Wednesday, February 5, 2020

This Is How It Always Is: A Novel

A Novel by Laurie Frankel

Inspired By Author's Transgender Child

Before discussing a wonderful book that I just finished, I would like for you to play out a scenario.  What would it be like to declare at the age of 4 or 5 you were different from your birth gender? Then being blessed with nurturing parents you grew up loved and supported. To the extent that you and your whole family move half-way across the country to ensure an understanding environment. You grew up nurtured and supported in your gender exploration.

Writer Laurie Frankel has written a novel about a family with five boys in which the youngest feels he's something entirely different — a girl. It's called This Is How It Always Is, and it's a story that's close to Frankel's heart because she's living it: Her own child was born a boy and now identifies as a girl.

In an interview with NPR's Rachel Martin, Ms Frankel said this on how she reacted when her child first expressed an interest in being a girl:

She wanted to wear a dress — and she was a he at the time — and we said OK. It didn't inspire panic. It didn't seem to be anything to be worried about or alarmed about. It seemed like pretend... She was 6, she had just turned 6, and it seemed like she was just playing and having fun. And she was just playing and having fun and trying things on. It's just that it stuck.

Although a novel relating a story, I am sure much of it is based in Ms. Franlel's true experience. It rings true. I found it riveting and I could not stop reading. Poppy's feeling are strong and expressed so well in the book. Yes, this is a book about raising a transgender child. However, it is more a book about being in kind loving family that just happens to have a transgender girl.

I hope this book has staying power and becomes a model lesson for parents for generation to come. Well done Ms. Frankel.  A must read.  

Here is a quote from the book:
When he grew up, he said, he wanted to be a chef, a cat, a vet, a dinosaur, a train, a farmer, a recorder player, a scientist, an ice cream cone, a first baseman, or maybe the inventor of a new kind of food that tasted like chocolate ice cream but nourished like something his mother would say yes to for breakfast. When he grew up, he said, he wanted to be a girl.   

The NPR Morning Edition interview. 

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