Through the Door of Life

Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between GendersThrough the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders by Joy Ladin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Totally blown away by this book!

In my professional live, working with HIV-infected individuals, it is not uncommon for me to encounter transgender individuals, but this book is written from the perspective of someone well-educated, literate, and religious, and, as such provides a unique perspective into the reality of someone who is born with a male body, but who feels their identity to be female.

There are so many ways in which this book resonates with truth, and, I must say that the negative reviews I read here are surprising to me – this is not a whining apologetic book. It is an honest acknowledgement by a unique individual who realizes that the price she paid for becoming “real” was one which cost so much both to herself and to those she loved most dearly.

The book closes with a long bibliography of works written about the transgender experience. I don’t know if I will read any of them – I think this one book has said so much, and brought me to a better understanding of the experience of feeling that ones’ body is not representative of ones’ nature. It’s something that I have readily accepted as truth for my patient’s, but never had as compelling an understanding of before.

And, for me, a religious person, I feel like the sense of making the truth of a transgender experience coherent and consistent with one’s religious tradition is of even greater value!


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