I love this title too. It’s the “different”. We can’t always guarantee that the work we do and the strides we make will end up making things better, but your struggle will be different from mine and maybe we’ll end up in a place where our identities don’t heap specific struggles on us. I like that.
Of course, who we are in the scheme of things will always present certain struggles, but acceptance, opportunity, and access to our rights shouldn’t be depend on the parts of our body not used for the task. This is a generalization of the work McBride details in this book, both hers and that of the people around her.
Though the title makes it clear that this is a book about activism, I wasn’t expecting the level at which McBride was in politics. Advocacy and activism will always involve associating with politicians, but she had been enamored with politics and involved well before her fight for trans equality. I feel like that’s a big part of what makes her story special. The other memoirs I’ve read of activists involved people who advocated a particular viewpoint, but McBride wanted to be a part of the system that made those decisions and was never an outsider.
Then there’s the trans story. I appreciate the way she includes her coming out but also quickly moves on from it. This isn’t a book about being trans but every coming out story, especially those like hers, makes it possible for the next person to come out. I can’t imagine the horror of keeping my true self secret for so long and admire the courage people have to come out. I know it tends to be gratuitous when cis people write these stories but when it’s a trans person themselves, we can move through it and get to the part where we learn about who they actually are rather than dwell on who they were.
Most of the book truly is the advocacy and strides and setbacks of the time she chose to write about. There are plenty of personal stories, but they tie in to the overall arch of what’s going on in the fight. She’s been through help and I hope she keeps on fighting. I especially loved the way she consistently pointed out the places of privilege in her story, knowing that not everyone has the coming out story she does, or the acceptance, or level of opportunity.
This is a great book to recommend to anyone interested in trans rights or trans equality. It’s in the little things like respecting privilege mentioned above and talking about the leap in acceptance and visibility over the last few decades and the arguments made by both sides in the fight. Add it your Litsy or Goodreads TBR.