The New Normal: Coming Out as Transgender in Midlife

The New Normal: Coming Out as Transgender in Midlife

by Jennifer M. Booker

NOOK Book(eBook)

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What is it like to come out to yourself as transgender at nearly age fifty?  The New Normal describes my journey through coming out, hormone therapy, gender confirmation surgery, and getting legally recognized as a woman. Thanks to my academic background, this book is not just written for transgender people and their loved ones, but also for students of gender studies, social sciences, and medical professionals.

Dr. Jennifer Booker earned degrees in aerospace (BS), mechanical (MS), and biomedical engineering (PhD). She was a systems engineer for the defense and aviation industries, then taught computing for 20 years. She has pursued additional studies in psychology, feminist theory, and nursing.  Her hobbies include soccer, pole dancing, figure skating, and dismantling the patriarchy.

“Jennifer’s candor vividly tells her story in such a captivating way. It is entirely infectious. This book takes the reader on a gripping journey. It is informative, smart and thoroughly eye-opening.” - Bernadette Pleasant, Creator of Femme!

“Dr. Jennifer Booker is one of the most courageous women I know. She has generously shared her comprehensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of transitioning.” - Susana Mayer, PhD, Founder and Host of the Erotic Literary Salon

“Jennifer Booker tells a story that is brilliantly evocative in its colorful narrative of the pedestrian aspects of everyday life. I found this presentation humanizing and compelling.  With curiosity and humor, she moves us away from the often salacious portrait of transwomen presented by the media to a practical one.  She’s gifted us with both a memoir of a whole human with a rich life and a helpful guide for trans folks considering transitioning or allies wanting to learn what to (and not to do) to support a transgender loved one.” - Jill McDevitt, PhD, Sexologist and Sexuality Educator for Adults

“A straightforward, unflinching story of one person’s gender transition that demystifies the process from beginning to end. The factual and academic information coupled with the personal journey reveals the complex road and basket of complicated decisions a transgender person must face.” - Monica Anna Day 

"Dr. Jennifer Booker’s captivating autobiographical account of her transformation is both earnest and informative, and at times heartbreaking. The word chutzpah was made for women like her. She chronicles how her early experiences with sexuality and disability shaped her journey, and weaves together a complex narrative of the intersectionality of these experiences that help us to understand the social construction of femininity. The resulting manuscript is appropriate for diverse audiences, people considering GCS, and people trying to understand the transgender experience, be they members of the LGBTQIA+ community, medical professionals, scholars of gender, disability and queer studies, as well as, the curious public striving to understand social change." - Jennifer Rode, Ph.D, University College London

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781916087514
Publisher: Jennifer Booker
Publication date: 04/25/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
File size: 8 MB

Table of Contents

Praise for The New Normal

Trigger Warnings and Disclaimers


Instructor Guidance



Chapter 1 – My Foundation - Childhood

Broken from the start

Growing up cripple

Hospitals and consent

Constantly moving


Trivia and praise for intellect

Follow the rules



The Dark Side - Randy

The Dark Side – Mr. D

The Dark Side - End it?



Social life? No comprende


Sex and Body Issues

Gender Roles

Lots of Good


Chapter 2 – Adulting

Career Arc


Sex as a Young Adult

Freedom to study weird stuff

Follow the rules

Fashion curious

The Dark Side - Descent into hell

Signs of rebellion

The Dark Side - Escape


Chapter 3 – Breaking Free and Searching for Answers

Setting up new life

Ongoing education

The Dark Side – food challenges

Song of the Sacred Whore

The Essensual Experience


Private coaching

The Salon

Mark Groups

Four Agreements


Chapter 4 – Hello Jennifer!


Immediate aftermath of coming out

Where do I go?

Going public and ‘passing’


Clothing – first impressions

Men’s versus Women’s clothing

Pockets and Purses


Vagina Monologues



Chapter 5 – Hormones are Fun!

The Drugs


Slow Boobs

Body Hair Bye-bye

More Emotional *cries*

Voice Change


Sex Drive


Chapter 6 – Coming Out

Is it safe to come out?

To pass or what?





Chapter 7 – Gender Confirmation


Legal and Social Preparations


Cost of GCS

Getting Therapist Letters


Medical Preparation

Surgery and Immediate Aftermath

Recovery – the First Week


Good hygiene isn’t optional

Healing timeline after surgery

Recovery beyond two months


Chapter 8 – Name Change

Doctor’s Letter

Choosing My Name

Court Ordered Name Change

Birth Certificate

Social Security Card

Driver’s License


All the other stuff


Chapter 9 – Social and Sexual Transition

Clothing – after coming out

Makeup Basics

Time Management

Street Harassment

Ages 5 and 15 and adult


Family Relations



Chapter 10 – The Future

More transition?

Challenging physical limits

Rocky Horror Picture Show



Sex work

Long term self-care

Clothing evolution

Mama Gena

Legal and career impact


More acceptance?



Appendix A: Terminology 

Appendix B: References

Appendix C: 12 Minutes

Appendix D: Coming out letter to my family

Appendix E: Coming out rebuttals

Appendix F: Drugs and Foods to Avoid Pre-surgery

Appendix G: The Federalist letter

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