Friday, July 11, 2014

New transgender anthology Letters for My Sisters is shipping


Letters for My Sisters: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect


New anthology mentors trans women in their transition journeys.

Oakland, California, July 10, 2014—In this new anthology of letters and testimonies, thirty-five transgender women tell their heartfelt stories of trial and triumph and what it’s like to grow up trans and medically transition while grappling with the reactions of family and friends. These letters bear witness to challenges faced by trans people and women in a world where both groups are still struggling for equality and recognition.
The collection is based on a simple premise: If you could write just one let- ter to someone who is beginning transition or your younger, pre-transition self, what would you say? Would you reassure or warn them? Would you have a secret to tell, a hard-won truth or an unexpected triumph to share?

Women of trans experience face many unique challenges navigating and finding a place in the world. Things like ac- ceptance, employment, safety and pride can be elusive, difficult to find and keep. This book offers hope and help to wom- en in every stage of their transition journeys and is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to understand the roads they travel.

With courage, insight, and occasional humor, the authors take us into an intimate place in their lives and hearts to share candid truths of how they, not only survived gender transitioning, but went on to thrive and fill their lives with joy and purpose. “The insights and stories of hope contained in this volume dovetail perfectly with the activism I have done for 20 years. I am very proud to co-edit another great title published by Transgress Press,” says Andrea James. These stories de- scribe what acceptance, strength, hope and gratitude mean in a life that is deliberately chosen and intentionally lived. Brave, boldly vulnerable and revealing, this anthology offers everyone, regardless of birth gender, a variety of roadmaps of how to actualization our true selves and live with dignity, integrity and authenticity.

Written in the same spirit as Letters for My Brothers (edited by Megan Rohrer and Zander Keig), this anthology is an im- portant contribution to a growing body of literature of trans people telling their own stories. Featuring both established authors like Jennifer Finney Boylan and celebrities such as Calpernia Adams and Lynn Conway, this poignant collection is full of insight, mother-wit and deep reflection.

“I’ve seen the years between here and there. It’ll be rough, but you’re going to do great. You just have to keep moving for- ward for it to happen. If you can just keep taking one step at a time, you’ll make it to the miraculous world of tomorrow.” —Jenn Dolari

“Reaching back across time to advise one’s younger self is an attractive exercise. Letters for My Sisters provides a variety of voices and experiences with candor, heart and wit. The strength of the volume is the differing, sometimes contrary council found in these letters. While each woman is unique, the spirit of this collection reminds us that no one is alone.” —Eden Lane, Host of In Focus, Colorado Public Television

“Being transsexual can be heavy, lonely burden. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear from out future selves, letting us know we will somehow make it through the obstacle course of life and transition? How I wish, at age 15, I could have heard my own voice and the vices of the 35 trans women in the valuable little book.”
—Dallas Denny, Transgender Educator and Activist

Link to book: Letters for My Sisters: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 07/11 at 07:57 AM

Monday, July 07, 2014

Casting notice: THE THIRD SEX staged reading 14 July


I’m directing a staged reading of 15 pages from THE THIRD SEX on 14 July at the Directors Guild as part of the Outfest Screenwriters Lab. The script is by voiceover artist Sheila Sawhny and Dee Johnson, currently showrunner on ABC’s NASHVILLE. I’m seeking women in their 20s who can play the lead, a white Midwestern trans woman who travels to India to meet hijra women. We also have a role for one hijra woman and a male Indian guide/friend of the lead that have not been filled yet. We plan to have one brief rehearsal 12 July and the performance 14 July. There’s no compensation, although I will personally comp your DGA parking if needed. This is a chance to show your abilities to the industry people and audience in attendance. Please send headshot and resume to and I’ll get you more details.

ANNE (28 years) - A transsexual woman from Kansas who yearns for a sense of belonging.  With courage and purpose she travels to India in search of the Hijra community. [Clea duVall, Julia Stiles, Jonathan DelArco]
RADHIKA (25-35 years) - Slender, striking Hijra with long ebony hair.  Concealed beneath her beauty is a hunger for power.  She’s educated and speaks beautiful english. [Arjun Gupta, Riz Ahmed, Maya Jafer]
POONAM (35-55 years) - Rough hewn Hijra with a suspicious edge.  She wears garish make-up to hide a five o’clock shadow.  Speaks broken english.
CABBIE (40-50 years) Indian taxi driver.  Inquisitive yet friendly, he is Anne’s introduction to India.  Speaks broken english [Irfan Khan]

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 07/07 at 01:02 PM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MIT student health insurance now covers all trans health services


In news that will set further precedents in trans health services for students, MIT notes:

The MIT Medical Transgender Health FAQ website now lists a “Surgery” benefit of up to $50,000 per year as part of coverage available to transgender patients under the MIT Student Extended Insurance Plan. The added coverage is for gender affirmation surgery (GAS), also known as gender reassignment surgery, in which some transgender individuals undergo procedures to modify their physical sex characteristics to match those traditionally associated with their transitioning identity.


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 03/19 at 09:22 AM
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Sunday, January 05, 2014

Recent scientific studies on transsexualism summarized


Reader Cake Kidd has put together an outstanding overview of recent published research on trans (transsexual and transgender) issues.

Dear Andrea,

Your website has helped me a great deal to understand and to come to terms with my transsexualism. Thank you for putting so much time and effort in to help our community.

In order to give back a little to the web community, I have sorted my collections of recent scientific studies about transsexuality and put it online (

– Homepage:
– Homepage for transgender topics:
– Start of the main reference pages:
– A new reference page about disorders of sex development and what we can learn about transsexualism from them:
– And a what’s new section, listing new articles that I add:

Thank you for your support.

All the best for 2014,


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 01/05 at 01:36 PM

Monday, November 04, 2013

Reminder: Letters For My Sisters submission deadline November 15


Would you like your words of wisdom to be published in a book alongside noted trans leaders and writers? Here’s your chance!

Our submission deadline is Friday, November 15, 2013. If you plan to submit something, please contact us via the information below this week.

Here is the original announcement:

Deanne Thornton and Andrea James are seeking submissions for a collection of letters from trans women to trans women. This is a companion piece inspired by Letters For My Brothers, the collection of wisdom from trans men edited by Megan M. Rohrer and Zander Keig.

Specifically, we are interested in letters that are:

• Written to yourself or others at the start of your transition.
• Discussions of why transition was the best choice.
• Things you found out about yourself through transition.

Other relevant topics on transitional wisdom in retrospect will be considered. Just follow these guidelines:

• Letters should be 1,000 words or fewer.
• Be searching and fearless.
• Be honest about your mistakes and heartaches as well as your surprises and joys. 
• Consider writing about things you did right as well as things you could have done differently. 
• Do not specifically name service providers, good or bad. 
• If you include people in your life make sure that they approve (in writing) or use aliases not real names.
• Humor is greatly appreciated, but we are not seeking vulgar or sexually explicit material.
• Include your name and title for your letter. If you do not wish to be identified, we may publish your work under a pen name, but we will require that you verify your identity.

The ideal letter will be about you, but it should be something to which others in the community can relate.

For more information, or to make a submission, please contact:
Deanne Thornton
Email: sister_letters at (change “at” to @, no spaces)
Phone: 620-332-6638

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 11/04 at 10:21 AM
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