A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter

Blackstone Audio Sept. 2022. 10:28 hrs. ISBN 9798212232777. $$19.95. MEMOIR
This love letter to a vivacious daughter was beautifully written under a pen name by a best-selling author. From the moment she could speak, it was clear that Hays’s daughter, who asked to be referred to by she/her pronouns at the age of four, was firmly grounded in her understanding of who she was. The memoir chronicles the parents’ journey toward freeing themselves of societal norms as they encouraged their daughter to be her fantastic self. Hays describes the dreaded moment when protective services knocked on their door for the suspected abuse of forcing their boy to dress as a girl. This traumatic event made them panic at the thought of losing their child. At the time, they lived in the U.S. South; they soon moved to a locale with laws that protect the rights of trans people. The letter interweaves notes on biology, cultural norms across the world, and legal issues. Erin Bennett’s narration is spot-on, creating a sense that the words are flowing straight from a mother’s heart to the world.
VERDICT An essential purchase. This powerful work speaks eloquently to the importance of advocating for trans people’s rights and promoting understanding of gender as a social construct.
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