Compelling New Memoir Addresses Challenges Facing Transgender Individuals in America

Willy Wilkinson's book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender"
Willy Wilkinson's book  Born on the Edge of Race and Gender"

Willy Wilkinson’s book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender” out on December 15

SAN FRANCISCO—In a historic time for the LGBT community in the U.S., activist, writer, and public health consultant Willy Wilkinson’s  Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency uses the power of storytelling to educate about one of the most misunderstood social issues today: the needs of transgender individuals.

Whether navigating the men’s locker room, accessing lifesaving health care, or appreciating his son’s recognition of him as a “transformer,” Wilkinson illustrates the unique, difficult, and sometimes comical experiences of transgender life. A poetic, journalistic account, Born on the Edge of Race and Gender shines an intersectional beacon on the ambiguity and complexity of mixed heritage, transgender, and disability experience, and offers an intimate window into how current legislative and policy battles are impacting the personal lives of transgender people. [pullquote]But Born on the Edge of Race and Gender is not just Wilkinson’s story. The book illuminates the vulnerability and threat of violence that transgender people experience every day—in restrooms, locker rooms, and places of employment—in stark contrast to being the monstrous predators that the opposition wants the public to believe.[/pullquote]

A seasoned public health consultant and cultural competency trainer, Wilkinson also provides practical tools and resources to help community health organizations, educational institutions, and businesses create LGBTQ- and trans-affirming systems.

But Born on the Edge of Race and Gender is not just Wilkinson’s story. The book illuminates the vulnerability and threat of violence that transgender people experience every day—in restrooms, locker rooms, and places of employment—in stark contrast to being the monstrous predators that the opposition wants the public to believe. Wilkinson’s account also includes:

  • The harassment he experienced when he changed his name to Willy at age nine, and the current need for schools to support transgender kids to live as their true selves.
  • The challenges he encountered accessing medically necessary healthcare related to his gender transition, and why the transgender community needs comprehensive access to care nationwide and internationally.
  • How transgender men of color are profiled and targeted by law enforcement, TSA, and border control officials.
  • Why family acceptance is vitally important in LGBTQ communities of color.
  • Organizational assessment tools for campuses, organizations, and companies to identify gaps in knowledge, and practices that may need updating in order to provide safe and secure environments for transgender individuals.

National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director and White House Fellow Shannon Minter writes: “Born on the Edge of Race and Gender is an extraordinary work by one of the most fearless and dynamic voices of our time—a multilayered masterpiece that may well be the most accessible, lively, and honest account yet of life as a transgender man…Prepare to be dazzled, shaken, and amazed… Far more than just a memoir, this book is also a treasure trove of intersectional research, wisdom, and practical knowledge, distilled by one of the nation’s foremost experts on public health and other issues affecting transgender people, and one of the most experienced, hands-on cultural competency trainers in our movement.”

Author of Transgender History and Director, Institute for LGBT Studies, University of Arizona, Susan Skryker adds:  “Willy Wilkinson’s Born on the Edge of Race and Gender offers practical, deeply insightful, and powerfully moving personal perspectives on diversity and cultural competency drawn from his own life experiences as an Asian American trans man with decades of experience as an activist, consultant, and policy advocate working on HIV/AIDS, disability, and LGBT issues. This is a highly readable, teachable, and informative text that should appeal to queer and Asian communities, and to educators, policy makers, social workers, health care providers, and social justice activists who work with those communities.”

Author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, and Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive Julia Serano also says: “Born on the Edge of Race and Gender is far more than the traditional transgender memoir, as it places Willy Wilkinson’s stories of childhood gender non-conformity and adulthood transition within the context of intersecting identities, and his several decade-long commitment to public health and policy advocacy for transgender communities. Smart, illuminating, passionate, and often humorous, it is a wonderful read for anyone interested in transgender activism, intersectionality, and social justice more generally.”

About the Book

Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, By Willy Wilkinson

On Sale Date: December 15, 2015 | Publisher: Hapa Papa Press

ISBN # 978-0-9970123-0-9 | Price: $17.00/paperback; $9.99/eBook

[From a News Release]

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