Transister: Raising Twins in a Gender-Bending World

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Transister is the story of a family in transition. Not a prescriptive narrative but an affirming one. A raw, honest, sometimes humorous account of author Kate Brookes's journey as her young child grapples with gender identity and becomes her authentic self.

Brookes has longed to become a mother for as long as she can remember. And for almost as long, she has harbored a fierce determination to parent her children differently--better--than her own mentally ill mom parented her. To create the "normal" family she's always wished for. And when she gives birth to twins after two years of fertility struggles, she is, admittedly, hugely relieved that she's found herself with two boys. There will be no need for her, a decidedly un-girly girl, to braid hair, buy Barbie dolls, or pick out party dresses for her kids. Boys. Easy. Right?

But by the time her twins are eight, Brookes has had two realizations: 1) her obstetrician's "it's another boy" announcement was flat-out wrong, and 2) there is no such thing as a "normal" family--and that's a beautiful thing.

About the Author

Kate Brookes is an award-winning TV reporter/anchor-turned-producer/filmmaker who has interviewed everyone from Beyonce to Barbara Walters, field produced for The Discovery Channel, written for, and emceed galas, live events, and webcasts for nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies. An activist since her teenage years, Kate has devoted countless hours to the causes she supports, including mental health, housing justice, and anti-gun legislation. But it wasn't until realizing she'd completely botched the birth announcement for her twins that she became active in LGBTQ causes. Kate lives with her husband and rock star children in New York City.

"It's impossible not to admire Kate Brookes's moving portrait of her own transgender child blossoming into her own. Transister is the poignant story of a family finding its way in a world where gender identity can be a life and death matter. It's also a testament to the fearless determination of a mother to hold her family together in the face of misunderstanding and prejudice. This is an important book for anyone struggling to find their truest self--and for those who love them." --Amy Ellis Nutt, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of New York Times bestseller Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

"I hope that fathers around the world will pick this book up. Doing so will provide valuable insight, much needed knowledge and nudge them to explore their role in helping our children be who they really are." --Wayne Maines, Transgender Activist, Father of Actress Nicole Maines

"Kate Brookes has written a lovely, thoughtful, and funny book. Although it's about her daughter's transgender journey, the book's message is a universal one, and should appeal to all parents whose kids struggle with issues of conformity and individuality (i.e. anyone whose kids are interesting!)" --A.J. Jacobs, four-time New York Times best-selling author, journalist and lecturer

"Every family is different. Every child is different. So NO ONE is different. We are all unique individuals and as a parent in the same neighborhood, it's been beautiful to follow the transformation and transition and the confidence of Kate and her family. Most importantly, their 'transister' family doesn't even phase my boys. That's the world I want to continue to live in." --Denise Albert, Journalist, Entrepreneur and Advocate and Founder, My Cancer Family (and formerly TheMOMS)

"Kate excavates a well-lit path for parents with a transgender child with her no-nonsense, down-to-earth style." --Atoosa Rubenstein, former editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine and founding editor of CosmoGirl

"In her memoir Transister, Brookes writes with total honesty and aching vulnerability about the journey of walking side by side with her daughter, husband, and son through the roller coaster challenges of this transition. As a mother, reading Transister feels like sitting across from Brookes in a cafe, drinking coffee and hanging on every word as she plainly and openly tells her story. She holds nothing back, sharing her truth with wit, warmth and hard-earned wisdom. I found myself welling up with tears, laughing out loud and nodding my head in empathetic solidarity. Because to love a child is to want, more than anything, for that child to be authentically themselves--beautiful, complicated, wonderful--and for the world to not only accept them but to celebrate them. Transister is a gift to everyone--families who are navigating this journey, and all of the allies who want to love and support them." --Natalie Silverstein, author of Simple Acts: The Busy Family's Guide To Giving Back

"Transister is a must-read for anyone interested in the journey a family takes in support of a transgender child. With complete candor, wit and compassion, mother and author, Kate Brookes, takes us through the steps involved in truly listening to--and trusting--a gender-atypical child while showing us what it means to guide a family and community through all of the stages of a child's gender journey. In addition to being informative, Brookes is a terrific storyteller. I was rooting for her and her family all the way. A book for the moment, Transister is a step-forward towards better understanding of the transgender family experience." --Isabel Rose, author, performer and activist


Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub date: August 08, 2023
264 pages
Format: Paperback