Part autobiography, part advocacy, it succeeds beautifully on both counts ... the book makes a passionate case for universal rights for the LGBTQ community, particularly for those who are its transgender members. But hers is also a highly personal love story of her growing relationship with Andy, another advocate, who was a trans man ... Highly readable and beautifully written, hers is an inarguably important book that deserves the widest possible readership.
Much of the core of the book is a detailed account of how Delaware passed a trans anti-discrimination bill in the face of hostile lobbying by the misleadingly named Family Research Council and the occasional obtuseness of local politicians. For anyone who has ever been involved in politics, this is genuinely thrilling ... She manages to talk about love and death without being mawkish, partly because she is aware of how like the Hollywood version of her life her account inevitably has to be. It’s a salutary reminder of how much sentimental cliches overlap with everyday experiences. Her utter lack of cynicism serves her well ... This is a good book in all sort of ways but it is clearly a campaign biography aimed at whatever her next step turns out to be, as well as promoting an embattled community’s rights.
It is when McBride — having lived her entire adult life in public as a trans advocate and budding political figure — is finally able to shed her public persona that her narrative is most resonant. By becoming a nuanced character in her own book, she humanizes the impossibly competent, morally unsullied ideal she seems on the surface ... At the same time, these extended chapters on trans advocacy, teeming with data and policy details, feel shallower than those that develop the star-crossed romance between McBride and the young transgender rights advocate Andrew Cray...The book’s strength lies in its portrayal of McBride and Cray as fully realized individuals beyond their transgender identities ... The inconsistencies and contradictions in McBride’s book reflect the difficulty of trying to explain the transgender experience to a predominantly cisgender public.