Rummanah Aasi
 Everyone once in a while I come across a very different book to review. Unfortunately due to my insane work schedule, I'm unable to review many books but I do want spotlight some of the books that I thought my readers would like to read about. Ms. Simon's Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite is such a book that I'm sure will generate a lot of discussion and curiosity. I have Ms. Simon and Jaime on the blog today. I hope you enjoy their interview. Also, if you are interested in reading Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite, be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway and win a copy of the book!
Lianne: On the front cover is the face of a teenage girl. Would you like to tell us about her?

Jamie: Okay, so I looked a little bit like a girl. But it's not like I wore dresses or makeup or anything. And it was 1970, so lots of boys wore their hair long. Anyway, yeah. Lisa took that picture my first day in college.

Lianne: You look pretty young in that photo.

Jamie: I was sixteen. Some people thought I looked younger than that.

Lianne: You were still a soprano then?

Jamie: Yes, ma'am. When I was fifteen some doctor my mom worked with began giving me testosterone injections. I freaked out when my voice started changing, so I got early admission to college. Nobody at school made me take any more shots.

Lianne: You didn't want a normal male puberty?

Jamie: What's normal about shots? I wanted to be tall and strong and play sports. Like other boys. My brother was six-foot-two and played football. I would have been okay with that, but I didn't want to be four-foot-eleven and hairy.

Lianne: What about a female puberty? Would you rather be a girl?

Jamie: I was never much good at being a boy, you know, but that doesn’t mean I have this strong desire to be a girl. It would be easier. Okay? That’s all. And boys are a lot nicer to me when they think I’m a girl.

Lianne: On the back cover, it looks like there's an old stone house...
Jamie: Yes ma'am. That's the manse on Saint Andrew's Island. The little kid is Rachael. She's the orphan I babysat for.

Lianne: And the cute guy? Was he your boyfriend?

Jamie: It's complicated, okay? Mom made me stay with Sharon after my appendectomy. Sharon was a medical student and she told me I should have been raised female, so I agreed to be a girl for one day. Just one day. But her brother Tyler came home and he thought I was a girl and he was really nice to me. All we did was kiss, you know, but my mom found out and threw a hissy fit. So I had to go stay with my cousin on Saint Andrew's. To get it out of my system, she said.

Lianne: How did the rest of your family react to your being a girl?

Jamie: My sister Alicia always treated me like I was her identical twin. She’s three years younger than me, but we were the same size as kids. When we were little, we shared toys, and clothes, and stuff. My brother Scott wouldn't play with me, because he thought I was a girl. My cousin Kaylah and my sister and I played together. You know--dolls, house, dress-up. My cousin treated me like a girl until I was nine and our family moved away from hers She saw me again when I was a girl over Christmas break and was okay with it, I guess. Mom said I had to stay with my aunt and uncle until I was willing to go back on testosterone. So I spent the summer as a girl, taking care of the little orphan girl Rachael.

Lianne: Did you enjoy that?

Jamie: Yeah. I always kind of wanted to be a mom. And nobody was bugging me about my gender then. Being a girl was okay.

Lianne: How did your father react?

Jamie: Dad wasn’t happy at all. He gave me a list of Things Boys Do and sent me back to school as a boy. He thought I'd find something I liked I could only do as a boy, I guess.
Lianne: Who was the elfin princess?

Jamie: When I was a little kid I had this pixie face, so I thought the girl in the mirror was an elfin princess.

Lianne: Did you know then that you were intersex?

Jamie: My sister and I shared a bedroom, so I knew I wasn't a girl. I was a bit different from other boys down there, too. I had to sit down to pee, but Mom and Dad always said that minor surgery and a few years on testosterone would make me like other boys.

Lianne: And you believed them?

Jamie: Well, I didn't think my parents would lie to me.

Lianne: The doctors put male on your birth certificate?

Jamie:Yeah. They had to put something, now didn't they?

Lianne: But you were born with one testis and one ovary?

Jamie: Yeah, but who cares? I got cancer, so they took them both out, anyway. When I was nine.

Lianne: You had gender issues?

Jamie: I was always me, you know. Mostly it was other people who had issues with my gender.

Lianne: The book is about you becoming more aware of your body?

Jamie: Yes, ma'am. And what happened with my family, and boyfriend, and all. And Rachael.
Jamie was born with a testis, an ovary, and a pixie face. He could be a boy after minor surgery and a few years on testosterone. That’s what his parents always say, but he sees an elfin princess in the mirror. To become the man his parents expect, Jamie must leave behind a little girl’s dreams. When a medical student tells Jamie he should have been raised female, he discovers the life he could have as a girl. The elfin princess can thrive, but will she risk losing her family and her education for a boyfriend who may desert her, or a toddler she may never be allowed to adopt?
Ms. Simon has generously offered to giveaway 2 (two) copies of Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphodite to 2 (two) lucky winners. The books are either an ebook or a print copy of the book. The winners will have the choice of what format they would like. To enter the giveaway, simply leave your name/alias as well as an email address so I can contact you if you win. The giveaway is open internationally and will run until Saturday, September 15th at 11 PM EST. Winners will be selected by and be announced on the blog on Sunday, September 16th. Good luck!
6 Responses
  1. KimberlyFDR Says:

    I've been interested in reading this. I'd love to be entered into the giveaway :)

  2. This one sounds interesting especially because of the psychological issues the MC faces. But, the plot sounds a bit confusing, and I'm not sure this one is for me. I'm curious to read your review of this one, Rummanah.

  3. Full disclosure.... I'm one of Lianne's beta readers and crit partners. I've read through the story several times.

    It's a great book and an excellent story. I was especially engaged by Jaime's struggles with personal identity internally and externally. A true coming of age and coming to faith story with a unique character.


    PS: Please don't enter me in the contest. I already have a copy of the book.


  4. Wow sounds like Jamie had to endure a lot and life was very confusing. I don't think I'm interested in reading this one, but wanted to comment and say that the interview was interesting. Is this nonfiction?


  5. B. Says:

    Thank you both for a intriguing interview, and for sharing your story. I'm very much interested in reading more!

    Thanks again so much, and I wish you all the best!

  6. Jules Says:

    Definitely not a subject I've looked at before. Send me a book!

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