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Sliders: The Dark Side of Transgender is a novel, a character study, that follows a warm and gentle university professor, Regina, through 36 years in transition, seeing her understanding of herself change dramatically through the years as she learns about her own problem with denial, about people who were false to her along the way, about social problems she didn't anticipate, and about realities she lives with. Regina's story also serves as an exposé of hidden truths and practices in both trans living and the ...
Sliders: The Dark Side of Transgender is a novel, a character study, that follows a warm and gentle university professor, Regina, through 36 years in transition, seeing her understanding of herself change dramatically through the years as she learns about her own problem with denial, about people who were false to her along the way, about social problems she didn't anticipate, and about realities she lives with. Regina's story also serves as an exposé of hidden truths and practices in both trans living and the trans industry, of things done that are rarely mentioned.
Denial colors Regina's experiences, and like Elizabeth B Browning, it is from this she learns compromise.
Regina makes mistakes. Sometimes she does things she, herself, disagrees with later. Sometimes she is unaware of how she's perceived by others; sometimes she utilizes it. Over the course of a life, there is room for ideas to grow. What matters most is who she becomes, what she achieves.
Sliders is written with the understanding of some who have been in transition for 30 to 40 years—but the chapters are from the protagonist's view at the time. Thus, even while staying in transition, she may believe and do things in one chapter, changing her mind completely later on, and then changing her mind again later, as she experiences her life.
I write about good people who sometimes say and do things they don't mean, or who, instead, learn how to do what they do better. I think it's the growth process through life that makes them human.
Sliders: the Dark Side of Transgender as a novel is many things:
-It's an exposé of both practice and malpractice. Depending on whether we're talking about the protagonist, her doctors, her employers, her family, friends, or other people who know her in society, the falsifications could be because of shame, money, fear, fantasy, embarrassment, manipulation, or other secondary gain;
-It delves into autogynephilia;
-It's about distinctions between transgenderism and transsexualism;
-It talks about personality swings or gender shifts that can occur in very long term transitions;
-It reveals hardships commonly experienced by those in transition that "muggles" (those non-trans) rarely learn about, and that even newer transitioners may not yet be aware of;
It talks about alienation and severe loneliness, and what's behind it.
If you wonder if Sliders is sensitive, you might read Chapter 1.
If you wonder if Sliders is going to be slow because it's a character study, you might read Chapter 2.
If you wonder if Sliders is compassionate, you might read Chapter 3.
To see Regina advocate strongly, read chapter 14.
But if you want to know what Regina really thinks and why she thinks it, you might find it helpful to read the whole novel.
An in-depth character study, all areas of the Regina's life are shared explicitly, from language to thought and actions, but the scenes are not gratuitous. They are part of an in-depth examination of her life. No thoughts or actions are avoided or whitewashed. Sliders is meant for mature reading.
In it, Regina learns she unwittingly contributes to her own alienation, but she also learns she is not alone in that process. Society contributes as well. In some ways, as a dysfunctional family is to the Identified Patient among them, so is society as a whole to transpersons: scapegoating, and also suggesting social tension lies within the one who is so different, failing to see their own contribution. Sliders is an expose of that dynamic as well, giving specific examples.
So the antagonist is not an individual, per se, but society as a whole—and, in some ways, Regina, herself. Every person in the inter-connected inter-play of society is involved and has a hand in the problems we all face. No one’s slate is clean. Every major character has challenges. Some they handle well, some they don’t.