BOOK REVIEW – Always Anastacia by Anastacia Tomson

Always AnastaciaIf you’re looking for a book that will take you through a medical description and analysis of the transgender process, then I suggest you look elsewhere. This is not the book you’re looking for.

Always Anastacia is one woman’s highly personal, heartfelt, sensitive and more often than not, painful journey about what it is like to live one’s life assigned male at birth, all along knowing that you are not male; experiencing what is known as ‘gender dysphoria’, and eventually recognising that you are in fact, female.

Let me make it easier for you to comprehend. Imagine one morning, you put on a shirt that is a size too small. It’s a little uncomfortable, but you don’t have time to change it. As the day progresses, the shirt becomes more and more uncomfortable to wear, to the point where it’s actually unbearable and completely unpleasant. You can’t wait to get home and take it off! That’s how Anastacia felt for most of her life in a body and persona that just didn’t fit who she really was.

In this memoir, Anastacia pieces together various accounts that she experienced along her journey to becoming who she is today. In many she describes scenes that may seem inconsequential to many readers, including such mundane details like sitting in restaurants, or walking through busy shopping malls. As I understand it, what may seem like trivial details to many of us, were actually huge factors in her life at those specific moments in time. Anastacia was experiencing those elements as a natural woman, which she may not necessarily have done before, and was being recognised for it. That small detail of being addressed as ‘Ma’am’ by a waitress or shop assistance, was huge at the time and merited a mention, and I appreciated each reference as it was made.

Obviously, there needs to be mention of medical process, but this is done somewhat delicately and peripherally, referencing the unfortunate lack of sensitivity by most of the medical profession, clearly showing that there is still a long road to be travelled towards acceptance and open-mindedness.

Be a voice not an echoAs much as Anastacia didn’t think she could ever be an activist, she has come to realise that it was impossible for her to keep quiet once she found her true voice. Albert Einstein said “Be a voice, not an echo.” Anastacia is most certainly her own voice, and a voice that is determined to be heard!

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