“Marizol and Selenis Leyva’s inspiring memoir My Sister is the moving story of two Latinas who grew up in the Bronx in the nineties. Marizol’s perspective and coming out story as a trans woman is at the center of the narrative. Through their alternating chapters, Marizol and Selenis manage to create an expansive portrait of girlhood that includes and celebrates trans women of color.
Left to right: Selenis and Marysol Leyva
In the book, Orange Is the New Black star Selenis also explores the challenges she faced as a teen, being one of the few Latinas at LaGuardia high school in the nineties. Meanwhile activist and model Marizol shares some of her painful experiences as a trans Afro-Latina with little to no role models who looked like her.
“I had no trans mother figure,” she tells Remezcla. “I was often silent and living in pain.”
My Sister is an important and unique memoir that feels as though it should be required reading in Latinx literature classes. We spoke with both sisters about the challenges of reconstructing memory, co-authoring a book and the importance of increasing the representation of trans women of color in literature.”
For more of the interview, follow the link above in the first sentence.
In response to a recent post here in Cyrsti’s Condo concerning the influence over the years of Caitlyn Jenner on the over all transgender community, Connie submitted this comment:
“Jenner never impressed me, except as an athlete. Nevertheless, she provided me with the means for one of my best comeback lines, back when she was first coming out. While I was standing in line at the meat counter, I struck up a conversation with another woman. An older man in line ahead of us turned around to look at us, subsequently clocking me (probably from my voice). He interrupted our conversation by asking me, “Are you like that Bruce Jenner guy?” Without hesitation, I answered back, “Well, I don’t really like to talk about my gold medal.” I guess I could have said that I wasn’t a Republican, but I think the gold medal line was my best choice. :-)”
What a great comeback!
As most of you know, I have never been a big fan of Jenner either but supposedly she has now rejected her “love” affair with rump. I hope it is true.
On another note, I discovered a post you may be interested in while checking in with one of the blogs I follow called “Mybookworld24”. The post critiques five current transgender memoir books. Go here to see it.
Don’t worry, this post won’t be influenced by Shakespeare and you are not back in high school literature class. In this case, the popular phrase involves coming out as stealth.
Wait? Can you come out as stealth? Isn’t that a “Catch 22?” It is but it isn’t.
When and if you are in the position to live “stealth” as a transgender woman, should you do it? Remember “back in the day” stealth was the only way to go once you had gone through genital realignment surgery. You were expected to move away and start your life all over again. In many ways, the whole process ignored the basic premise that sex is between the legs and gender is between the ears. I am a prime example. While it is true I have been living full time as a woman for years now, I have no desire to have any invasive surgery.
Now I find myself again at the crossroads of going stealth…or not. It would actually be a fairly easy decision. The cross dresser – transgender support group I am loosely involved with is increasingly imploding. As a result of a high drama split up, we now have two similar but separate groups. The most recent example of the in fighting was the Thursday night social Liz and I went to. Before the split up we could expect approximately twelve to fifteen diverse individuals. Since the other group decided to have a social the same night, they had ten attendees while we had seven.
So now I am encountering the same small group of people I actually have very little in common with. The only reason I started going was because of the chance to meet new and interesting people. Thursday night the most interesting person I met was a cis woman who was entranced with me enough to smile and say hello. Any number of factors could have been in play. Probably she knew I was trans and her and her feminine friend approved. Or they could have been lesbians too and saw Liz and I holding hands. Then again, maybe she was just laughing at me. Which didn’t seem to be the case.
The main force behind me not just saying to hell with it all, is my underlying desire to help anyone who needs it who may find themselves on the same path as me. Plus now I need to see how my upcoming meeting concerning LGBTQ aging issues goes.
If the past is any indication, I probably will continue to not to be…stealth.
I read lots of books, from mythology retellings to literary fiction and I love to reread books from childhood, this is a place to voice my thoughts for fun. I also like to ramble about things such as art or nature every now and again.