A look into the early lives of transgender girls, when they are still attempting to live as boys. This book combines many of my own experiences with the experiences of other transgender girls, as well as gays. This book is really directed to parents and teachers of transgender children, helping them to see the signs and the thinking that transgender children experience when exposed to hate and opposition. Warning, this book does describe violence and suicide, and may not be suitable for younger children.
Rex is a little boy who is nothing like the other boys. Even his parents can see that he doesn't act like a boy. They also notice that he makes friends with girls quite easily. He treats his stuffed animals like dolls, and doesn't seem as interested in guns, rough-housing, or even playing with other boys. Furthermore, he keeps insisting he is a girl! Even when his parents try to explain the physical differences, Rex insists "I'm a girl on the INSIDE!"
After several beatings at the hands of all of the boys in his class, Rex is caught dressed in his mother's clothes. He begs "Please let me be like the other girls so I can play with them again.". However his mother discovers the horrible treatment that is used to treat transsexual boys in 1960 and tells him "You can't tell anyone or something really horrible will happen"
As Rex is assaulted regularly, he finds solace in non-fiction books and is soon reading far above his grade-level. Her superior intellect results in an extraordinary education, but her thrice-daily beatings by gangs of boys result in some pretty severe PTSD and hospitalizations.
Rex finds some extraordinary solutions as she begins to deal with puberty, but as she sees her body turning into a "hairy roaring beast, she begins to seriously consider that the only way she may be like other girls is reincarnation, which leads to a series of secret suicide attempts, alcohol and drug induced black-outs, and other high risk behaviors.
She eventually finds some special friends who give her the support she needs, and finds creative ways to become one of the girls, including going to a girl's college and moving into a convent.