Honor Book for the 2012 Stonewall Book Awards in non-fictionThe next-generation Stone Butch Blues–a contemporary memoir of gender awakening and a classic tale of first love and self-discovery. Ambitious, sporty, feminine “capital-L lesbians” had been Nina Krieger’s type, for friends that is. She hadn’t dated in seven years, a period of non-stop traveling–searching for what, or avoiding what, she didn’t know. When she lands in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, her roommates introduce her to a whole new world, full of people who identify as queer, who modify their bodies and blur the line between woman and man, who defy everything Nina thought she knew about gender and identity. Despite herself, Nina is drawn to the people she once considered freaks, and before long, she is forging a path that is neither man nor woman, here nor there. This candid and humorous memoir of gender awakening brings readers into the world of the next generation of transgender warriors and tells a classic tale of first love and self-discovery. Discussion Guide for Book Clubs, Classrooms, and Group Discussions
What did you know about transgender people before reading this book? How has your perspective changed? Did reading this book make you think about your own body, gender, and identity? In what ways? How do you feel about the way Nina treats her parents? How about the way they treat her? How would you react if your child was transgender? What role does Ramona play in Nina’s journey? How do you envision gender–a binary, spectrum, galaxy…? What are some of the benefits to our culture of gender? Some of the downfalls? How does the binary (man/woman) system help you? Hurt you? How do you relate to Nina’s experience? In what ways is her story universal? Specific? In what parts of your life do you feel you are “privileged”? Have your privileges changed over time? Has this impacted your worldview? How is this book similar to other memoirs about gender? How is it unique? How does the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder and its classification as a mental illness affect trans people? What do you see as the main challenges for trans people in our society? Are these covered in the book, or are these from other sources and experiences? What did you learn through The Boys? How are their gender expressions and decisions similar? Different? Where do lesbian and transmasculine (trans people on the male side of the spectrum like The Boys) communities overlap? Where is there friction? What defines “women’s spaces” and in what cases, instances, or places should transmasculine people be included? Excluded?