When I grew up back in the '60's and '70's, I didn't know that transgenderism existed. Not only was the ranch in Wyoming isolated from that kind of information, our entire culture buried it. The media never mentioned such phenomena. No books, especially children's or young adult's, reflected it. Trans people existed neither in fact nor fiction, and that isolation shut me off from any hope of understanding why I was different from my peers, and what that difference was.
Things have changed since then. A plethora of books have emerged, explaining the phenomenon of trangenderism from a variety of viewpoints. A list of some of them adorns the bottom of this webpage. Yet as much as these informational books clarify, they do not bring my experience to the mainstream with the power of fiction. The reason they do not is this: Non-fiction reveals facts; fiction reveals truth. Non-fiction explains intellectually; fiction explains viscerally. True understanding of another human being cannot come through the intellect; it must be experienced viscerally, emotionally. And while much fiction is void of that visceral truth, much also is not.
That's a rather long lead-in to this short review, but, I think, important. Because Julie Anne Peters, a lesbian author in Colorado, has written just such a book. Titled "Luna," the story of a young trans woman coming of age, told through the eyes of her sister, illuminates the trans experience. Written for young adults and told realistically, it makes the experience of people like me accessible to all – and most especially, to young people of the age when my own confusion and isolation were more than I could bear. That confusion and isolation led directly to drug and alcohol abuse and an emotional shut-down that took many years to overcome.
Had this book been available to me, had I read it then, how many things could have been different?
It's a moot point. What's done is done, and I now have a rich, fulfilling life. Had I transitioned earlier, I would not have my two beautiful sons, nor would I have the lovely relationship I share with Kristin. I regret nothing for myself.
But I am very glad that this resource is available to young people today.
Luna. Buy it. Read it.