Becoming a Visible Man / Edition 1

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Best Book in Transgender Studies, 2005
Winner, Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies (CLAGS), NY
2005 Lambda Literary Award Finalist

Written by a leading activist in the transgender movement, Becoming a Visible Man is an artful and compelling inquiry into the politics of gender. Jamison Green combines candid autobiography with informed analysis to offer unique insight into the multiple challenges of the female-to-male transsexual experience, ranging from encounters with prejudice and strained relationships with family to the development of an FTM community and the realities of surgical sex reassignment.

For more than a decade, Green has provided educational programs on gender-variance issues for corporations, law-enforcement agencies, social-science conferences and classes, continuing legal education, religious education, and medical venues. His comprehensive knowledge of the processes and problems encountered by transgendered and transsexual people—as well as his legal advocacy work to help ensure that gender-variant people have access to the same rights and opportunities as others—enable him to explain the issues as no transsexual author has previously done.

Brimming with frank and often poignant recollections of Green's own experiences—including his childhood struggles with identity and his years as a lesbian parent prior to his sex-reassignment surgery—the book examines transsexualism as a human condition, and sex reassignment as one of the choices that some people feel compelled to make in order to manage their gender variance. Relating the FTM psyche and experience to the social and political forces at work in American society, Becoming a Visible Man also speaks consciously of universal principles that concern us all, particularly the need to live one's life honestly, openly, and passionately.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Jamison Green tells, with integrity, and in a moving and thoughtful way, his story.
—Dallas Denny, Editor, Transgender Tapestry Journal

An intelligent and engaging book. Jamison Green, an extraordinary activist and advocate for FTM transsexuals, demonstrates that he is also an extraordinary writer. Green artfully blends the personal, the informative, and the political, and grounds it all in a generous vision of inclusive communities. He makes a thoughtful and persuasive case for making gender visible.
—Joanne Meyerowitz, author of How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States

When the premier trans-activist of a generation decides to write a memoir, we should be grateful. When Jamison Green weaves his personal and political experiences into a magnificent story it is all the more reason to celebrate. Becoming a Visible Man shows why he is a leading voice to a generation of transmen and transwomen and why this issue should be on the top of the agenda for all of us in the 21st century.
—Henry Rubin, author of Self-Made Men

Jamison Green has given a great gift—based on experience born of a great personal journey, he demystifies gender in a way that transfixes the reader. The biological journey from zygote to adulthood unfolds to challenge the neat little boxes into which our culture drives gender each day. This is an essential contribution to the growing body of literature on gender identity and expression.
—Elizabeth Birch, Executive Director, Human Rights Campaign

Library Journal
A leading advocate for transsexuality and the author of the "Visible Man" column on the web ( green), Green argues that the transsexuality movement is a struggle for fundamental human rights. The author is a female-to-male transsexual who deploys his autobiography to illustrate political points about gender and sex diversity. He asserts that transsexuals seek to balance their gender identity (an abiding sense of oneself as a man or woman) with their physical bodies. Like recent literature on the history of the body, this text differentiates biological sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Green's call for tolerance is important, but he fails to answer the concerns of sympathetic gender theorists. For example, Green asserts illogically that gender identity is both a naturally occurring "essence" and a mutable social construction. And despite Green's repeated denials, his arguments inadvertently reify sexual stereotypes. The result is less scholarly than Joanne Meyerowitz's How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States yet less scandalous than Edward Ball's Peninsula of Lies: A True Story of Mysterious Birth and Taboo Love. Recommended with reservation for public libraries and undergraduate libraries. Katherine C. Adams, Bowdoin Coll. Lib., Brunswick, ME Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826514578
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 361,835
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamison Green is currently board chair of Gender Education and Advocacy, a non-profit educational corporation, and a board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute and the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. He has also been featured in eight documentary films and numerous articles and books. He holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Oregon.

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Table of Contents

1 How do you know? 1
2 Initiation 27
3 A vision of community 53
4 Body of knowledge 89
5 Transparent feelings 123
6 Consummate presence 147
7 Visibility 171
8 Willful destiny 199
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2004


    I was educated, inspired and deeply moved by this book, which is not only a remarkable chronicle of Jamison Green's life, but a compelling argument for individual human rights. The specific information about the process of transition from a female to a male body is fascinating, and bound to be helpful to anyone considering FTM surgery. But from my perspective as a 55-year-old married woman, the book speaks to a much wider audience. Too many people in today's world let fear make our decisions for us, and many opportunities for authenticity are missed as a result. This book is a clarion call for anyone who dreams of naming and claiming her true self. I recommend it without reservation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    Becoming a Visible Man

    I will highly recommend this book to my female to male transgendered psychotherapy clients and to those interested in learning about this phenomenon. It is an excellent blend of autobiographical, social and political topics. Mr. Green does a great job of taking the reader through his personal struggles with gender, sexual and social identification in an empowering and positive manner, an approach which I have found lacking in many other autobiographies of transgendered individuals. He triumphs over his difficulties of loss of contact with one of his children, shunning by his mother and rapid changes in his body as he attempts to match the outside with the inside of his identity, but allows the reader to know that these victories were not easy. He also provides the female socialized person in a newly male body with an impressive role model for how to learn about male socialization, which I also have not encountered in most works on this subject. Mr. Green does not profess to be an academician, but he obviously has done background reading on this subject, spanning at least 25 years and attempts to use his life stories to support and negate a great deal of medical and mental health literature on the subject of transgenderism and transsexualism. As an individual who started out believing that the journey from female to male bodied would be solely his personal journey, he reminds us of how one person, who becomes inspired to help others, can make such a large difference, clearly beyond what he would have ever anticipated. Max E. Fuhrmann, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist

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