Transitions: A Mother’s Journey by Élodie Durand; translated by Evan McGorray

“I thought I was open-minded… The news of my child’s gender change hit me like a tidal wave, sweeping away all my certainties. Sweeping away the comfort of my tidy little life.” – Anne Marbot, Transitions: A Mother’s Journey

Élodie Durand has created an informative story about understanding identities in their new book, Transitions: A Mother’s Journey, translated by Evan McGorray. When Anne Marbot learns that her 19-year-old child is a transgender man named Alex, she is shocked and overwhelmed. What happened to the child she raised as ‘Lucie’? She has so many questions, wondering if she has failed as a parent and if Alex has thought this life-changing decision through. Initially Anne puts her feelings, thoughts, and emotions ahead of Alex’s, not caring what he thinks or feels. Anne’s journey to self-discovery is long and chaotic, full of tears and anger and strong emotions. Alex and Anne’s relationship goes through rough patches, but through it all Alex stays strong for himself, not letting Anne push him around, while offering resources for Anne to learn more about gender, sexuality, and trans people. After some time, Anne goes through a transformation of her own. Watching her change into a stronger mother and ally was hard yet meaningful, especially seeing how Anne thought she was well-meaning in her initial reaction, but was instead hurting Alex and destroying their relationship.

This story is a must-read for families and friends who are struggling to reconcile their old assumptions about gender identities with new truths. Élodie Durand has taken Anne and Alex’s stories and shown them to readers with grace and sensitivity. They take care to include research and to draw as much as possible from personal experience. There is a list of resources at the end of the book, plus ample footnotes and resources mentioned throughout.

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