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Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Currently national press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign, McBride made history when, in 2016 at the age of 25, she became the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention; no stranger to firsts, she also was the first openly transgender woman to serve as an intern at the White House. This is her story. Part autobiography, part advocacy, it succeeds beautifully on both counts. McBride first came to widespread attention when, on the last day of her term as student-body president at Washington's American University, she came out as a trans woman. It was an early step on her path to becoming an out and proud advocate for transgender persons and their rights, first in her native state of Delaware and then on a national stage. The book makes a passionate case for universal rights for the LGBTQ community, particularly for those who are its transgender members. But hers is also a highly personal love story of her growing relationship with Andy, another advocate, who was a trans man. It takes a tragic turn when, at age 28, he dies of cancer only four days after the two marry. He continues to be an inspiration for her as she remains herself an inspiration at the center of the continuing, sometimes uphill movement for transgender rights. Highly readable and beautifully written, hers is an inarguably important book that deserves the widest possible readership.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2018 Booklist


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A brave transgender woman experiences both triumph and tragedy in this memoir of transitioning and so much more.McBride, the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, was a high school political activist well before coming to terms with her gender identity, so this mix of policy discussion and personal revelation seems to come naturally to her. What she had never expected is that she would be a widow at 24 and, two years later, become the first transgender speaker at a national political convention. The author first came to national attention in college, when, as student body president of American University, she announced first through social media and then in the pages of the school newspaper that she was transgender. She had previously presented herself outwardly as male. She was scared of rejection or even ridicule from the campus culture, but she received "a total and overwhelming outpouring of love and joy." However, McBride's earlier experience coming out to her parents had been more traumatic. Even though they were progressive and supportive of her gay older brother, they had been blindsided by her declaration. "So you want to be a girl?" asked her tearful mother, who later said, "I feel like my life is over." "I didn't want to be a girl. I was a girl," thought the author, who had felt like a girl in a boy's body since she was 10 and who had since recognized that if this were in fact a choice, it was the only choice she could make. She became an activist and eloquent spokesperson for LGBTQ legislation, the first transgender intern to serve at the White House, and an inspirational speaker at the Democratic National Convention. She also fell deeply in love with another activist, who would soon succumb to cancer, but not before they had the chance to marry. Throughout, the author ably balances great accomplishments and strong emotions.Reading McBride's inspiring story will make it harder to ostracize or demonize others with similar stories to share. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In her first book, activist McBride (national press secretary, Human Rights Campaign) shows self-awareness and purpose. Cognizant of the many positives in her life-supportive family, friends, and coworkers-McBride has devoted her career to ensuring equal rights for LGBTQ people. By sharing her own story of coming out, the author illuminates the pain that can come along with that process, and how she has arrived at accepting (and living) her life. She writes movingly of her experience transitioning from a man to a woman, and her political activism, along with falling in love and then losing her love to cancer. Statistics about the marginalization of and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, especially those who are transgender, are brought to life by her voice. The importance of telling these experiences in order to combat demonizing stereotypes is stressed by the author's experiences in passing civil rights legislation in Delaware, as well as her activism nationwide. The pressing need for broad antidiscrimination protection for the entire LGBTQ community is made clear. VERDICT All readers will find this book enlightening. Those struggling with gender identity, and their families and friends, will find hope in McBride's words.-Laurie Unger Skinner, Coll. of Lake Cty., Waukegan, IL Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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