Amy Heart and various authors: Resilience
Note: (C)AMAB = (coercively) assigned male at birth
“Resilience” was a book that had me just think “Yes, exactly that” many times. This collections of writings from (C)AMAB trans writers manages to capture and resonate with the emotional experience of this live so well. I’m not sure if a cis person reading it would have a comparable experience, but it certainly will provide some valuable insight.
It includes perspectives from a variety of backgrounds, especially works from writers who face multiple forms of discrimination by not only being trans but also experiencing racism and the consequences of colonialism for example. I think those compounding issues are often overlooked even within trans communities.
Being an anthology, probably not every work in it will be to everyones taste. I personally didn’t enjoy most of the poetry very much but I have my difficulty with poetry in general. I got much more out of the short stories, autobiographic accounts and essays. The pieces can be read in any order and do not depend on each other so skipping some is perfectly fine.
Without spoiling them, here are the ones I liked best:
- Black, Trans and Still Breathing
- Puzzle Box
- 1 AM
- Mosca’s Last Ride
- Wednesday Morning
- The Most Important Trans Woman I Never Knew
- Her Name Was Pearl
- Behind Enemy Lines
- Girlhood, Interrupted
- Read to Me
- Goldilocks Lynched
- I don’t think you understand what ‘attraction’ means
Some of the works (most of them really) cover some heavy and sensitive topics that might be difficult for those living those experiences themselves. The book includes a full list of content warnings in the back. I recommend referring to it before reading on.
I’d absolutely recommend this book to anyone who wants some insight into the personal lives of (C)AMAB trans people, their feelings, struggles, failures and everyday problems but also joys and victories.
For me personally, reading this book provided a much needed feeling of kinship. Seeing myself reflected in so many of these stories helped in feeling less alone in this world.