You guys I can’t believe it’s already September!! Where is the time going? The weather is changing constantly, you can just feel it in the air, the crisp smell of fall approaching. I love to find a couple of hours on a rainy day this time of year to go to Indigo and escape into a good book. Anyone else feel me? I can’t believe we are already into September. This month’s book club Indigo novel is I’m Afraid Of Men. This collection of memories – written by transgender artist and musician Vivek Shraya, reflects on her experiences with boys in her younger years as a queer South Asian-Canadian teen in highschool and then later with men as she struggles with coming out as transgender.
Shraya recites her experiences with harassment and fear, which in turn forced her to change the way she conducted herself in public especially in front of straight men. She had to act in a convincingly masculine way just to avoid any unwanted attention.
This is her fifth book and her most personal one. The chapters are short but fully immerse you in the world of someone who is experiencing first hand how harsh the world really can be. As a woman I could relate to parts where Shraya describes the fear of getting into an Uber alone with a male driver or just the misogyny she has faced at different points in her life.
As a transgender women, writer, artist and musician, Shraya has endured her share of homophobia and transphobia. At times she suffered aggression and cruelty towards her from being both too feminine for a guy and too masculine for a girl. Later she develops a crush on a male white friend that later turns into a relationship which causes her to struggle with her sexuality and the dynamic of being with someone who is white.
This is a very important read especially in light of all that has happened in the news recently. It may come to a surprise to some who has been lucky enough to not face discrimination, but for many it will be all too relatable. Hopefully this book will bring understanding to those with more privilege how daily life can be a life threatening experience for people who do not fit into social “norms” regarding gender or sexuality.
For the chance to read I’m Afraid of Men or more on this topic, our friends over at Indigo are giving away a $50 gift card to one of you lucky readers! To enter the contest, leave me a comment on my Instagram post or below telling me what you are doing to counteract the homophobia, transphobia, mysogyny and general violence that people face and you’ll be entered to win!! For those of you that have read (or are reading) this novel, I can’t wait to hear your opinions.
Thank you to Indigo for sponsoring this post, all comments and opinions are my own.
Photography by Brooklyn D Photography.