Literary Nonfiction. LGBTQIA Studies. Asian & Asian American Studies. Born in a rural Chinese village and identified as a girl at birth, Lei Ming, is barely cared for during his childhood. Often lonely, terrified and abused, he learns early to fend for himself and look within for answers, but there he discovers a paradox that threatens to undo him. Although he does not yet know the word “transsexual,” at 16, Ming sets out on a secret mission to find relief. LIFE BEYOND MY BODY tells the true story of his quest to find answers in a society that is closed-mouthed about men like Ming. Along the way, Ming finds solace and judgement in the Christian church, loves and loses a woman, begins his physical transition using black market testosterone, is jailed over his identity, and arranges for top surgery without blowing his cover. But ultimately, understanding the true meaning of being a man will require reckoning with God.