More a story of Hornstra’s struggles than of Tristan’s transition, Hornstra reflects on her feelings and thoughts without apology, describing her path to coming to “accept” Tristan despite still not fully understanding. Hornstra acknowledges early on that she can’t always be “politically correct,” a term she uses thoughtfully rather than as a point of pride, and that writing this book is part of her process of coming to terms. The emotions are still raw: “I hope that one day Tristan sees me as two things,” she writes. “1) a mama who was strong enough to never go over the edge, no matter how close she got, and 2) a mama who loved her no matter what.” Many passages are difficult to read without strong feelings, scenes that were undoubtedly even harder for the family to live through.
Hornstra reports that she still struggles to use male pronouns consistently, although it pains her when others make the same mistake or simply refuse. She does not address her choice to use Tristan’s deadname in the title, though she notes that the book has won “The Tristan Seal of Approval”—and that she’d not have published without it. A glossary of up-to-date terminology demonstrates her engagement with issues of language, identity, and power, while the book itself lays bare her own journey, warts and all, possibly helping other parents arrive at acceptance—and maybe even understanding.
Takeaway: This honest, unflinching account of parenting a transgender child will help other parents understand.
Great for fans of: Amy Ellis Nutt’s Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, Telaina Eriksen’s Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child , Jazz Jennings’s Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A