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Trans Mission
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Trans Mission
My Quest to a Beard
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A brave first-hand account of online personality Alex Bertie's life, struggles, and victories as a transgender teen, as well as a groundbreaking guide for transitioning teen.Long before he became known...
A brave first-hand account of online personality Alex Bertie's life, struggles, and victories as a transgender teen, as well as a groundbreaking guide for transitioning teen.Long before he became known...
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  • A brave first-hand account of online personality Alex Bertie's life, struggles, and victories as a transgender teen, as well as a groundbreaking guide for transitioning teen.


    Long before he became known for his YouTube videos, Alex Bertie was an isolated, often-afraid transgender teenager looking for answers. In this revolutionary memoir and valuable resource, Alex recounts his life, struggles, and victories as a young trans man. Along the way, he provides readers with accessible, highly researched explanations of gender, sexuality, and transitions. He explores without judgment how complicated all these things can be, and how many equally authentic ways there are to live as yourself and find happiness.
    It can be hard for questioning teens to believe in a brighter future, let alone find any sense of community. Here, with clarity and compassion, Alex writes as a supportive older brother for transitioning teens, their allies, their parents, and anyone looking to better understand others — and themselves.

About the Author-

  • Alex Bertie is a young transgender YouTuber from rural Dorset. While still attending school at just 14, he started making videos on sexuality and gender identity, continuing to do so today with weekly uploads. To this day, he has reached around 330,000 subscribers. His work has been picked up by organizations such as Childline and Stonewall, and has been recognized by the Independent, YouTube magazine TenEighty, and trans publication FTM Magazine.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2019
    A YA addition to the long-standing genre of trans memoir."I'm not really a writer," explains Bertie, the 23-year-old YouTuber-turned-author, "but I have had some different experiences that I'd really like the world to know about." In chapters like "Chest Binding" and "Bottom Surgery," Bertie repackages generations of information developed and shared by transmasculine people, with some contemporary additions. Given that it's also memoir, he narrowly focuses on a fairly privileged white trans male experience with chatty prose in distractingly laid out text. Bertie sticks to fairly basic information around medical and social transition in addition to his personal experiences. Early on he remarks that "the area I lived in until I was five was not a nice place. I can't imagine the kind of person I'd be today if I had grown up there. Would I ever have had the confidence to transition?" This may alienate readers, both trans and cis, from stigmatized backgrounds. In the chapter "Dating While Trans," he acknowledges that he doesn't know "what life would be like if I were a single trans man navigating the world of dating," which calls into question the value of his advice.Readers who want to see their specific experience reflected in a book and those fascinated by prosaic trans narratives will be satisfied by this text, though its lasting value is otherwise limited. (Memoir. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2019

    Gr 7 Up-YouTuber Bertie combines practical advice for other young transgender readers with a memoir about his own transition. The text is accompanied by humorous line drawings by the author and includes family anecdotes and terms like "transliness." The overall tone is personal, straightforward, and upbeat. Bertie frankly acknowledges the pain of gender dysphoria and his difficult road to family acceptance and access to medical care for his transition. Responsibly, Bertie omits the details of his period of self-harm and emphasizes the importance of finding support, whether that's from family, friends, mental health professionals, or online communities. Readers get to know Bertie and his family through intimate details like his trans coming-out letter to his dad, a Q&A chapter with his mom aimed at other parents of transgender youth, and a recounting of how his parents took care of him during top surgery recovery. Other chapters are more how-to, covering topics from packing (putting something in one's underwear to give the appearance of a bulge) to safer sex and self-esteem. The back matter includes a glossary and a brief list of resources, with many other citations in the body of the text (including sources for, and reviews of, particular types and brands of chest binders). VERDICT An accessible, hopeful road map for youth in transition and their friends, families, and communities.-Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 24, 2019
    Blending autobiography and guidebook in his debut, trans man and popular YouTuber Bertie shares pivotal moments from his life and transition to illuminate a variety of topics relevant to female-to-male transition, including coming out, name selection, chest binding, hormone treatments, gender confirmation surgeries, dating and intimacy, and disclosing gender identity in the workplace. Bertie openly confronts the difficulties of pursuing transition on a personal and societal level—including his own history with depression, dysphoria, and self-harming behavior—while taking care to stress the joy he found in his own transition. He also acknowledges the limits of his perspective, sticking to trans topics with which he has personal experience and recognizing his own privilege as a “white, educated male with family support, a roof over my head, and a job” and as a resident of the United Kingdom, where transition is covered by health care rather than the patient. Aimed at teens beginning their transition or for those questioning how they identify, as well as at the people who love them, Bertie serves as a relatable narrator who encourages his readers to do what they “need to do to be happy” without ignoring the barriers they may face. Agent: Silvia Molteni, Peters Fraser and Dunlop. Ages 12–up.

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