. I’ve never read any books on the topic, and I can say working in a bookstore they’re very difficult to come by! It’s not a well understood area of humans yet, I think.

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