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Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place (A Transgender Memoir)

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An unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how he finally sorted things out and came out as a transgender man. When Jackson Bird was twenty-five, he came out as transgender to his friends, family, and anyone in the world with an internet connection. Assigned female at birth and raised as a girl, he often wondered if he should have been bor An unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how he finally sorted things out and came out as a transgender man. When Jackson Bird was twenty-five, he came out as transgender to his friends, family, and anyone in the world with an internet connection. Assigned female at birth and raised as a girl, he often wondered if he should have been born a boy. Jackson didn’t share this thought with anyone because he didn’t think he could share it with anyone. Growing up in Texas in the 1990s, he had no transgender role models. He barely remembers meeting anyone who was openly gay, let alone being taught that transgender people existed outside of punchlines. In this “soulful and heartfelt coming-of-age story” (Jamia Wilson, director and publisher of the Feminist Press), Jackson chronicles the ups and downs of growing up gender-confused. Illuminated by journal entries spanning childhood to adolescence to today, he candidly recalls the challenges and loneliness he endured as he came to terms with both his gender and his bisexual identity. With warmth and wit, Jackson also recounts how he navigated the many obstacles and quirks of his transition––like figuring out how to have a chest binder delivered to his NYU dorm room and having an emotional breakdown at a Harry Potter fan convention. From his first shot of testosterone to his eventual top surgery, Jackson lets you in on every part of his journey—taking the time to explain trans terminology and little-known facts about gender and identity along the way. “A compassionate, tender-hearted, and accessible book for anyone who might need a hand to hold as they walk through their own transition or the transition of a loved one” (Austin Chant, author of Peter Darling), Sorted demonstrates the power and beauty in being yourself, even when you’re not sure who “yourself” is.


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An unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how he finally sorted things out and came out as a transgender man. When Jackson Bird was twenty-five, he came out as transgender to his friends, family, and anyone in the world with an internet connection. Assigned female at birth and raised as a girl, he often wondered if he should have been bor An unflinching and endearing memoir from LGBTQ+ advocate Jackson Bird about how he finally sorted things out and came out as a transgender man. When Jackson Bird was twenty-five, he came out as transgender to his friends, family, and anyone in the world with an internet connection. Assigned female at birth and raised as a girl, he often wondered if he should have been born a boy. Jackson didn’t share this thought with anyone because he didn’t think he could share it with anyone. Growing up in Texas in the 1990s, he had no transgender role models. He barely remembers meeting anyone who was openly gay, let alone being taught that transgender people existed outside of punchlines. In this “soulful and heartfelt coming-of-age story” (Jamia Wilson, director and publisher of the Feminist Press), Jackson chronicles the ups and downs of growing up gender-confused. Illuminated by journal entries spanning childhood to adolescence to today, he candidly recalls the challenges and loneliness he endured as he came to terms with both his gender and his bisexual identity. With warmth and wit, Jackson also recounts how he navigated the many obstacles and quirks of his transition––like figuring out how to have a chest binder delivered to his NYU dorm room and having an emotional breakdown at a Harry Potter fan convention. From his first shot of testosterone to his eventual top surgery, Jackson lets you in on every part of his journey—taking the time to explain trans terminology and little-known facts about gender and identity along the way. “A compassionate, tender-hearted, and accessible book for anyone who might need a hand to hold as they walk through their own transition or the transition of a loved one” (Austin Chant, author of Peter Darling), Sorted demonstrates the power and beauty in being yourself, even when you’re not sure who “yourself” is.

30 review for Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place (A Transgender Memoir)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    UPDATING THIS REVIEW BECAUSE I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAD TO WATCH THE PUBLISHING VIDEO TO REALIZE THAT THE NAME OF THE BOOK IS A HARRY POTTER REFERENCE Is writing this review just an excuse not to study for Microeconomics? Absolutely but let's do this! I've been following Jackson Bird for a while now. I do have to admit I probably haven't watched most of his videos, I'm not the most serious of followers but I've definitely binge-watched some of his stuff. That area of Youtube that's full of trans thin UPDATING THIS REVIEW BECAUSE I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAD TO WATCH THE PUBLISHING VIDEO TO REALIZE THAT THE NAME OF THE BOOK IS A HARRY POTTER REFERENCE Is writing this review just an excuse not to study for Microeconomics? Absolutely but let's do this! I've been following Jackson Bird for a while now. I do have to admit I probably haven't watched most of his videos, I'm not the most serious of followers but I've definitely binge-watched some of his stuff. That area of Youtube that's full of trans things is great. Even though I'm usually a little skeptical of Youtuber memoirs (dude, you're 25, isn't it too early to write a memoir?), I felt this was one of the best I've ever read. It's accessible, Jackson's voice comes across clearly, the Harry Potter references are on point and it really does express a lot of important ideas. Seeing his journey is really cool, I felt like it was great to see him live out his dreams. There's a guy in my course who, based on his facebook updates, believes that the story about that parent from Canada who one day decided to live life as a 6 year old girl is an example of what all trans people are. I'd comment on his status but I don't even know where to begin (trans people don't believe they're changing their age? why couldn't you transition and continue parenting your child? if people are transiting that late, it's often because transitioning was inaccessible to them when they were younger, surely this means we should make transitioning more available and well known so that people won't reach their 50s and still feel ashamed about their gender identity?). My point here is that there is a ton more of education to do and Jackson does it really well. In between his personal story, he weaves brief explanations. I felt they were really friendly and helpful. I don't think I've ever read a trans guy biography so this was really cool! I loved seeing how easily I could relate to some of the moments here. I remember the first time I cut my hair short and told people it was because of the army. I can relate to how it felt to learn that you can be attracted to more than one gender, to learn that the way you feel inside is right. I think the descriptions here are so accurate. I'm kind of in this midst of my own gender crisis (yep, again) so I was interested in this book to help me see again where I am. I mean, I'm sure that I'm not a guy or a girl and I know that nonbinary is probably the best way for me to express what I feel but recently, with starting over in uni, I've been struggling with a lot of dysphoria again and quite a lot of confusion about physically transitioning (I think a highlight of this crisis was when I realized I don't want to die before doing top surgery, that I would hate for my body to look like this after I die). And yeah, I should probably just gather the courage to go to a gender therapist and figure this out there instead of writing goodreads reviews but regardless, Jackson writes, "When I thought about a life lived in between the lines, using "they" and "them" pronouns, always subject to strangers' confusion and judgement, I knew that it wasn't who I was." Somehow, this quote really sums up the problem because truly, I just want to live a life without gender but it feels so impossible. I realize that that this quote is entirely about his own subjective feelings but still, after so many months of speaking English, of not needing to feel my gender every time someone speaks to me, suddenly, all of this is way too overwhelming and just so highly uncomfortable and yet, the alternative of coming out and forcing people to use pronouns that don't feel intuitive for a Hebrew speaker is somehow even worse. A few weeks ago, I had to pick a subject to focus on in the Israeli-German conference. There was a group that was focusing on LGBT+ issues. I found myself frozen with indecision because I should sign up to the LGBT+ group, because I knew that the vast majority of Germans have never met an Israeli nonbinary, and let alone one that's also religious. I knew that I could have contributed to that group, that I'd say my usual spiel about being queer in the army, about coming out of the closet to my parents, about healthcare and people would find it interesting. However, there was also a group about globalization and to me, those questions about identity and nationality simply spoke more. Ultimately, even though before this summer, I know I would have picked the LGBT+ group, after spending 3 months talking about queer Israeli-ness, I signed up for the globalization team. And it was awesome. In the conference itself, I met a few Germans that were part of the LGBT+ group. As I'd expected, there were no nonbinary participants and when I'd told them I was nonbinary, their response was, "You should have joined our group!" and then promptly asked me all of the usual questions. I don't mean to be ungrateful and I'm happy for the chance to advocate for something I believe in but still, it just feels like I'm not that investing in my queerness, that I would much rather be known for my thoughts on how to solve the middle eastern conflict/s than the fact that I don't identify with a gender. I spent this summer being very outwardly trans. I do think this was a good thing as 2 fifteen year olds came out of the closet to me as trans for the first time. One of them said that seeing me, an "adult" live life as a nonbinary makes them feel like they can do it too. Beyond the hilarity of seeing me as an adult, I think I've learned that that's just not me. I'm not interested in pouring so much of my identity into being "Israeli Jewish nonbinary", even if I am all of those things and happy to be them. So, rant aside, this is a good book. And I figure that in a few weeks, I'll settle down here and it'll all seem so meaningless. What I'm Taking With Me - Harry Potter has essentially changed Jackson Bird's life in more ways that I can count. - The writing here is so good, a perfect blend of humor and friendliness. - Can we all acknowledge that Jackson is just annoying attractive? Like what even is this Uni Adventures, week 5(?) - I went to the queer sorority (although they're hardly a sorority, they're more like a "let's hang out sometimes, watch drag and do activism" group) and now there are a few more friendly faces on campus, including a really lovely girl! - We're going to be writing together the paper for politics, something that should be kinda fun. - Even though I absolutely despise team projects, maybe I've improved at this since high school. - My closest friend from class calls people "love of my life" unironically and it's the best thing ever. - She is also a slytherin in denial so this should be interesting, as I am such a hufflepuff. - Logics class is so wild, it can be summed up by a guy suddenly asking, "but what's the point? Why? What are we doing?" and the lecturer just staring at him for a few moments. - Amartya Sen, a man I have never heard of, was mentioned 3 times this week in three very different contexts (econ, ppe and political science) and suddenly I feel like I've known of him my whole life. - I applied for Reservists on Duty and got rejected. On one hand, I get it. In the workshop, I said that I believe in listening to BDS, that I think we will change people's opinions of Israel through friendly conversations (and not through debating). I also ended up interrupting a guy that was speaking and came across as too talkative. -On the other hand, I also don't look the type. In fact, I usually more get read as someone that would take part in BDS, as an anti-Zionist. And like, I want to believe that this isn't why I got rejected. - In any case, I'm gonna be proud of myself for sharing my rejection. I feel like that's something that I've always struggled with and heck yeah, telling the people who were with me in the workshop that I didn't pass was not as hard as I thought it would be. - My roommate and I are getting along really well. The only challenge is that she has been learning Hebrew and occasionally says words in Hebrew. My brain gets so confused and I'm always seconds away from speaking to her in Hebrew back.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe

    I am delighted I had the opportunity to read this. The odds of me bumping into it on my own were pretty slim: I am not well up on YouTube or podcasts or TED talks. Bird is great at what he does: educate in a friendly, relatable, utterly non-threatening way on a topic probably everyone has questions about. This is a book one could recommend to any reader of any age, knowledge, or receptiveness. By staying firmly grounded in, well, the etiquette of supporting trans men and women as well as those wh I am delighted I had the opportunity to read this. The odds of me bumping into it on my own were pretty slim: I am not well up on YouTube or podcasts or TED talks. Bird is great at what he does: educate in a friendly, relatable, utterly non-threatening way on a topic probably everyone has questions about. This is a book one could recommend to any reader of any age, knowledge, or receptiveness. By staying firmly grounded in, well, the etiquette of supporting trans men and women as well as those who identify as non-binary or genderqueer, Bird reframes the subject. To be clear, he isn't defensive in any way, nor is he argumentative. He just never entertains the idea that anyone should be thought less than. Just recently J.K. Rowling has tweeted and published an essay of poorly-reasoned prejudice. This is not some kind of rebuttal to unthinking cruelty. Bird is beyond that: there is no question that people have the perfect right to choose their gender, if any, and use the restrooms of choice. These are human rights that all people enjoy. He addresses the real questions, such as, what is a thoughtful gift to commemorate a man's first testosterone injection? Or how can you best affirm how delighted you are that your loved one is finally able to live in joy as the person they are? There are many good resources for activism and education, which Bird helpfully includes. His genius and skill is a light tone and a celebration of kindness and caring. Possibly the most wholesome and kind book one will read this year. I wish Mr. Bird all the best, confident that he has earned it. Goodreads giveaway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maia

    The story of a trans man who grew up deeply closeted in Texas, didn't even really learn about the LGBT community until college, and eventually came out publicly after graduating from undergrad. Along the way he experienced periods of joyful friendship and periods of depression, and found community volunteering for the organization formerly known as The Harry Potter Alliance (now FandomForward.org). Jackson was ran their youtube series as a volunteer before being hired fulltime as part of their s The story of a trans man who grew up deeply closeted in Texas, didn't even really learn about the LGBT community until college, and eventually came out publicly after graduating from undergrad. Along the way he experienced periods of joyful friendship and periods of depression, and found community volunteering for the organization formerly known as The Harry Potter Alliance (now FandomForward.org). Jackson was ran their youtube series as a volunteer before being hired fulltime as part of their social media team, so when he did come out, he had to do so publicly to his followers as well as to his friends and family. I listened to the audiobook read by the author which is only about 6 hours. It's written in an accessible style and the story moves fairly quickly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sage

    Really enjoyed this memoir - I was familiar with Jackson through the HPA and I’ve been meaning to read this for ages. My dear friend and I chose to pause in our HP reread, and are gonna read this for Pride Month instead! We haven’t officially started (I think...) but SORRY FOR STARTING/FINISHING IT BEFORE YOU 😂🥰

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

    Very good audiobook narrated by the author himself about his life, growing up, facing internalized transphobia and dealing with body dysphoria, finding his career path and being his true self. I feel like it’s a good memoir to learn about trans experiences for a cis person (like myself) as well as to be seen and to learn for trans people or people questioning their gender. I do appreciate that the author points that it’s just his story, it’s not a universal trans experience and as he is bi trans Very good audiobook narrated by the author himself about his life, growing up, facing internalized transphobia and dealing with body dysphoria, finding his career path and being his true self. I feel like it’s a good memoir to learn about trans experiences for a cis person (like myself) as well as to be seen and to learn for trans people or people questioning their gender. I do appreciate that the author points that it’s just his story, it’s not a universal trans experience and as he is bi trans white man from a relatively good family his experiences could vary from those of people of color and other different marginalized communities, different intersections. The book is full of humor, it’s very entertaining to listen to. On more somber parts the narration stays engaging and captivating. Considering recent events it was jarring to hear so many HP & JKR references. Can’t imagine how the author himself feels about it now. Anyways, highly recommend! Very easy to listen to and a very good introduction to learning about trans experiences for cis folks and questioning their gender. CW: dysphoria, internalized transphobia, brief mention of past toxic relationship, discussion of top surgery & the surgery itself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susie

    I could not stop listening to this memoir. Jackson shared his challenging, and at times painful, journey with the same positive and informative voice that I heard in his YouTube videos when I watched them years ago.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    *I received a copy of Sorted from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* After reading several "YouTuber" books over the years, it's safe to say Sorted by Jackson Bird is the most well written and researched one yet. Part memoir and part educational guide, Sorted is Jackson's story discovering that he is trans. As a viewer of Jackson's YouTube channel, this book helped me understand his journey in a new way, and have an even deeper respect for what he and other trans people face growing up a *I received a copy of Sorted from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review* After reading several "YouTuber" books over the years, it's safe to say Sorted by Jackson Bird is the most well written and researched one yet. Part memoir and part educational guide, Sorted is Jackson's story discovering that he is trans. As a viewer of Jackson's YouTube channel, this book helped me understand his journey in a new way, and have an even deeper respect for what he and other trans people face growing up and becoming themselves. That being said, I highly recommend reading this book even if you've never heard of Jackson, as it is a great resource for learning more about the LGBTQ+ community. It's easy for me to connect with Jackson because we are the same age and share some of the same interests. When he discusses attending the Harry Potter releases, for example, I can remember when I was doing the same with my friends. I can also relate to feeling uncomfortable in my body, and not knowing exactly how gender plays a part in my self identity. Over the years I've gone through extremely girly phases and tomboy phases, too. My favorite colors have gone from pink to blue to green. As I turn 30 in just a few weeks, I realize I haven't worn a dress in years and have no desire to do so again (at least for the foreseeable future). I think my fluid ideas of gender and expression allowed me to sink into this book easily. I really appreciate Jackson's candidness in sharing the struggles he went through growing up. My critiques of Sorted are marginal at best. The book opens with a set of disclaimers from Jackson that I truly don't believe are necessary. You don't need to tell me that this is your story and it is not representative of all trans people - it's your memoir! Of course it only represents your life. I understand the desire for such disclaimers, but I wish people didn't feel the need to use them. Similarly, this book includes educational passages in the middle of Jackson's personal narrative. These passages are very helpful and add a lot to the book, but I found them to be a bit repetitive. For example, Jackson repeated definitions and other key points a few times. I believe he did so in order to stress importance, but because terms are included in a dedicated glossary, I don't think the repetition is necessary. Overall, I am so glad I read Sorted and hope more people will pick up this book. It is extremely approachable if you are new to the trans community, and I believe that reading Jackson's story can help to demonstrate what trans people experience when trying to understand more about themselves and their gender. Sorted also provides many resources for further study, and I appreciate the amount of work Jackson put into this book. I look forward to watching more of his videos, and seeing what is ahead for him!

  8. 4 out of 5

    R

    this was a really great memoir and I'm so happy I read it! I found myself relating to parts of it since I'm transmasculine for all intents and purposes and I always love when that happens in memoirs. I look forward to watching Jackson's YouTube videos, since I didn't know he was a YouTuber until I read this book and I'm also really glad he narrated it himself. He did a wonderful job. this was a really great memoir and I'm so happy I read it! I found myself relating to parts of it since I'm transmasculine for all intents and purposes and I always love when that happens in memoirs. I look forward to watching Jackson's YouTube videos, since I didn't know he was a YouTuber until I read this book and I'm also really glad he narrated it himself. He did a wonderful job.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Georgia (thefictionfolio)

    Not going to review this one in any formal capacity because it felt way too personal, but wow. I'm having the best luck with memoirs this year. This was so moving and so eloquent and I'm so glad I read it! Both a brilliant insight into Jackson's very specific and personal trans experience, and into the wider experiences of the community -- especially navigating this within fan spaces, and under the watch of an internet following. Not going to review this one in any formal capacity because it felt way too personal, but wow. I'm having the best luck with memoirs this year. This was so moving and so eloquent and I'm so glad I read it! Both a brilliant insight into Jackson's very specific and personal trans experience, and into the wider experiences of the community -- especially navigating this within fan spaces, and under the watch of an internet following.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elias

    This was a good listen but all of the harry potter stuff made me cringe so much

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

    This was not the book for me. I transitioned a decade ago and have lately been hankering for a sense of history or community; I wanted to feel less like I am the oldest trans man in the world. This book is probably a comforting and accessible introduction to trans topics for a younger person and therefore likely does have a “right” audience.... but it made me feel like a miserable crone. Some of this is due to the writing, which has a cheerful immaturity to it; some is due to the author’s experi This was not the book for me. I transitioned a decade ago and have lately been hankering for a sense of history or community; I wanted to feel less like I am the oldest trans man in the world. This book is probably a comforting and accessible introduction to trans topics for a younger person and therefore likely does have a “right” audience.... but it made me feel like a miserable crone. Some of this is due to the writing, which has a cheerful immaturity to it; some is due to the author’s experiences, which at least at the 40% mark didn’t seem likely to get anywhere near the kinds of trauma that I, at least, am trying to process; and some of it is due to the book’s eagerness to explain trans 101 concepts in helpful infoboxes. The whole thing just felt lacking in depth. Maybe Ben Barres will have what I am looking for, if I skip all the parts about glial cells...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bek Dawson

    I highly recommend this book - especially for people who want or need more information about trans people. Obviously, this is just one person’s story, but the asides with explanations are well-done. Their placement in the story often helps to further clarify the elements they are explaining. I personally did not need all of the basic explanations - but I went into the book knowing that I didn’t and knowing that they were there. I hoped that I could add it to my list of recommended reads for peopl I highly recommend this book - especially for people who want or need more information about trans people. Obviously, this is just one person’s story, but the asides with explanations are well-done. Their placement in the story often helps to further clarify the elements they are explaining. I personally did not need all of the basic explanations - but I went into the book knowing that I didn’t and knowing that they were there. I hoped that I could add it to my list of recommended reads for people who are learning and I was definitely able to do that! (And add to my own to-read/watch list substantially with all of his good recommendations!) Jackson’s story was different in some ways from most mainstream notions of what it’s like to transition, but so many of those elements that are present here that aren’t in the mainstream are a big part of stories that I have heard from people who have lived it. And those details are what makes this book so important- not just for educating cis allies, but for those who are potentially questioning and trans people who might need to hear that those details aren’t only something they’re experiencing. The most powerful thing about this and any other queer story is the power to make other people feel less alone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katelynne

    I followed Jackson for a bit before he came out - some of the events in the book I remember watching the videos on. I have really been fascinated by his journey and his videos have been a really good resource when dealing with the youth I volunteer with. I think I'll recommend this to other leaders I lead with because it provided some really good breakdowns of words to use and not use, some different things to consider as well as great resources. I did not enjoy the big grey boxes breaking up so I followed Jackson for a bit before he came out - some of the events in the book I remember watching the videos on. I have really been fascinated by his journey and his videos have been a really good resource when dealing with the youth I volunteer with. I think I'll recommend this to other leaders I lead with because it provided some really good breakdowns of words to use and not use, some different things to consider as well as great resources. I did not enjoy the big grey boxes breaking up some of the narrative - the format bugged me a bit. But otherwise, it was a well written memoir. Also I have been reading a lot from Jackson's age bracket lately and I think this is the one where I stop.His was the most well written of the lot so far and I felt it professional and that the boundaries established were stuck to. A lot of respect for the lack of names, for this being something where it was turned inward, with important outside influences addressed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Dandridge

    I was really looking forward to reading this, especially because of the dearth of stories from transmasculine people. But at the end of the day, I was pretty disappointed by it. It just didn’t feel like there was much depth to it. Jackson Bird’s story is of course a story that needs to be told - trans stories, and transmasculine stories specifically are too often left out of the mainstream. But that alone isn’t enough reason for me to love this book. It wasn’t particularly well written, and it s I was really looking forward to reading this, especially because of the dearth of stories from transmasculine people. But at the end of the day, I was pretty disappointed by it. It just didn’t feel like there was much depth to it. Jackson Bird’s story is of course a story that needs to be told - trans stories, and transmasculine stories specifically are too often left out of the mainstream. But that alone isn’t enough reason for me to love this book. It wasn’t particularly well written, and it seemed to have a hard time straddling this weird line between memoir and educational text for people who don’t know much about transitioning. I think another part of my lack of love for this book is that he and I are nearly the same age, and so to me the book felt like it lacked maturity and perspective (just like if I were to write a memoir today it would probably be lacking in those departments).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nev

    Jackson Bird’s memoir is an extremely moving and informative book about realizing his gender identity and sexuality and the sometimes tumultuous path to self-acceptance and coming out. He takes great care to explain all of the terminology used so that the story is accessible to readers who don’t have much knowledge about trans terms or the greater LGBTQ+ community. I’ve seen some of Jackson’s YouTube videos over the years, so it was great to be able to read his book and learn more about his life Jackson Bird’s memoir is an extremely moving and informative book about realizing his gender identity and sexuality and the sometimes tumultuous path to self-acceptance and coming out. He takes great care to explain all of the terminology used so that the story is accessible to readers who don’t have much knowledge about trans terms or the greater LGBTQ+ community. I’ve seen some of Jackson’s YouTube videos over the years, so it was great to be able to read his book and learn more about his life that he hasn’t previously shared. But I definitely think this book can be read and enjoyed by anyone, not just people who are already fans of his videos. I’d recommend this if you’re just interested in memoirs in general or specifically trans and queer memoirs.

  16. 4 out of 5

    PVLD Reads

    I really enjoyed this memoir. It is from a transgender male Youtuber I've followed for a few years, who creates content about Harry Potter, being queer and waffling random things. His memoir talks about growing up in Texas, and his gender identity struggles throughout the years. Much of the memoir made me feel validated in my own transmasculine experience. This review brought to you by a 2020 Summer Reading Program patron Find it at the library here. I really enjoyed this memoir. It is from a transgender male Youtuber I've followed for a few years, who creates content about Harry Potter, being queer and waffling random things. His memoir talks about growing up in Texas, and his gender identity struggles throughout the years. Much of the memoir made me feel validated in my own transmasculine experience. This review brought to you by a 2020 Summer Reading Program patron Find it at the library here.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Reija

    Well, prior to this book I had no idea who Jackson Bird is and now I follow him on Youtube. Success?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lia

    It makes me so sad to read about his love for Harry Potter and to think how devastating it must have been / must be to learn how much of a transphobe JKR is..

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kate Dyson

    Perfect read during pride week (and all year round). I learnt so much and am in complete awe of the brave trans community.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    Amazing and inspiring!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    As a person who is cisgender (I believe that is the right term, I'm sill learning), I will never full understand what a person goes through who is transgender. But I am trying and this book helped so much. Jackson Bird not only shares his struggles in questioning his identity and sexuality, but also his struggles in finding answers to all his questions. He, like so many others like him, questions so much about himself, but then also has to try to figure out what all his questions even mean. And As a person who is cisgender (I believe that is the right term, I'm sill learning), I will never full understand what a person goes through who is transgender. But I am trying and this book helped so much. Jackson Bird not only shares his struggles in questioning his identity and sexuality, but also his struggles in finding answers to all his questions. He, like so many others like him, questions so much about himself, but then also has to try to figure out what all his questions even mean. And then on top of all that, he educates us in terminology, and what all he and other have to do to come out and begin the long process of living their life as their true self. It's not just a medical process, it's emotional, spiritual, social and so much more. I was truly impressed with the person he is. And to see how happy and fulfilled he is now, is a testament to how strong and brave he is. This book is well written with humor and knowledgeable authority. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what transgender people go through.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sim ✨(wholesimreads)

    🚫 no rating [idk for the first time in my life, it feels weird to ‘rate’ someone’s memoir] ✔️ 20. A book with a pun in the title This was raw, unflinching, informative and addressed Jackson’s transition and the many facets of his life. As a cisgender person, I learnt so much and saw value in every thought, feeling and idea he brought forward. The only thing that irks me is how much Harry Potter and JK Rowling are referenced in light of recent events. I love that the wizarding world played such a hu 🚫 no rating [idk for the first time in my life, it feels weird to ‘rate’ someone’s memoir] ✔️ 20. A book with a pun in the title This was raw, unflinching, informative and addressed Jackson’s transition and the many facets of his life. As a cisgender person, I learnt so much and saw value in every thought, feeling and idea he brought forward. The only thing that irks me is how much Harry Potter and JK Rowling are referenced in light of recent events. I love that the wizarding world played such a huge, transformative role in his life and I hope future readers can see the magic/al community first and foremost.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Jackson knows his brand and knows his target audience. This is a memoir for those who are questioning, confused, lost about what it means to be a trans man. Jackson is essentially writing the book he wished he had when he was younger. It's also an excellent book for those looking to be a better ally. Jackson's personal journey is interspersed with terminology, context, and recommended books/documentaries for those who are new to the trans community, who are unfamiliar with what it means to come Jackson knows his brand and knows his target audience. This is a memoir for those who are questioning, confused, lost about what it means to be a trans man. Jackson is essentially writing the book he wished he had when he was younger. It's also an excellent book for those looking to be a better ally. Jackson's personal journey is interspersed with terminology, context, and recommended books/documentaries for those who are new to the trans community, who are unfamiliar with what it means to come out and transition, and who start this book with misconceptions of what it means to be trans.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean Whatshisface

    I really struggle with trans memoirs/biographies. They can be extremely upsetting for me, as my own trans experience has so rarely matched with others'.... and while the early years of Bird's life do not match with my own, a lot of his lived experiences (particularly with regard to his gender and sexual identity, and the misinformed conflict between the two) resonated so strongly with me that it brought me to tears. Ultimately this is a beautiful story of a man finding himself, and I can't recom I really struggle with trans memoirs/biographies. They can be extremely upsetting for me, as my own trans experience has so rarely matched with others'.... and while the early years of Bird's life do not match with my own, a lot of his lived experiences (particularly with regard to his gender and sexual identity, and the misinformed conflict between the two) resonated so strongly with me that it brought me to tears. Ultimately this is a beautiful story of a man finding himself, and I can't recommend it enough to others.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    A fantastic blend of memoir and educational - with a great sprinkling of HP throughout. I appreciated the depth, and the acknowledgement of others' experiences Jackson doesn't share (trans women, people of color, etc). It was truly well done, and I loved how the educational pieces were short enough to be accessible to the general public. A fantastic blend of memoir and educational - with a great sprinkling of HP throughout. I appreciated the depth, and the acknowledgement of others' experiences Jackson doesn't share (trans women, people of color, etc). It was truly well done, and I loved how the educational pieces were short enough to be accessible to the general public.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    This was a really fun to read memoir. I tore through it in 2 days, which is not something I often do. As an older cis dude, I came to this with some misconceptions, and by Jackson sharing his journey in such an interesting way I feel like I have a better understanding.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mariana Afonso | Books Of My Own

    This is a very personal memoir, following the author’s life and struggles, so I will not give a rating to a person’s journey.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bayley

    I am so excited to buy my finished copy of this book if preordering if your jam than 100% go and do that right about now. This is the kind of memoir that makes me remember why my fantasy, science fiction, and YA farce loving self also sort of thinks non-fiction might be the best genre. When a true story, on any scale, is written well with a cohesive narrative, it completely kicks ass. Sorted is a memoir following Jackson Birds life through the lens of gender. The narrative is so tight, funny, an I am so excited to buy my finished copy of this book if preordering if your jam than 100% go and do that right about now. This is the kind of memoir that makes me remember why my fantasy, science fiction, and YA farce loving self also sort of thinks non-fiction might be the best genre. When a true story, on any scale, is written well with a cohesive narrative, it completely kicks ass. Sorted is a memoir following Jackson Birds life through the lens of gender. The narrative is so tight, funny, and informative without feeling unapproachable. We get a glimpse into many aspects of what it is like growing up trans, a Texan, a Harry Potter nerd, and the struggles of early adulthood. Quick acknowledgment, I have been following Bird's online presence for quite some time. I started as an occasional Will it Waffle viewer and was probably aware of his youtube channel because I was deep into the Harry Potter side of the internet as soon as I was on the internet. I am a pretty regular viewer of his youtube content and am eagerly awaiting more of his podcast. I have been known to lightly trash talk some internet people turned authors. Despite that, I am delighted to have to eat crow on my assertion that I would no longer read internet peoples books (I am also dying to read Akilah Hughes' Obviously). I loved this book and genuinely think it is terrific. I found this book incredibly relatable and assume that a wide array of people will agree with me here. I figured out towards the end of the book that his home town is about 20-30 minutes from where I lived for a few years as a small child. I related so hardcore to the annoyance of being perceived as a person much younger than you are. This book would have been worth it to read if only for learning that I am not the only person over 18 to have been carded for a PG-13 movie, he handled this with much more grace than I did. I also tend to love musings on early career building as a 20 something figuring out what to do with life. The narrative of this book has small sections of more educational content on the trans or queer community that are clearly delineated and work really well with the narrative. I am not anywhere near an expert on gender, but I believe that the educational component will work well for people who have given gender no additional thought while still giving nods to people with an academic and/or personal focus. Something that I particularly loved was the pretty long list of further reading and watching at the end of the book. I am quite excited to dive into other books written by and about trans people. What more could I ask for out of a memoir? Informative, funny, it made me cry once (a Harry Potter reason but it still counts), and I was so interested in how the story would progress. I think that people with all levels of familiarity with Bird will find this book completely accessible. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves narrative nonfiction, has an interest in learning more about trans experiences, or who was also a Harry Potter kid.

  29. 5 out of 5

    K

    3.5 stars. I am clearly not the target demographic for this book, but there were plenty of things about it that work. This is a Trans 101 book for a younger crowd (and their friends and family) as compared to, say, books by Dan Lavery or Jordy Rosenberg. It's incredibly straightforward to the point that the narrative is repeatedly broken up for informative 101 boxes of info on everything from pronouns to pregnant trans men. In addition, Jackson provides resources at the end of the book for furth 3.5 stars. I am clearly not the target demographic for this book, but there were plenty of things about it that work. This is a Trans 101 book for a younger crowd (and their friends and family) as compared to, say, books by Dan Lavery or Jordy Rosenberg. It's incredibly straightforward to the point that the narrative is repeatedly broken up for informative 101 boxes of info on everything from pronouns to pregnant trans men. In addition, Jackson provides resources at the end of the book for further reading. It's constructed as a memoir cum resource which is why I eventually started skimming over the info boxes. In terms of the narrative itself, I found it at times poignant -- especially in how Jackson's particular history of denial manifested -- and at others in desperate need of some trimming. Did I really need to know about his experience with bed bugs? There were so many details like this that were clearly meant to make the narrative more immediate for a younger demographic that just ended up slowing the whole book down. Maybe the editor didn't quite know how to edit it. I'm sure that were I 15 years younger, the intensity of those younger experiences would have been more effective. Those issues aside, I find the timing of this book's release to be fortuitous. Given Jackson Bird's high profile connections to Harry Potter fandom (including his previous employment at the Harry Potter Alliance), it's handy to have so many meaningful references to those books -- and to be this affirming and informative -- in the wake of JK Rowling's awful, transphobic comments. His repurposing of HP fandom pops up all over the place, ranging from the book's title to some of the photos included. One final note: I received a free kindle edition of this book in a giveaway, and it doesn't really work well on a black and white Kindle Paperwhite due to the inclusion of so many color photos. I ended up switching to reading this on another device which really changed the reading experience for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Beckwith

    I first learned about Jackson Bird when I started listening to the Kottke Ride Home podcast after hearing about it on the Tech Meme Ride Home podcast. I subscribed while listening to it for the first time. I loved the style of the show (true Ride Home style) and really enjoyed the host and his own style. After listening for a few months, I looked him up to learn more about his background. I had no idea he had a popular YouTube channel, that he is a transgender person or that he documented much of I first learned about Jackson Bird when I started listening to the Kottke Ride Home podcast after hearing about it on the Tech Meme Ride Home podcast. I subscribed while listening to it for the first time. I loved the style of the show (true Ride Home style) and really enjoyed the host and his own style. After listening for a few months, I looked him up to learn more about his background. I had no idea he had a popular YouTube channel, that he is a transgender person or that he documented much of his transition on his channel. After a few videos I saw that he wrote this book and ordered it. I grew up in a family where being gay wasn't thought of negatively and I remember gay family members of many ages throughout my childhood. I recognize that I know very little (ok, probably nothing) about transgender people. When I was growing up, there was almost no discussion about transgender people. I recognize my ignorance. I want to learn more. This book was a good start to that journey. I enjoyed the story and being able to follow along, after the fact, as a disinterested third party. I kept reminding myself that this is a real person that struggled with things that I am not certain I could have handled. "For cisgender people, the danger of hearing only the same narrative is not affording transgender people with different stories the dignity of respecting a most basic part of their being..." Naturally, I am no expert on the subject now, but I'm glad I've started to learn more about gender. And, with all of the additional books, documentaries, and other resources on the subject listed in Sorted, I have more ahead.

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