Trading Places: When Our Son Became a Daughter--A Mother's Story of a Family's Transition
Publish Date: 2014-09-18
Author: Jane Baker
This memoir recounts one mother's struggle to come to terms with her grown up transsexual daughter. When she learned that her adult son planned to become a daughter, she felt like her child was heading for disaster and she desperately tried to stop the transition. As time progressed, her efforts to stop it led her to learn more and more about transsexualism instead. She also became increasingly aware that her child was happier and more confident as a woman, had more friends than ever before, and in some inexplicable way, actually seemed more normal. However, Baker's own transition was not so easy. She describes a poetic transfer of dissonance: I watched my son disappear; it felt like he had died and an entirely different person emerged to replace him. As my child became whole, I became more dissonant. It was as though we were trading places.
The main thread of the book is the author's personal story of the journey. In a three year period, she transitions from having two grown sons to having one son and one daughter. The book is filled with soul-baring emotion from deep anguish to pure joy, mixed in with family history, noteworthy reactions to the news, academic information, and social and political commentary. Learning the truth about transsexualism and learning about obstacles and issues that trans people face in our society were an important part of her process. Education was a powerful tool that ultimately shaped the course of her journey. With each successive chapter, she hopes to bring readers right through this transition alongside her.