Happy Summer, folks!
And welcome back to my Super Summer Reading Series.
Last week, I featured Amy Wright Glenn, author of Birth, Breath & Death. You can read that post here.
This week, I am thrilled to share some Q& A I shared with author, Matt Kailey. This guy is a huge inspiration to me, his book: Just Add Hormones was one of a few I read several years ago that definitely influenced my own transition process. Back when I read his book, I was eager to learn more to support trans* people. Little did I know, I was reading to learn more to support myself.
Matt Kailey is a transsexual man and an award-winning author, blogger, teacher, and community leader, as well as a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on transgender issues.
He is the author of Just Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience (Beacon Press), a Lambda Literary Award finalist andRocky Mountain News local bestseller, and Teeny Weenies and Other Short Subjects, a collection of humorous and heartfelt essays about his life before and after transition. In addition, his work has appeared in numerous publications, from anthologies to professional journals.
Matt, you know I think you're super rad. Thanks for taking time to share more about your great books.
DD) Why did you want to write your book(s)?
MK: I wanted to write Just Add Hormones to share my experiences with transition and being trans (as well as my opinions) with other trans people and non-trans people in the hope of better understanding. I wrote Teeny Weenies because people who read Just Add Hormones said they wanted to know more about my childhood and my personal life.
DD) How did you move from having an idea to actually writing your book(s)?
MK: With Just Add Hormones, I was writing a column for the Gender Identity Center of Colorado newsletter, and it became very popular, so I took those columns and rewrote them and added to them and added some additional stuff and it became a book. I am a writer by nature, so I have always written. I just have a lot to say.
DD) Share three obstacles you met and overcame while writing.
MK: Three obstacles: inertia (an object at rest tends to stay at rest); a tendency to rewrite and rewrite; and ongoing battles with "affect" versus "effect."
DD) Writing teaches us a lot. Tell me two new things you learned about yourself during the process.
MK: Two new things I learned about myself: One, while I was writing, I learned that I didn't have a writing voice when I was living as female, and that my writing voice appeared out of nowhere when I transitioned. And two, after I wrote, I learned that my feelings get hurt easily (because people always have complaints and criticisms, as they should).
DD) Why are your books good for folks to grab this summer?
MK: I think both my books are good summer reading – Just Add Hormones because it is actually quite light reading. It is non-clinical, and a lot of people still e-mail me to tell me that they had or are having a similar experience and thought they were alone until they read it. And Teeny Weenies because I think it's funny and entertaining.
DD) Here's the part where you get to share anything you want my readers to know.
MK: I would like to say that both my books have been finalists for a Lambda Literary Award. Neither won, but I'm still honored and proud that they were chosen. Also, there are many good books out there, so read a variety, and learn from and get support from the ones that resonate with you.
When I was scared to take the leap to transition, Matt replied to my questions on facebook within mere minutes. This guy is the real deal. Friendly, smart, genuine and wicked funny.
To buy any of Matt's books (he actually has several, but JAH and TW are his main "trans" books), go to his amazon author page at http://www.amazon.com/Matt-Kailey/e/B001JS16J6