Cover Image: Trans Power

Trans Power

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Member Reviews

Thoroughly good book full of great perspectives and information. As a cis person this really helped me to understand more and I can imagine it would be a really affirming read for someone going through the experience of transitioning.
Also, I found it to a really well designed and appealing cover to a book.
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This one caught me by surprise. I'm always looking for more queer nonfiction and this is such a gem. I would gladly reread this one any day of the week and am grateful for the advanced review copy,
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this. I will be posting a full review to Goodreads, Amazon, and Instagram.
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I recently read, and reviewed ‘queer sex’, by Juno Roche, and really enjoyed that book. So, I was excited to hear that the author has another book available and even more excited that the publisher allowed me to see an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.  Queer Sex was a journey of self-discovery for the author.  It was a series of interviews with queer individuals which asked how they came to terms with their identity.  It explored their daily sexual lives. In Trans Power, Roche continues her personal journey, asking her interviewees how they conceptualize their sexual identity, questioning the language we use when we speak about queer and trans individuals.  This work challenges us, as individuals and society, to rethink, and keep rethinking, the way we think about ourselves, others, and society. I really loved this book
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Well, I read this.  I thought it would be a good idea for me to continue reading current literature on the topic of trans activism and gender and, well, I did.  I read it.  

Let me begin with some of the things I truly did appreciate about this book.  The variety of interviewees left me rather astounded.  Roche interviews couples, single folks, people of color, disabled people, and immigrants.  Thusly, their views surrounding transness and queerness hinge upon their lived experiences and other kinds of oppression and privilege they might face.  This was hugely interesting,m and I appreciated seeing such a huge variety of people being interviewed.

I also think that some of the interview questions were so astute, and the reflection bits afterwards were very well-thought out and equal parts educational and perhaps even philosophical.  There was so much to be gleaned from these, especially since this book does not operate within an academic space--it has much more of an allowance to be what it is: unabridged, fresh, real.

But.

A lot of this left me uncomfortable.  Now don't get me wrong--some of my discomfort felt appropriate; after all, this is a book that pushes boundaries and asks its readers to rethink what we might have grown up with.  

But.

The introduction was filled with some really gross opinions that absolutely made me skin crawl.  Sorry, I don't want to hear about your weird fetishization of your "cave", and I definitely don't want to hear about your frustrations with "allies without intimacy" as though "proper" and "successful" activism must include intercourse.  I don't want to hear about your introduction to womanly sexuality via pornography, I don't want to hear about the kink games you're just so passionate about.  I don't want to hear about how you colored in your penis with your mother's lipstick and then tucked it between your legs (is this supposed to garner sympathy?  Because even though I recognize that it happened as a child, I can't shake the picture of using your mother's lip make-up--a symbol of femininity and sexuality of the mouth--to color and enclose a male sexual organ.  Ew?)

I get that there is huge power in talking about bodies, sexuality, intercourse.  And we need to talk about these topics.  But good god, your problems with not having sex are yours and yours alone.  Don't blame other activists for your not getting any, and I'm glad that there's discussion of bodies, but there is a thing called nuance and professionality.

Additionally, did Roche's interviewees know that they were going to be so blatantly asked about their genitals?  Their sexual life?  And in such a crude manner that felt all too personal?  I sure hope so, because otherwise....yikes. 

Anyways, I read this.  Some things were good.  A lot was really fucking weird.  I wish I liked this book more, I wish that I could say I learned so many incredible insights, but really, I just felt creeped out about 90% of the time I was reading this.  Roche might think this book is a success, but I would wonder whether Roche thinks their personal definition of success is better than the one with which we currently operate.  

Review cross-listed here!
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Trans Power by Juno Roche is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October.

The concept of finding yourself transient from the gender declared at birth, not necessarily one or the other; perhaps somewhere else entirely; yet emphasizing to just be who you are, rather than fulfilling a role, by rewarding and honoring your body, instead of punishing and flooding it with disappointment and shame. Real, poetic, declarative the introduction of Roche masterbating with their new, finely-tuned genitalia might put off a lotta, lotta people, but, me, I just went with it. They interview fantastic, great, heroic trans people who offer their own perspectives through extremely open conversations with my favorite topic as finding through community online and the deliciousness of cybersex.
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I got an ARC of this book.

Here we go again. I just don’t seem to learn. I saw trans and I immediately wanted to read the book. I didn’t notice who the author was, that was my big mistake. If I would have place that name, I would not have wanted to read this book.

So all of the issues I had in the first book Roche wrote are alive and well in this book too. I started to get into the book, I was not 100% agreeing with Roche but I was loving the chance to see her view. Then BAM! Graphic description of her “wanking” and why the term “wanking” is more accurate than masturbating, because of sexism. I did not need to know or want to know what Roche’s erogenous zones are. This book is about claiming trans as an identity, not about the masturbation habits of one person.

So I started to skip pages and pages and pages. 20% into the book the first interview happened. By this point I am already over the book. This could have been a powerful book about accepting yourself and not limiting yourself, instead all I got was annoyed that Roche yet again made everything about her genitalia and sex. I get that sexuality is a huge part of identity. I have had my issues finding labels and communities that fit me. My transition is not about my sex life. It is not about my sexuality. I would not try and convince someone they are perfect by giving them graphic descriptions of my nipples.

Roche and I appear to be on totally different wavelengths, despite having similar ideas based on the backs of her books. I have been uncomfortable identifying as male or as a man for about a decade now. I have felt that trans has been a better label for me. So I can see where she is coming from, but her methods of explaining it have pushed me so far away that I won’t be able to see her point any more. Others seem to really like her book and this book in particular. I will be avoiding her for a while. I will try again in a few years. Kate Bornstein and I weren’t a good match for a long time. Now she makes perfect sense. So maybe Roche will be the same way. If my views change or my comfort level with surprise graphic details of someone else’s sex life and body, I will be sure to come back and update everyone.
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A fantastic and powerful read. A great addition to any lgbtq+ book collection. This book is also a great illustration of why transgender voices need to be heard.  I would recommend this to everyone.
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This book is a very raw and honest book, told through a series of interviews with the author. The book explores the identity of being Trans, what that term even means, and how the words that we use define us. I enjoyed seeing the perspectives of so many people and how every viewpoint is so different. 

I found the writing a little hard to connect with at times, but the stories told are important and needed.
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Wow. What a book. 

I feel as though Roche brought so much to the table with this powerful and thought-provoking collection. ‘Trans Power’ is a series of interviews that concern sex and transness as a whole. Roche is a fantastic writer, raw and engaging. She doesn’t not pull her punches, why should she? She tells it like it is, she speaks from her heart and her mind, and she doesn’t shy away from difficult or challenging topics such as suicide, death, rape, assault and transphobia. 

It honestly was an amazing book with fantastic writing. But I did find it hard to emotionally connect. I felt as though the narrative seemed uncertain on what it wanted to be; there was a sense of disconnectedness to the format of the book that, for me, effected the narrative flow. 

As I am a non-queer person, I feel as though I cannot fully critique this body of work because I am not wholly intelligible concerning issues and topics within the community. I will say though that it was extremely powerful, raw, uncomfortable, deeply honest and hard-hitting. 

I would highly encourage to read reviews from Own Voice reviewers as their reviews will position this book within the queer community and will also highlight problematic aspects of this book. Such as Roche’s rejection of the non binary gender which confused me, as it kind of made her argument slightly contradicting? But again, read Own Voices reviewers to get a better understanding upon this issue.
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As someone with a transgender son I knew I had to read this. This book is brutally honest. I mean nothing gets sugar coated. The stories in this book are so powerful. I believe everyone should read this. I had my son read it and he agreed.
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This is a great collection of different experiences. It was eye opening for me, even as someone who has interacted with and been close to people all along the gender spectrum. So much to think about.
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I haven’t read any book on trans experiences quite like this one. TRANS POWER brings up perspectives and conversations that you don’t tend to hear very often. The intimacy, the love for people in the community is so powerful I almost feel protective of the words inside. I love how NOT binary this book is. It creates an incredibly affirming, empowering space.

Juno says after interviewing Michael, “They always push me to extend my line of thinking beyond my comfort place to a place where it tests the idea.” And really, that’s what TRANS POWER does for its readers. This is an emotional read that encourages readers to push their intellect beyond simplistic statements of what it means to be trans into deeply nuanced discussions. Best of all, it ends on a euphoric high note that truly smashes the patriarchy.
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an astonishing collection of interviews with trans folx of all kinds--Roche writes with a brash elegance that is at once moving, personal & delightfully centering of interviewee
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'All those layers of expectation that are thrust upon us; boy, masculine, femme, transgender, sexual, woman, real, are such a weight to carry round. I feel transgressive. I feel hybrid.'

Juno Roche continues to spark such powerful for me because that's what she is: Thoughtful. Empowering. Insightful. POWERFUL.

Beautiful book written by a talented and notable member of LGBTQIA+ community. Excellent follow up novel to her debut novel, Queer Sex that covers intimacy, sex, and romance with queer and transpeople. TransPower is a collection of interviews from trans and nonbinary people speaking on their experiences first-hand. 

Anyone looking to hear of the trans experience from those who live it everyday, this is an excellent resource. An excellent addition to any LGBTQ+ shelf.
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I connected with Juno Roche and they're story. Transness is something I wasn't all that informed on and it was so interesting reading all of these difficult and wonderful stories, interviews, from so many different points of view. 

I found it fascinating how the different people interviewed in the book have identify and adapt. Definitely interesting to read about that's for sure.

Thank you so much for allowing to engage with this book.
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A very honest raw and powerful book. It is a collection of a variety of stories and interviews.
A real eye opener. Recommended read.
Thank you to both NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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For my first read of June (coming late, but I have just got married) I wanted to really get into the spirit of Pride and read LGBTQ+centric books. It's important that I note that I read this as a cis white female and so this book was not really aimed at or written for me. I picked it up to better educate myself on Trans issues as I feel it's important that we inform ourselves in order to be allies.

I certainly learnt a lot from this book. Roche interviewed a variety of different people, each with different Trans and Queer stories, experiences and lives. I found each of them interesting and I think Roche had a great style of interview - relaxed and informal, conversational rather than questioning. I can imagine that's extremely important when talking in such detail about matters that people usually struggle to speak about so openly (sex, genitals, dysphoria, masturbation, etc.). There was also a real sense of raw emotion and honesty about this book which was refreshing.

I struggled with some elements - mainly the discomfort I felt while reading. There is a lot of crude language and unapologetic opinion on gender, privilege and what being an ally means. Roche writes from a point of high emotion and frustration, which meant that her words had a very unedited feel about them. I disliked the repetition, the same point being made a number of times but worded differently. But really, as I said, this book is not MEANT for me so it's no wonder that I'm uncomfortable. I appreciated being challenged and being given the opportunity to hear voices that desperately needed to be heard.
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So, I admit, I never read the description of this book. I saw pink, I saw "Trans Power", and instantly clicked "request" on NetGalley. This will be published in October later on in the year, if you're interested. If I did, though, I probably would never have read it because sex (especially penises) make me horribly uncomfortable. That was entirely my mistake, though. As a trans person myself, it still makes me happy to see queer sex being spoken about so openly from a transgender ex-sex worker.

Despite that, there are some things about this that I did really enjoy. I liked how transgender POC were spoken about, and how their race plays a part in their sexual relationships and their experiances being transgender. It speaks about certain violence that they face, and how they process being transgender in comparison to someone who is white (in that case, the comparison is against Juno herself).

I also liked how it spoke about the love that two people can share for each other when one or both is transgender. I think this is especially important for other transgender people to read about and know that being trans doesn't mean they can't have a loving relationship and be attractive. For the cis people who read this, it may give them a new perspective and outlook on how they percieve transgender people.

It includes others like disabled people (one had seizures, ME and uses a wheelchair, for example) and non-binary people. I'm so used to us enbies being excluded from transgender discussions that I honestly wasn't expecting us to become a part of the book, and this was a pleasent surprise.

There were a few problems I had with this, though.

    I know that the whole point of this book is to explore sexual relationships between queer transgender people, but I would have liked it to mention or imply that some transgender people don't have sex/are asexual/are monogamous and that's okay
    The writing style was a drag, and it was difficult to read. It wasn't sense, and it didn't include information dumps, it was just boring and there's no other way to describe it - the writing didn't make me want to carry on reading it
    Most of the voices within this book come from AFAB transgender people, and maybe that's because Juno is AMAB and wanted to experiance new voices and learn new experiances that would be different from her own, but I would have liked to have heard more about AFAB transgender people
    The language used was uncomfortable, but I think that's just personal preference (and maybe the fact that I'm British). It was a bit too graphic and vulgar for me to be able to enjoy it and really get into it


This wasn't a bad read. Overall, I gave it 3/5 stars, but it just wasn't for me. It all boils down to personal preference and I do actually really enjoy reading non-fiction and I don't read it anywhere near as often as I read fiction, but I do tend to like it. This one just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm sorry! I think plenty of people, especially if you're comfortable with an open discussion on queer sex, would love this.
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One of the most important books I've read this year. I can't and won't pretend that I understand all of it; as a cis person, it's not really my place to demand that a book about being trans speaks to me and dumbs all of its nuances down so that I can palate it. It's all the more powerful because it demands to be appreciated on its own terms and not mine.

Much of this book was shocking to me and absolutely widened my frame of reference. I've always been guilty of assuming that the majority of trans people are essentially seeking to transition from one binary gender to another, probably because this is the dominant narrative that we're fed by the media, and it was difficult for me reading this book to accept that this is not the case; that being trans is itself an identity with nuance and is not merely a simulacrum of man or woman. I think I knew that objectively, but it was enlightening to see it stated with such impact. 

I've not read any of Juno Roche's previous work, but will definitely be seeking it out after reading this. It's high time we had more books by and about trans people which don't seek to twist the trans narrative into something that cis people can stomach because it's close enough to being cis that we can just sort of pretend it doesn't exist. Trans people have always existed, and this book starts a conversation about the myriad ways that a trans identity can present. 

This book is also accessible (although those with a disliking of the c word might want to brace themselves) in that it's not written like an academic textbook, which I appreciate. A lot of works on identity can be very verbose and dense, which can put off readers - of any identity - who might have difficulty engaging with such texts for reasons of accessibility. Absolutely required reading, and I'll be recommending this in all its guises in the future.
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