Transparently: Behind the Scenes of a Good Life by Lisa Salazar is a compelling and intimate narrative of a person bearing her soul to a close friend. At times, the story is painful, but one has to expect that transitioning from one gender to another has got to be one of the most traumatic solutions to a personal and private problem.
She asserts that transitioning is not what she wanted to do, for she was fully aware of the implications and consequences this would have on the most important people in her life, her wife of thirty five years and their three adult sons. One gets the sense she had lived her adult life putting everyone else ahead of her needs, that is, until she reached a breaking point. Yet, despite having been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a recognized medical condition, she first had to reconcile her faith with the choices the doctors presented her. That this process took almost another ten years demonstrates the seriousness of her convictions, as well as her love for her family and that she agonized over her decisions.
However, there is a dignity in what she does reveal and one is left with the hope that with time, life will get better. I especially recommend this book to any person with a strong faith who is struggling to understand transgender issues for themselves, a friend, or a loved one.
Review #2: It is sometime quite unfortunate that the letters G, L, B and T are mashed together. G, L and B are variations on sexual orientation and T is associated with gender identity. Many people are unclear on this differentiation. People often think they are creating safe spaces for transgender people just because they are affirming to gay people. Not so. To make a church a place of safety and to understand the most marginalized group in our society, one much understand what it is to be transgender. What to DO?? Most of use do not know any T people.Lisa’s book will start the reader on the road that understanding. Her writing style is emotionally packed when necessary and detailed when needed. You will be swept into empathy without realizing it because the story is so moving and Lisa does a great job sharing her pains and difficulties and struggles to become one in brain and body.
I recommend this book very often and actually just did even a few minutes ago to a pastor in TX. He thought he was doing quite well in his affirmation of the G, L and B’s and imagined the T’s would also just flock in. He is still operating under a strong set of stereotypes using words like “behavior” and “sin”. When a person seeks to understand what gender dysphoria is, they will never again such dismissive words when speaking of our lovely T friends.
Lisa’s book is SO EXCELLENT in offering understanding. I am honored to actually KNOW Lisa as a friend. Her humility, strong faith in God and humanity in her real life, off the pages of a book shine through in authenticity in her writing.
READ the book. Seek understanding and gain compassion in coming alongside our T brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Transparently” is a WONDERFUL place to begin this journey.