Forward by Jamison Green
Most people experience their gender and their sex as the same thing: most people with female bodies feel like women, and most people with male bodies feel like men. However, not everyone experiences their sex and gender as “aligned.” And while it is common for both men and women to want to improve their appearance in conformity with stereotypes that are ascribed to their sex and gender, when people like me cross gender boundaries to change our bodies, it is often difficult for others to understand.
Some small percentage of people in every race, every class, and – as far as we know – every culture since the dawn of recorded history have felt the need to transform themselves in some way in order to live comfortably with their gender. Debates about meanings of the words “sex” and “gender,” about what is “real,” and what can and cannot be really changed have raged all around us, and accusations of “deceitful” and “delusional” have plagued people like me for countless generations; yet we persist. And we continue to fascinate artists and storytellers, theologians and mythologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, social workers, ethicists, police, and perverts. While some would still make jokes about us, others are taking a new look. And when people allow themselves to experience us as human beings, they are often transformed themselves. Not that they suddenly want to change their own bodies, but that they come to appreciate the integrity of the human spirit in a new way.