Hot Best Seller

Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition

Availability: Ready to download

“A memoir that is jolting, honest, passionate, and beautifully written” (Claudia Rankine), Becoming a Man explores one man’s gender transition amid a pivotal political moment in America. Becoming a Man is the striking memoir of P. Carl’s journey to become the man he always knew himself to be. For fifty years, he lived as a girl and a queer woman, building a career, a life, “A memoir that is jolting, honest, passionate, and beautifully written” (Claudia Rankine), Becoming a Man explores one man’s gender transition amid a pivotal political moment in America. Becoming a Man is the striking memoir of P. Carl’s journey to become the man he always knew himself to be. For fifty years, he lived as a girl and a queer woman, building a career, a life, and a loving marriage, yet still waiting to realize himself in full. As Carl embarks on his gender transition, he takes us inside the complex shifts and questions that arise throughout—the alternating moments of arrival and estrangement. He writes intimately about how transitioning reconfigures both his own inner experience and his closest bonds—his twenty-year relationship with his wife, Lynette; his already tumultuous relationships with his parents; and seemingly solid friendships that are subtly altered, often painfully and wordlessly. Carl blends the remarkable story of his own personal journey with incisive cultural commentary, writing brilliantly about gender, power, and inequality in America. His transition occurs amid the rise of the Trump administration and the #MeToo movement—a transition point in America’s own story, when transphobia and toxic masculinity are under fire even as they thrive in the highest halls of power. Carl’s quest to become himself and to reckon with his masculinity mirrors, in many ways, the challenge before the country as a whole, to imagine a society where every member can have a vibrant, livable life. Here, through this brave and deeply personal work, Carl brings an unparalleled new voice to this conversation.


Compare

“A memoir that is jolting, honest, passionate, and beautifully written” (Claudia Rankine), Becoming a Man explores one man’s gender transition amid a pivotal political moment in America. Becoming a Man is the striking memoir of P. Carl’s journey to become the man he always knew himself to be. For fifty years, he lived as a girl and a queer woman, building a career, a life, “A memoir that is jolting, honest, passionate, and beautifully written” (Claudia Rankine), Becoming a Man explores one man’s gender transition amid a pivotal political moment in America. Becoming a Man is the striking memoir of P. Carl’s journey to become the man he always knew himself to be. For fifty years, he lived as a girl and a queer woman, building a career, a life, and a loving marriage, yet still waiting to realize himself in full. As Carl embarks on his gender transition, he takes us inside the complex shifts and questions that arise throughout—the alternating moments of arrival and estrangement. He writes intimately about how transitioning reconfigures both his own inner experience and his closest bonds—his twenty-year relationship with his wife, Lynette; his already tumultuous relationships with his parents; and seemingly solid friendships that are subtly altered, often painfully and wordlessly. Carl blends the remarkable story of his own personal journey with incisive cultural commentary, writing brilliantly about gender, power, and inequality in America. His transition occurs amid the rise of the Trump administration and the #MeToo movement—a transition point in America’s own story, when transphobia and toxic masculinity are under fire even as they thrive in the highest halls of power. Carl’s quest to become himself and to reckon with his masculinity mirrors, in many ways, the challenge before the country as a whole, to imagine a society where every member can have a vibrant, livable life. Here, through this brave and deeply personal work, Carl brings an unparalleled new voice to this conversation.

30 review for Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eilonwy

    When Carl was four years old, his life split. He knew himself to be a boy, but everyone else perceived him as a girl, and, eventually, as a butch lesbian. When he turned 50, he decided to become the man he knows he is. And it’s heartbreaking. He’s overjoyed to finally be seen as his true self. But his friends and his wife are not so thrilled. Having spent years fighting the system together as lesbian feminists, they feel betrayed and resentful. But Carl perseveres, writing out the crazy swinging When Carl was four years old, his life split. He knew himself to be a boy, but everyone else perceived him as a girl, and, eventually, as a butch lesbian. When he turned 50, he decided to become the man he knows he is. And it’s heartbreaking. He’s overjoyed to finally be seen as his true self. But his friends and his wife are not so thrilled. Having spent years fighting the system together as lesbian feminists, they feel betrayed and resentful. But Carl perseveres, writing out the crazy swinging roller coaster of emotions going on within him and around him. This is a very short book, but it holds as much emotion and experience as can possibly be put into it. It made me happy for Carl, and sad that his happiness was the source of so much struggle for people he loves (one chapter is a beautiful love letter to his wife; so far as I can tell, they are still married). It also made me very angry, because Carl is still a feminist, and he’s here to tell everyone that white male privilege isn’t all it’s cracked up to be -- it’s SO MUCH MORE than anyone realizes, because either (a) you’re perceived as a white male and you’re so used to receiving privilege that the breadth and depth of it is invisible to you, or (b) you’re not white, not male, or both, and a lot of white male privilege is kept out of sight of people who are excluded from it. This book was deeply moving. I recommend it, and I’m slightly envious that my niece’s girlfriend got to take a class from Carl at Emerson College. He seems like a very interesting and energetic person, and I loved his sense of humor through this book even as he described the most difficult situations.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I knew about a 1/3 of the way into this book, that I was going to have a tough time reviewing it. Not because it is awful, because it is far from that. This is one of the best, and most comprehensive books I have read about a person in transition. And not even because it goes into the medical parts of it [though that is discussed some], but because it goes to the heart and soul of what it is like to be one gender [and know for years that it is the wrong one] and then one day wake up, decide that I knew about a 1/3 of the way into this book, that I was going to have a tough time reviewing it. Not because it is awful, because it is far from that. This is one of the best, and most comprehensive books I have read about a person in transition. And not even because it goes into the medical parts of it [though that is discussed some], but because it goes to the heart and soul of what it is like to be one gender [and know for years that it is the wrong one] and then one day wake up, decide that you cannot live that lie anymore and move forward into your new life - with all the pain and disappointment and anger and ALL the emotions that go with it. This broke that down in such a way that I was weeping through a lot of it. I had made he assumption [incorrectly] when I requested this that this book would be similar to Janet Mock's book and I was so very wrong. And that is what I get for assuming. I assure you that I will not be making that mistake again. I am not gay, queer, nor have I ever wanted to identify as anything but female, so there are parts of this book that are really tough for me to both read and understand [I spent a good chunk of the book hashing ideas and what was going on out with my mom. She was my sounding board and I tried to figure out just what Carl was saying]. If you have never lived in that space, you cannot even begin to understand what someone goes through - and as I read through this book, I realized, that even if you ARE living through that, your experience will never be the same as another person who is making a similar journey. But as I read [and struggled to comprehend], I learned a lot - both about the author, the process, and also about myself and my capacity to dive in and keep going, even when I have NO CLUE about what I am reading [that evened out as the book went on because Carl explains himself at times and that really helped]. And I found myself rooting for Carl and his transition. I found myself rooting for his and Lynette's marriage. I wanted him to heal from a childhood that was marked with abuse and neglect and anger. And I found I wanted to be friends with him - he is exactly the kind of guy friend I have always gravitated to [and I am blessed with several really amazing male friends]. And I found that I loved his story - even with the whole mess that a lot of it is. He is brutally honest in this, even about how he struggles with white masculinity and the negative connotations of that, and that is extremely refreshing. This is a great book to read if you want a first hand account on what it is like to go from one gender to another and all the love and support, and anger, and isolation etc that goes along with it - I am a different person because of this book and I hope that it has made me a better and more empathetic person as well. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This book utterly floored me. Carl transitioned at 51, after a lifetime of knowing himself as a man but not living as one. The agility, humility, and self-analysis in this book is just brilliant. It's a book about wresting with masculinity, in all its ugly and benign forms. Carl interrogates how it felt to live as a woman, and all the complexities of how that life affected his experience of manhood. There is so much nuance and uncertainty and contradiction here—he’s willing to tell a lot of mess This book utterly floored me. Carl transitioned at 51, after a lifetime of knowing himself as a man but not living as one. The agility, humility, and self-analysis in this book is just brilliant. It's a book about wresting with masculinity, in all its ugly and benign forms. Carl interrogates how it felt to live as a woman, and all the complexities of how that life affected his experience of manhood. There is so much nuance and uncertainty and contradiction here—he’s willing to tell a lot of messy truths, and the result is a book that’s one specific story of one particular trans life, but also a book that gets at all the crooks and crannies of identity. This book also has some of the clearest and most breathtaking writing about bodies—and the ways that truth, knowledge, identity, trauma, history and experience live in bodies—that I’ve ever read. A section of this memoir recounts how his transition affected his marriage, and those parts were painful to read. What amazed me was how many angles he was able to illuminate, even about something so intimate. He gets right to the heart of transphobia in queer communities, especially lesbian ones. But he also writes about the very real ways maleness and masculinity can harm women, and the complexity of how that plays out in queer relationships. It left me with a whole lot to chew on. There are many gorgeous and smart lines throughout the whole thing, but here's one that will stay with me a long time: “We are still here together because we are holding on to the knowing that multiple truths, and multiple bodies, are possible.” In may ways, this book is a celebration of multiple truths, of the multiplicity of lives lived in one body, the multiplicity of bodies that one life can hold, of all the possibilities that exist in the complexity of human experience. Also, brilliant, moving audio, narrated by the author. It is not a long listen (just over five hours) and worth every minute.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Thank you to Emily who sent me this book!! As a continuation of the 2019 goal, in 2020 I am trying to read more trans authors, especially trans masculine nonfiction. P. Carl has an engaging story that I at times related to, and most of the time did not (which is not a bad thing, obviously) . I enjoyed the writing, I thought it was very strong, and contained the multitudes of the human experience. I particularly liked the letter to his wife and the chapter about the role of daughters. My only comp Thank you to Emily who sent me this book!! As a continuation of the 2019 goal, in 2020 I am trying to read more trans authors, especially trans masculine nonfiction. P. Carl has an engaging story that I at times related to, and most of the time did not (which is not a bad thing, obviously) . I enjoyed the writing, I thought it was very strong, and contained the multitudes of the human experience. I particularly liked the letter to his wife and the chapter about the role of daughters. My only complaint was that it was compared to Maggie Nelson who is one of my favorite authors, and although he analyzes her work at one point, I did not feel like he reached Maggie Nelson's level. He did incorporate feminist theory to his work at times, but it read much more like a straight (hehe) memoir then Maggie Nelson ever does. He mostly references it in passing rather than engages with it. Overall, a good memoir.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I plan to come back and give a thorough review at some point, but I can't just leave 5 stars and walk away like I do with other books. This book is not long, but it took me over three weeks to read. That's not normal for me. I usually read a book in less than a week. It was hard to read, though. Not because it was bad! It was the opposite! It was so good! But it was so painfully true and, honestly, painfully relatable. I need to process this book and come back to review. If you read this before I I plan to come back and give a thorough review at some point, but I can't just leave 5 stars and walk away like I do with other books. This book is not long, but it took me over three weeks to read. That's not normal for me. I usually read a book in less than a week. It was hard to read, though. Not because it was bad! It was the opposite! It was so good! But it was so painfully true and, honestly, painfully relatable. I need to process this book and come back to review. If you read this before I'm able to do that, just take my review as positive and read the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I rarely read nonfiction. This book was FANTASTIC. Honest and raw, amazing. I'm so thankful for this author, that he's still alive, and that he shared this book with us. A must read for anyone thinking/wanting to know more about gender, sexuality, what it means to be a woman, to be a man.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Van Parys

    Read this in one day. The writing is so clear and engaging. Quite good.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Svenja

    I really enjoyed this memoir, it's very well written and almost painfully honest. It was very fascinating to find how this man picked up toxic masculinity from a young age and kind of revels in it, even though he knows it's not the healthiest or best way to think. It's just that it means something totally different to him as a trans man. What I didn't understand was how fine he was with all the women in his life basically deciding he was now the enemy. Not only is that generally not how women sho I really enjoyed this memoir, it's very well written and almost painfully honest. It was very fascinating to find how this man picked up toxic masculinity from a young age and kind of revels in it, even though he knows it's not the healthiest or best way to think. It's just that it means something totally different to him as a trans man. What I didn't understand was how fine he was with all the women in his life basically deciding he was now the enemy. Not only is that generally not how women should think about men, I'm shocked to think that people out there can almost randomly decide that one of their best friend suddenly what they "hate" and treat him like that. I also don't understand why he thinks it's okay for the people in his life to feel betrayed by his transitioning, even though he says more than once (and I believe him) that the transition saved his life and made it worth living.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robynne

    A fascinating memoir by a 50+-year old trans man who has a PhD in gender and cultural studies. The book is an excellent example of theory and lived experience coming together.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    "Becoming a Man" in 2020 America is anything but straight-forward. What does transitioning mean for a man, previously in a lesbian relationship of 20 years, who finally feels good in his body but also recognizes the complications that this embrace of masculinity entails? In "Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition," P. Carl outlines his transition and reflects on his experiences of gender dysphoria growing up, his fraught relationship with his parents, and what this all means for his relationsh "Becoming a Man" in 2020 America is anything but straight-forward. What does transitioning mean for a man, previously in a lesbian relationship of 20 years, who finally feels good in his body but also recognizes the complications that this embrace of masculinity entails? In "Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition," P. Carl outlines his transition and reflects on his experiences of gender dysphoria growing up, his fraught relationship with his parents, and what this all means for his relationship to masculinity. Unafraid to go deep and discuss conflict, Carl addresses the privileges that come with white masculinity, and the real dangers faced by women in the U.S. - even going into detail about his own experience of sexual assault prior to his transition. A book that is still working itself out, much in the same way Carl is still working out his own relationship to masculinity, at times the book feels unbound, unsettled, and lacking material ground; its best parts come when he narrates through his stories, but the book unfortunately falters when his own self-reflections become a bit too longwinded. Another good book on the tension faced by trans men, "Becoming a Man" is worth the read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    P. Carl's becoming a man is "a book about changing a name, a life, and a gender - about crossing a seemingly indistinguishable line and all the implications of that crossing" . . Becoming A Man - The Story Of Transition is powerful. P. Carl's memoir is truly eye opening on so many levels and I learned so much. Things I thought I knew, things I hadn't thought of. I have been educated by the words on these pages. I know I've said it before but I'll say it again. I am forever amazed by the ability to P. Carl's becoming a man is "a book about changing a name, a life, and a gender - about crossing a seemingly indistinguishable line and all the implications of that crossing" . . Becoming A Man - The Story Of Transition is powerful. P. Carl's memoir is truly eye opening on so many levels and I learned so much. Things I thought I knew, things I hadn't thought of. I have been educated by the words on these pages. I know I've said it before but I'll say it again. I am forever amazed by the ability to let us (many complete strangers) into your life, to share your story and your truth. Thank you for opening yourself up to us. . . A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for my advance copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Goggin

    I guess I just don’t think the things P. Carl has to say about masculinity are as interesting as P. Carl thinks they are.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Excellent book - eye opening descriptions of living with body dysmorphia so extreme that no feelings are transmitted through the ‘wrong’ body, and the intense joy and volume of feeling when the body finally matched the self image, and began transmitting physical and emotional feelings. The best description yet to help a cis woman (she/her) like myself understand those feelings, and so beautifully describing the feelings I had to pull over, stop driving and weep for the joy of it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Heartbreaking memoir about a trans man and his journey. His honesty and candor is refreshing and insightful. Beautifully written. Would recommend to anyone curious about trans people and what they go through. Carl is very upfront about his thoughts and feelings.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Logan Hughes

    P. Carl is an eloquent and thoughtful writer and he writes with immediacy and intensity about transitioning at midlife (these essay were apparently written within the first 2 years of starting to transition at age 50). While some of his experiences were alien to me, such as comfort and enjoyment in engaging with straight cis white male culture, others were all to familiar, such as the combination of joy and guilt at transitioning when you know it alienates those you love. Carl weaves in thoughts P. Carl is an eloquent and thoughtful writer and he writes with immediacy and intensity about transitioning at midlife (these essay were apparently written within the first 2 years of starting to transition at age 50). While some of his experiences were alien to me, such as comfort and enjoyment in engaging with straight cis white male culture, others were all to familiar, such as the combination of joy and guilt at transitioning when you know it alienates those you love. Carl weaves in thoughts about American culture, #MeToo, and the mental and emotional whiplash of becoming a man in a culture and society when men are allowed & encouraged to be terrible. While the essays are well-written, there is an unresolved feeling, which like, I guess is true to life, but still is unsatisfying.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This book shouldn't have been a memoir. In my opinion P. Carl is the best transmasculine author I have ever read and this book emerged at a time his perspective was most needed. Carl begs the question what does it mean to be a white trans man in a time when white men are destroying the country. P. Carl's applications of queer theory to his own life and deconstruction of how we experience and perform masculinity is in my opinion ground-breaking. But this book shouldn't have been a memoir. The wea This book shouldn't have been a memoir. In my opinion P. Carl is the best transmasculine author I have ever read and this book emerged at a time his perspective was most needed. Carl begs the question what does it mean to be a white trans man in a time when white men are destroying the country. P. Carl's applications of queer theory to his own life and deconstruction of how we experience and perform masculinity is in my opinion ground-breaking. But this book shouldn't have been a memoir. The weakest parts of the book are Carl's personal tangents that he insists on presenting in chronological order. I hope that one day trans authors will get to a place when discussing the how, when, where, and why of their transition becomes a played out narrative and they instead focus on the interesting insights that they have gained in transition. P. Carl was able to articulate some parts of the trans male experience that I had been unable to put into words but it all got muddled in his pages on pages of musings about the state of his horrible marriage. This book would have been 10x stronger if he had cut all the rambling chapters that read like personal journal entries not intended for general audiences and focused on presenting a concise work on the trans relationship to masculinity and how trans men are both inhabiting and reshaping what a man is.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy Boelter

    A well written story of a man's transition and the experience from his point of view. Carl discusses the conflict between who he's becoming and who he was and the loss of Polly in such a authentic way. Consistently pointing out the uniqueness of each person who chooses to transition, and how important it is we recognize the individual and their needs. I can't say enough good things about this book, and the eye opening perspective it offers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Hedin

    I wanted to be moved by this book, but there was too much navel gazing. Author comes across as overly intellectual and story stays out of reach.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    "Please know that many things are true about my history that can never add up" (13). "I will always feel the rage of being a woman who was told on too many occasions that I was aggressive and ambitious and angry. I feel those feelings as her, even though she's me and not me. An inner self can learn to walk parallel with a constructed self and know and not know it simultaneously" (13). "What parts of bodies are allowed to change without causing disruption? What are the qualities of sex and gender t "Please know that many things are true about my history that can never add up" (13). "I will always feel the rage of being a woman who was told on too many occasions that I was aggressive and ambitious and angry. I feel those feelings as her, even though she's me and not me. An inner self can learn to walk parallel with a constructed self and know and not know it simultaneously" (13). "What parts of bodies are allowed to change without causing disruption? What are the qualities of sex and gender that make friendships? How do facial hair and broader shoulders disrupt human connection and sexual desire? How is a daughter different from a son? (30). "Worse, does becoming a man require unknowing at a visceral level what men do to women? (31). "In a culture overrun with diagnoses and medications to treat them, there are a lot of us practice at not knowing. The sane among us get locked up and the white male politicians are allowed to roam free and spread their insanity like germ warfare" (133). "As a woman, I would rather have been bipolar, something I could take medication for, than been treated like a woman--something I could not control" (151). "I must contend with the lists of truths my body feels" (189). "I had always thought that my brain was the quickest and most efficient part of me, but I have learned that it's my body that knows everything first" (192). "Trans is strange that way, one person running toward something another person can't escape fast enough" (215). "Pronouns that suit aren't a privilege everyone is born with" (216).

  20. 4 out of 5

    James

    A modern essential read for trans men transitioning later in life. It is difficult to imagine transitioning at the age of 50, but Carl gives voice to that experience, and it is an amazing, fascinating, sometimes a little painful thing to read. The quality of the writing is great, although at times meandering. People with a gender or queer studies background may have a slight advantage, but I don't have that and still enjoyed this very much. I really appreciated that he talked about the anger he fel A modern essential read for trans men transitioning later in life. It is difficult to imagine transitioning at the age of 50, but Carl gives voice to that experience, and it is an amazing, fascinating, sometimes a little painful thing to read. The quality of the writing is great, although at times meandering. People with a gender or queer studies background may have a slight advantage, but I don't have that and still enjoyed this very much. I really appreciated that he talked about the anger he felt growing up being perceived as the incorrect gender. I identify strongly with that. The book goes far beyond the cliche language used to talk about transgender experiences. It's useful to learn the additional vocabulary and would help cisgender people understand the moment-to-moment lived experience better. Reconciling his lived experiences as being seen as a woman with his life as a man...that was helpful to me, because I still have trouble with what to do with all those years of knowledge and experience that I find so shameful, painful, and hard to talk about. It's comforting to know that I am not alone in that. Overall, I would definitely recommend for trans, especially trans masculine, readers and for those questioning their gender, especially those over 40-ish. I think many cisgender readers would struggle with it, but it would be a productive struggle. Would pair well with or instead of "The Man They Wanted Me to Be" by Jared Yates Sexton.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abena Oworae

    P. Carl takes readers on an intimate journey into the inner world of his transition. It’s the story of a man who begins his transition in his fifties and contends with the way coming out affects his well established relationships with family, friends, colleagues, his wife, and himself. Carl gives us his thoughts on binary trans identity and challenges the perceived limits and misconceptions of this experience. What does it mean to embrace white manhood openly? How did being perceived as a woman f P. Carl takes readers on an intimate journey into the inner world of his transition. It’s the story of a man who begins his transition in his fifties and contends with the way coming out affects his well established relationships with family, friends, colleagues, his wife, and himself. Carl gives us his thoughts on binary trans identity and challenges the perceived limits and misconceptions of this experience. What does it mean to embrace white manhood openly? How did being perceived as a woman for the majority of his life affect how he constructs this manhood? Carl gives us his ideas on the matter two years into transition. There aren’t any easy answers; some of the ideas feel like starting points. It’s also the story of identity and the way it changes while staying the same. The book is beautifully written, rich with description. It takes place in several different locations and reads like a book of related vignettes that allow the reader to put together the puzzle that is the life of P. Carl. There’s talk of transition, issues with mental health, abuse, family dysfunction, marital conflict. This memoir is raw and powerful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    This was one of the more complex and well-written trans memoirs that I've read, and I have found myself reflecting back on it several times throughout reading it. Having transitioned later in life, P. Carl does a good job of explaining the ways in which he was always a man, and the ways in which he lived and was perceived a woman for most of his life. He approaches gender as binary, though acknowledges that that is not everyone's truth. He resists a queer identity, which was very interesting to This was one of the more complex and well-written trans memoirs that I've read, and I have found myself reflecting back on it several times throughout reading it. Having transitioned later in life, P. Carl does a good job of explaining the ways in which he was always a man, and the ways in which he lived and was perceived a woman for most of his life. He approaches gender as binary, though acknowledges that that is not everyone's truth. He resists a queer identity, which was very interesting to read about, and which you won't begrudge, as he explains himself thoughtfully and honestly, in a manner which doesn't evade the complexity of his beliefs and truths. I admit that when he spoke about his anger at the ways in which his story has become his wife's, I had already been wondering what his wife's experience was, and had to interrogate the reasons why. It was a good reminder for me, and one which made me consider the reasons behind that shift in alliance, even as he explained and defended it himself. I hope more people read this, so I can continue to discuss and process all that this account has offered.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nay Keppler

    I really wanted to love this book, but there really wasn’t a beginning, middle, or an end. I can’t imagine the courage it must have taken to tell all of the stories the author did, but I just came away feeling sad and without hope for his happiness. I so want to be wrong, but that was the feeling I left with.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barb Chamberlin

    Really a 4.5. Excellent memoir of a woman—who never identified as female transitioning to being a man. As a man, having had the experience of growing up female, with all it’s attendant problems and issues. Really brings home the idea that all of us are individuals, in every respect.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Deeply moving story of a person who transitioned to male at age 50. He spent 50 years in his body that was assigned female gender at birth, yet knew from a very early age that his body was not a match for his authentic self. His transition decision complicates his terrible relationship with his parents. His mother is suffering from dementia and doesn't understand where "her daughter" has gone. His father sounds like the most annoying, aggressive, self-absorbed Neanderthal man you could imagine. Hi Deeply moving story of a person who transitioned to male at age 50. He spent 50 years in his body that was assigned female gender at birth, yet knew from a very early age that his body was not a match for his authentic self. His transition decision complicates his terrible relationship with his parents. His mother is suffering from dementia and doesn't understand where "her daughter" has gone. His father sounds like the most annoying, aggressive, self-absorbed Neanderthal man you could imagine. His transition decision feels like a betrayal to his lesbian wife of 20 years. He had previously identified as a mostly masculine lesbian and his wife was 100% certain that she wanted to spend her life with another woman, not a man. But then there's 20 years of love to consider. This book also includes a perspective on the Trump administration and the #MeToo movement. Fascinating memoir, thought-provoking.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    I was enthralled by P. Carl's honest fiercely honest and accessible memoir of transition. After 50 years of "living as a white Midwestern woman," P. Carl risked his wife, family, friends, and a successful career to launch a journey into accepting his true self, something most of us are too afraid to do. He opens up his life as he grapples with what it means to transition from a queer woman into a straight white man, upper-middle class man in Trump's America. He explores his experiences with gend I was enthralled by P. Carl's honest fiercely honest and accessible memoir of transition. After 50 years of "living as a white Midwestern woman," P. Carl risked his wife, family, friends, and a successful career to launch a journey into accepting his true self, something most of us are too afraid to do. He opens up his life as he grapples with what it means to transition from a queer woman into a straight white man, upper-middle class man in Trump's America. He explores his experiences with gender, violence, masculinity, transphobia, race, love, politics, family, and mental and physical health. What does it mean to enjoy privileged masculine spaces? How does transitioning reconstruct ones inner experience and the experience of his closest family and friends? Is it possible to live the life you've always dreamed of? I highly recommend this book and I wish more authors took the risk of being so honest.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This memoir speaks volumes on so many topics regarding the duality of transitioning. Carl is just past the age of fifty when he begins his life outwardly as a man, and is finally coming home to his body for the first time... but transitioning isn't as simple as a before and an after. There is often despair that comes with the euphoria, and your friends and family tend to fall away or become closer than ever. Becoming a Man isn't just a transgender book-- it's also a journey through what masculin This memoir speaks volumes on so many topics regarding the duality of transitioning. Carl is just past the age of fifty when he begins his life outwardly as a man, and is finally coming home to his body for the first time... but transitioning isn't as simple as a before and an after. There is often despair that comes with the euphoria, and your friends and family tend to fall away or become closer than ever. Becoming a Man isn't just a transgender book-- it's also a journey through what masculinity is in all its forms, it's what it means to be in the LGBT community, it's what can make and break a family. There is a treasure trove of eloquently-worded realizations and observations throughout this book that spoke directly to my being. The fact that it exists is a miracle and a gift. Do not miss this essential gem.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The NYTBR gave this memoir a rave review, so I thought I would give it a try. It turned out to provide lots of insight into the transition process of the author from female to male, but it became repetitive - and there were times the writer goes off on tangents before coming back to his own issues. I was hopeful when he says, "I am interested in this idea of an invisible self. I have always said that I walked around invisible for fifty years and that now what could not be seen on the inside is f The NYTBR gave this memoir a rave review, so I thought I would give it a try. It turned out to provide lots of insight into the transition process of the author from female to male, but it became repetitive - and there were times the writer goes off on tangents before coming back to his own issues. I was hopeful when he says, "I am interested in this idea of an invisible self. I have always said that I walked around invisible for fifty years and that now what could not be seen on the inside is finally alive on the outside." These two insightful sentences sum up his experience of "becoming a man" at age 50. He also says, "My entire purpose in telling you my story is to find words and metaphors and images that can make the invisible visible, but more importantly, can make my invisible known to you..." He does this, but each sentence in the book seems to repeat this idea.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ifedayo

    Interesting story of Carl, a transman, who transitions in his 50s. Appreciated the honesty and unvarnished look at the effect his transition had on his wife, mental state and family. It seemed to me though that he seemed to have a 1960s or a 10 year old boys idea of what a man or a "man's man' as he sometimes describes himself should be: liking sports, denigrating women, drinking beer. The book is quite steeped in gender theory, but rather than perceiving gender as performative, he tends to reif Interesting story of Carl, a transman, who transitions in his 50s. Appreciated the honesty and unvarnished look at the effect his transition had on his wife, mental state and family. It seemed to me though that he seemed to have a 1960s or a 10 year old boys idea of what a man or a "man's man' as he sometimes describes himself should be: liking sports, denigrating women, drinking beer. The book is quite steeped in gender theory, but rather than perceiving gender as performative, he tends to reify it. Admittedly, he points his own contradictions and his ambivalence towards toxic masculinity. Although at other times, he jumps on his high horse and begins to lecture all genders on how to be better versions of themselves based on his fixed idea of how they should behave.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Not the book I was expecting. Way more challenging than I thought it would be. Completing his transition during the resurgence of the privileged white male in the US makes things even more interesting for the author. The reader is challenged to think about ideas of gender, cultural bias, and personal bias. Throughout the book, the author and his wife wrestle with the changes brought by his transition. His wife married a gay woman. Now she's married to a straight man. I felt some envy as he moved Not the book I was expecting. Way more challenging than I thought it would be. Completing his transition during the resurgence of the privileged white male in the US makes things even more interesting for the author. The reader is challenged to think about ideas of gender, cultural bias, and personal bias. Throughout the book, the author and his wife wrestle with the changes brought by his transition. His wife married a gay woman. Now she's married to a straight man. I felt some envy as he moved into portions of the male world not available to women. How rare to read the words of somebody who has lived the gender divide from both sides. All my words feel inadequate. Open your mind, read this book, challenge your beliefs.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.