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Birch Rosen

T & A Zine

T & A Zine

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T&A (Transitioning & Attractiveness) is a zine about deciding to medically transition and wanting to still be hot. It explores my relationship to my body and my attractiveness through puberty books I had as a kid, questionable rules I absorbed from the internet as a teenager, and relationships I’ve had more recently with other trans people. It also addresses the standards that trans people are expected to conform to when talking about ourselves and the implications of my transition on my job as a teacher.

Excerpt: “The night after my first doctor’s appointment about starting testosterone, an unexpected panic hit me. I was seized with the fear that by transitioning, I would make myself ugly and unattractive and ruin my body. What if I was throwing away the best parts of me? Whatever my physical shortcomings or deficits, I knew I could turn heads with the tits-and-ass crowd. And there I was, planning to get rid of my tits and straighten out my curves, reducing my pull with the only demographic that I knew for sure was into me.”

The Seattle Review of Books writes, "Rosen tugs at a dizzying number of threads — the awfulness of evolutionary psychology; the myriad uncertainties of transitioning; how any human knows whether he or she or they is desirable (or, let’s just say it, fuckable), especially when they’re intentionally steering outside the norm. Their writing is intellectual, political, no holds barred, but also personal, frank, and self-aware. It’s an enviable bit of sleight of hand and a real gift to the reader, given the complexity of the issues they raise."

This listing is for a second edition, released August 2021, with minor edits and an afterword addressing my early-transition worries with the benefit of hindsight. B&W, 25 pages, half-size.

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