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This Time for Me: A Memoir

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An emotional, funny, and fabulous memoir by trailblazing and award-winning Trans actor and activist Alexandra Billings. Born in 1962, Alexandra Billings grew up in a decade in which being herself was illegal. When she started transitioning in 1980, the word “Transgender” was not commonly used. With no Trans role models and no path to follow, Alexandra did what her family, t An emotional, funny, and fabulous memoir by trailblazing and award-winning Trans actor and activist Alexandra Billings. Born in 1962, Alexandra Billings grew up in a decade in which being herself was illegal. When she started transitioning in 1980, the word “Transgender” was not commonly used. With no Trans role models and no path to follow, Alexandra did what her family, teachers, and even friends said was impossible: Alexandra forged ahead. Spanning five decades, from profound lows to exhilarating highs, This Time for Me captures the events of a pioneering life. An award-winning actor and history-making LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist, Alexandra shares not only her own ever-evolving story but also the parallel ways in which queer identity has dramatically changed since the Stonewall riots of 1969. She weaves a true coming-of-age story of richly imaginative lies, of friends being swept away by a plague that decimated the community, of her determination to establish a career that would break boundaries, and of the recognition of her own power. A celebration of endless possibilities, Alexandra’s bracing memoir is a fight-to-the-death revolution against all expectations.


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An emotional, funny, and fabulous memoir by trailblazing and award-winning Trans actor and activist Alexandra Billings. Born in 1962, Alexandra Billings grew up in a decade in which being herself was illegal. When she started transitioning in 1980, the word “Transgender” was not commonly used. With no Trans role models and no path to follow, Alexandra did what her family, t An emotional, funny, and fabulous memoir by trailblazing and award-winning Trans actor and activist Alexandra Billings. Born in 1962, Alexandra Billings grew up in a decade in which being herself was illegal. When she started transitioning in 1980, the word “Transgender” was not commonly used. With no Trans role models and no path to follow, Alexandra did what her family, teachers, and even friends said was impossible: Alexandra forged ahead. Spanning five decades, from profound lows to exhilarating highs, This Time for Me captures the events of a pioneering life. An award-winning actor and history-making LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist, Alexandra shares not only her own ever-evolving story but also the parallel ways in which queer identity has dramatically changed since the Stonewall riots of 1969. She weaves a true coming-of-age story of richly imaginative lies, of friends being swept away by a plague that decimated the community, of her determination to establish a career that would break boundaries, and of the recognition of her own power. A celebration of endless possibilities, Alexandra’s bracing memoir is a fight-to-the-death revolution against all expectations.

30 review for This Time for Me: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Alexandra has lead an amazing life and has a penchant for storytelling, but this book needed a better editor. It was meandering at best and I couldn’t actually finish it because it dragged and skipped around too much to hold my attention.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    Okay so I got this from @amazonkindle #amazonfirstreads and I really struggled it was chaotic and all over the place - it didn’t seem to have any real structure and it was pretty repetitive in themes but agin not really organized and after about 200 pages I just wanted it to be over but it went on for another 200— I still gave it three stars because how do you say someone’s memoir is bad (be like failing in an opinion paper you can’t fail someone on their own opinion or because you don’t agree…) Okay so I got this from @amazonkindle #amazonfirstreads and I really struggled it was chaotic and all over the place - it didn’t seem to have any real structure and it was pretty repetitive in themes but agin not really organized and after about 200 pages I just wanted it to be over but it went on for another 200— I still gave it three stars because how do you say someone’s memoir is bad (be like failing in an opinion paper you can’t fail someone on their own opinion or because you don’t agree…)- it was interesting at times shining light on the AIDS situation and trans issues which was interesting to read especially this past week with so much focus on trans rights and crazy laws but really I wouldn’t recommend it or buy it … chaotic life of drugs , prostitution, sickness etc with an ending in success but told in the same style as the life story CHAOS….

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maria Park

    "I rediscovered what goodness truly meant and learned each night that without forgiveness of both oneself and others, one cannot ever truly fly free." The memoir of Scott Shanté Alexandra Billings cannot be reviewed without their own words coming first. This Time for Me touched me personally in places I would never had expected. Although Alexandra's life is different than mine, there are universal themes about Humanity that they speak of in such a way as to bring up hurts buried under lock and key "I rediscovered what goodness truly meant and learned each night that without forgiveness of both oneself and others, one cannot ever truly fly free." The memoir of Scott Shanté Alexandra Billings cannot be reviewed without their own words coming first. This Time for Me touched me personally in places I would never had expected. Although Alexandra's life is different than mine, there are universal themes about Humanity that they speak of in such a way as to bring up hurts buried under lock and key. "The man behind the curtain began to shriek and demand attention. Everything was not perfect. Not us, and not me. So we lied . ." From the age of 4 or 5, Scott was aware that their happiness was based upon pleasing his mother, Mimi. Yet, they just wanted to dress in Mimi's clothes and makeup. Scott's father, a violent man, reinforced the danger they lived in. "I was the Transgender child in the house, and my life revolved around secrecy and fear." Scott survived because of their best friend, Chrisanne and her total acceptance of them. By the time they were 14, Scott was out on the streets of Chicago looking for answers and a place to fit in. Their first transformation was into a Drag Queen called Shanté. "I had to discover that there was something more than me pretending to be someone I wasn’t." Although Shanté made friends for life, found an acceptance they had never had, they learned that there was much more to themselves than just roleplaying. An inner actor and highly creative person was, quite literally, dying to get out. "We’re no longer called Transsexuals. We’re called Transgender.” “Sounds like a detergent.” Talking to their mentor, Shanté realizes that, although they can laugh about it, the transformer of themselves is still in progress. Changing their name legally to Alexandra Scott Billings, they start taking acting classes. What I haven't spoken of yet, is the dehumanizing and degradating events Scott/Shanté goes through to to make it to this point in their life. I was heart broken and disgusted at the way Humanity gets away with treating others in the name of the law. "There's more than enough time, we have more than enough money, and you are the light.” Alexandra finally finds an ally, an acting professor who is willing to help them dig past the layers of lies, false identities and protections they have barriered themselves under. Alexandra, a person of color and a transgender person is the first assistant professor at the University of California at Long Beach. Read this book! I'm not going to review the ending because it's incredible, awe-inspiring and one of the most hopeful stories I've read lately. It took me 5 days to recover from reading it to calmly write this review. I hope it touches you as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan Dyson

    so badly written I have never watched transparent or even heard of Alexandra Billings but the details of the book sounded quite good. Reading this book was like having teeth pulled it was so painful. The story of Alexandra’s life was an amazing journey so why it had to be told in such a dreadful way is beyond my understanding. The memoirs didn’t make sense. Trying to understand where she was in her journey is essential but half the time I didn’t know if the particular memory she was sharing was so badly written I have never watched transparent or even heard of Alexandra Billings but the details of the book sounded quite good. Reading this book was like having teeth pulled it was so painful. The story of Alexandra’s life was an amazing journey so why it had to be told in such a dreadful way is beyond my understanding. The memoirs didn’t make sense. Trying to understand where she was in her journey is essential but half the time I didn’t know if the particular memory she was sharing was before her diagnosis of AIDS the death of friends, family, where she was in her teaching career was it before or after her period of living on the street, when she was sober or still taking drugs. These things matter so you understand her mindset. If I had to hear about another person in her “chosen family” I was going to scream. She talked about not seeing people again for so many years or even at one point never again and then sudden she was talking about events that obviously involved them. Rewrite this please because you have so much to give of your life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve Schmitt

    While I admired the story of the author's life, I didn't care for the way this book was put together. It seems to follow a mostly linear timeline format, but at some points I couldn't tell if one thing happened before another or if another thing had an impact on something else. There seemed to be a lot of jumping around which made the story confusing and convoluted. That does not mean the Ms. Billings life isn't worth the read. It most certainly is. Her story is one of resilience through pain, an While I admired the story of the author's life, I didn't care for the way this book was put together. It seems to follow a mostly linear timeline format, but at some points I couldn't tell if one thing happened before another or if another thing had an impact on something else. There seemed to be a lot of jumping around which made the story confusing and convoluted. That does not mean the Ms. Billings life isn't worth the read. It most certainly is. Her story is one of resilience through pain, and hope through heartbreak. She could have given up so many times, but stuck with life, finding her passions and discovering who she is. That is a lesson all of us need to learn. Her story is proof that it is never to late to follow a dream and to learn more about who you are in this crazy world where there are infinite possibilities.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Warren Sampson

    Extraordinary account of a life of extraordinary accomplishment.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marion Sheppard

    This was a very interesting read about navigating the world and finding your authentic self.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I feel bad about not giving this a higher rating, because it is so raw and soul-baring. But it really needed more editing - maybe 30% less book! The timeline was confusing in parts as well. Interesting but so much detail and elaboration. Glad it was free.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Alexandra Billings: a trans, latinx women, an actress, a singer, a teacher, a star of stage & screen, a wife, and someone who has lived a crazy and full life. I have been a fan of Alexandra Billings for a long time, I feel like she has always been involved in some capacity in any show that I've watched, like Grey's or How To Get Away With Murder. It wasn't until I started watching Transparent in 2014 that I really became curious about who she was. Fast-forward to the pandemic when I started gett Alexandra Billings: a trans, latinx women, an actress, a singer, a teacher, a star of stage & screen, a wife, and someone who has lived a crazy and full life. I have been a fan of Alexandra Billings for a long time, I feel like she has always been involved in some capacity in any show that I've watched, like Grey's or How To Get Away With Murder. It wasn't until I started watching Transparent in 2014 that I really became curious about who she was. Fast-forward to the pandemic when I started getting into TikTok and she appeared on my for you page. Of course, I followed immediately. The surprising thing was that she followed me back, and we've been mutuals ever since. I have no idea what ever made her follow me, but I feel blessed to be on the following list of someone who I consider an absolute icon. "This Time For Me" is an unforgettable memoir written by this incomparable woman. It explores her beginnings as a young kid who has no language for the things she is feeling, it delves into the darkness of her addiction, the AIDS crisis, and her personal experience with it. The people she speaks about in her memoir range from trans sisters of hers from her cabaret days to - wait for it - Larry Kramer! She writes about the friends she lost to AIDS with a sensitivity that could only be written by someone who is HIV+ themselves. She provides heart-wrenching account of what it was really like to live through that time, and I cried the entire time I listened to those sections. Every friend she wrote about felt alive to me, like I knew them, like they were a friend. Alexandra writes of her wife ChrisAnne with so much love and respect - their love story spanning from 1976 all the way to now. I simply love it. I love *them.* I'm not going to sit here and pretend that Alex is perfect, though - she would hate that. Through the book, Alex is not afraid to let you know what mistakes she made along the way: in her relationships and in any other area. She is unflinchingly honest about who she is, through and through, take it or leave it. I, my dear Alex, will take it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Petrina Binney

    An open-hearted, astonishing, moving, and deeply sincere memoir, This Time For Me is the fabulous and devastating life story of actor, teacher and activist, Alexandra Billings. Probably best known for her portrayal of Davina, transgender friend and mentor to the newly emerging Maura Pfefferman in Amazon’s Transparent, Ms Billings’ autobiography is frank, witty and relentlessly honest. While I was reading, I felt like I was hearing the life experience of a friend, that I was being trusted with the An open-hearted, astonishing, moving, and deeply sincere memoir, This Time For Me is the fabulous and devastating life story of actor, teacher and activist, Alexandra Billings. Probably best known for her portrayal of Davina, transgender friend and mentor to the newly emerging Maura Pfefferman in Amazon’s Transparent, Ms Billings’ autobiography is frank, witty and relentlessly honest. While I was reading, I felt like I was hearing the life experience of a friend, that I was being trusted with the truth of someone I cared about, which speaks to the clarity of the writing - by turns, funny, beautiful and breathtakingly sad - and the charisma of the author. I adored this book. From a childhood of otherness to a journey of self-discovery through clublife, back alleys, drugs, violence, and live theatre, This Time For Me is a powerful story from a remarkable, heroic woman. “Although never really the star of any shows, I was cast in almost everything, both plays and musicals. I rarely had lines, and if I did, I was relegated to Guard Number Four, but I made my presence felt. I would juggle carrots in the background while the lead was orating about his dead father. I would race through the hallways and make siren sounds, even though there were no sirens in the play, or in the hallways. “So, obviously, I was meant for a higher calling than college. My brother was going to college. That was his responsibility. Not mine. And really, what exactly was a degree supposed to get me? Were there courses in Being A Broadway Star? I never once heard Ethel Merman talk about sorority life.” 14% in, Nine, The Very First Time(s), This Time For Me by Alexandra Billings *chef’s kiss*

  11. 5 out of 5

    AnnieM

    I was drawn to Alexandra Billings' book because I moved to Chicago in the 1980's and remember her from her stage work as well as her "drag" work at Baton Show Lounge. This was a time when laws did not protect someone who was LGBTQ in terms of jobs, housing, etc. To be trans at that time meant you did not fit in anywhere including the broader gay community and also faced bias and discrimination there as well. The 1980's as we all know, was the beginning of the AIDS crisis when a plague ripped thr I was drawn to Alexandra Billings' book because I moved to Chicago in the 1980's and remember her from her stage work as well as her "drag" work at Baton Show Lounge. This was a time when laws did not protect someone who was LGBTQ in terms of jobs, housing, etc. To be trans at that time meant you did not fit in anywhere including the broader gay community and also faced bias and discrimination there as well. The 1980's as we all know, was the beginning of the AIDS crisis when a plague ripped through the community yet no one knew what it was "a gay cancer?" and the drug cocktail to treat it didn't appear on the scene until the early 1990's. In the meantime, Scott Billings is a kid growing up in a suburb of Chicago who is trying to find their identity and acceptance. After a very challenging journey of addiction, abuse and homelessness, Scott eventually finds their true identity and the love of their life. Eventually Alexandra ends up with success on Television (in Transparent) after painfully losing the lead role in Transamerica to Felicity Huffman. They have also continued to have success on stage and screen. Having seen Alexandra Billings on stage in the late 1980's/early 1990's and then following their career, I was always struck at their stage presence and charisma. This is an incredibly poignant, candid account of their journey with all of its many ups and downs. I feel like I really got to know Alexandra as a person and am grateful that they openly shared their struggles and triumphs. I recommend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Goth Gone Grey

    A bit jumbled but still interesting. (Reads negative reviews:) This is someone whining about cis white males! Well, that seems an oversimplification. She's also talking about family, friends, johns, drugs, and people in general who don't know what to do with someone different than themselves. Though, to be fair, some of the johns knew exactly what to do, and it wasn't nice. This is best read by mature, open minded audiences, as Alexandra discusses her life. There are definite missteps along the A bit jumbled but still interesting. (Reads negative reviews:) This is someone whining about cis white males! Well, that seems an oversimplification. She's also talking about family, friends, johns, drugs, and people in general who don't know what to do with someone different than themselves. Though, to be fair, some of the johns knew exactly what to do, and it wasn't nice. This is best read by mature, open minded audiences, as Alexandra discusses her life. There are definite missteps along the way - but that's all of us to varying degrees - as she finds herself. If your view of gender is strictly what's behind someone's zipper, this is probably not the book for you. That's ok, there are a lot of books out there, find something that suits your interests instead. I found it an interesting read, especially due to her age and watching the worldview change around her through her eyes. As memories do, this is not entirely a linear read, with time frames shifting back and forth, and visits from loved ones after they pass. That was a bit difficult at times. It embraces addiction at times, showing how the author felt in that time period. Coping skills aren't always healthy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wow. What a journey she has lived. I’m glad Alexandra Billings survived to tell it! Gave me a lot of insight into a trans journey which was, and probably is for many cis gender people, a bit of a mystery. It still left open questions for me about sexual orientation (when she made the choice to marry a cis woman, did she feel like she had to repress her attraction to men /or other Trans women? When they had these other men or trans women adopted into their home/chosen family, was this strictly a Wow. What a journey she has lived. I’m glad Alexandra Billings survived to tell it! Gave me a lot of insight into a trans journey which was, and probably is for many cis gender people, a bit of a mystery. It still left open questions for me about sexual orientation (when she made the choice to marry a cis woman, did she feel like she had to repress her attraction to men /or other Trans women? When they had these other men or trans women adopted into their home/chosen family, was this strictly a platonic thing? How did that impact their marriage?)and reassignment (if she was still considered Male by law, why was their first marriage illegal?). But I don’t expect any persons journey to be black and white and I think that was maybe the point of those grey areas in the story? I also had a very hard time the way the authors jump around the timelines. I often had to reference the chapter title to recall what the topic was. Still a very raw, honest, and heartfelt story which I would recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I met Alexandra Billings once upon a time in the 90s when I was managing an audition she attended. She was a big personality and I have been following her ever since. I believe I saw her in a couple stage shows in Chicago (Son of Fire?, Gypsy?) before she migrated to the coasts. I was delighted when I learned of this memoir and thrilled that I could obtain it immediately on my Kindle. I was expecting another fascinating show biz memoir but I think this should be more properly categorized as a tr I met Alexandra Billings once upon a time in the 90s when I was managing an audition she attended. She was a big personality and I have been following her ever since. I believe I saw her in a couple stage shows in Chicago (Son of Fire?, Gypsy?) before she migrated to the coasts. I was delighted when I learned of this memoir and thrilled that I could obtain it immediately on my Kindle. I was expecting another fascinating show biz memoir but I think this should be more properly categorized as a trans memoir. I learned a lot about her life and the roadblocks to her success. I would have preferred a more chronological, cause and effect structure. This book is a little too random, too stream of consciousness for my taste. But it is redeemed by the ending with its detailed account of the Jeffrey Tambor scandal. Happily she balances out Villain Tambor with an appreciation of heroic Judith Light.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Terese

    I used to see posters for shows featuring Alexandra Billings at the Bailiwick, and always thought of her as one of the big stars of Chicago theatre who just happened to work a lot at that particular theatre. This intimate account of how she got there and continued working and growing was amazing. The writing is patient, compassionate, sometimes raw, sometimes hilarious. Always there's the sense that she's telling you just as she experienced it, so you can see how certain decisions and discoverie I used to see posters for shows featuring Alexandra Billings at the Bailiwick, and always thought of her as one of the big stars of Chicago theatre who just happened to work a lot at that particular theatre. This intimate account of how she got there and continued working and growing was amazing. The writing is patient, compassionate, sometimes raw, sometimes hilarious. Always there's the sense that she's telling you just as she experienced it, so you can see how certain decisions and discoveries came to be. I found myself inspired and also wanting to be easier on myself and others as I experienced the kind of pressure Billings put on herself at certain moments, and how she seemed to evolve beyond that to seek different kinds of challenges and experiences. A great read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    A witty, engaging and moving autobiography from Alexandra Billings, the narrative is a selection of small chapters in rough chronological order. I actually enjoyed this approach, sometimes there was so much to absorb that having bite size chapters made it easier. If you prefer a more straight forward narrative then this may not be for you. She has had quite the life and the early parts in particular are full of abuse, trauma and addiction. Not always easy to read but very open and honest. I foun A witty, engaging and moving autobiography from Alexandra Billings, the narrative is a selection of small chapters in rough chronological order. I actually enjoyed this approach, sometimes there was so much to absorb that having bite size chapters made it easier. If you prefer a more straight forward narrative then this may not be for you. She has had quite the life and the early parts in particular are full of abuse, trauma and addiction. Not always easy to read but very open and honest. I found the section where she finally makes it to Hollywood and the prejudice she faces quite illuminating as to why our films are not more diverse. With thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an Arc in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    I had no expectations of this book as I've never heard of her. The first part was quite interesting and starting out well - even tho' it was extremely sad and disturbing. As time progressed I started losing interest and the story seemed to ebb and flow in confusion - couldn't decipher what was really happening with what was in the mind of the author. I had a hard time finishing it, but wanted to give it a fair rating - don't feel a rating is really justified if you don't finish! So many names an I had no expectations of this book as I've never heard of her. The first part was quite interesting and starting out well - even tho' it was extremely sad and disturbing. As time progressed I started losing interest and the story seemed to ebb and flow in confusion - couldn't decipher what was really happening with what was in the mind of the author. I had a hard time finishing it, but wanted to give it a fair rating - don't feel a rating is really justified if you don't finish! So many names and places I did not recognize or couldn't identify with. My most positive statement about the book is that I give Alex credit for hanging on through all the pain and trauma experienced in her lifetime !!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathie

    Quite the cathartic read. Eye-opening on many levels. Alexandra Scott Billings is a deeply complicated “human”. Interesting use of words as they pertain to gender, life, individuals, emotions. I learned a lot that invites me to broaden my perspective. Encouraged to watch many of her TV and movie credits. My biggest difficulty with this memoir is her stream-of-consciousness-recollections-of-her-life jumping from the present to the past and from memory or point she wants to make practically in the Quite the cathartic read. Eye-opening on many levels. Alexandra Scott Billings is a deeply complicated “human”. Interesting use of words as they pertain to gender, life, individuals, emotions. I learned a lot that invites me to broaden my perspective. Encouraged to watch many of her TV and movie credits. My biggest difficulty with this memoir is her stream-of-consciousness-recollections-of-her-life jumping from the present to the past and from memory or point she wants to make practically in the same paragraph and regularly in the same chapter. I tend to be more of a linear reader and this back and forth became challenging. Appreciate her vulnerability.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lianne

    I'm not a memoir person. I find most of them quite self-serving and not always well written. This book is the exception. I will admit to having one degree of separation from Alex Billings, as I am intimately involved with the arts college at CSULB. I have seen her on stage twice, and was gripped during her 2015 Commencement Address for the College of the Arts. Alexandra has written a gorgeous memoir with grit, honesty, grace, and love. Every page is a celebration of her humanness, and it is a glor I'm not a memoir person. I find most of them quite self-serving and not always well written. This book is the exception. I will admit to having one degree of separation from Alex Billings, as I am intimately involved with the arts college at CSULB. I have seen her on stage twice, and was gripped during her 2015 Commencement Address for the College of the Arts. Alexandra has written a gorgeous memoir with grit, honesty, grace, and love. Every page is a celebration of her humanness, and it is a glorious thing. I highly recommend you follow her on Facebook, because she is equally hilarious and poignant. I love her.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    did not finish. I might pick it back up later. Got this on Prime First reads for free. I appreciate hearing the point of view of a someone young struggling, but at 34% of the way through - I am struggling myself with how dark it all is. Which actually is awakening something in myself that is interesting- why am I putting this on hold because of the suffering, while at the same time I am reading a Holocaust book Three Sisters, and not putting them down? Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not. I still appr did not finish. I might pick it back up later. Got this on Prime First reads for free. I appreciate hearing the point of view of a someone young struggling, but at 34% of the way through - I am struggling myself with how dark it all is. Which actually is awakening something in myself that is interesting- why am I putting this on hold because of the suffering, while at the same time I am reading a Holocaust book Three Sisters, and not putting them down? Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s not. I still appreciate hearing the viewpoint of someone struggling with their sexual identity growing up and appreciate that it has been written.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Henry Bingham

    I don't think I can put into words how much this book moved me. I laughed, I cried, I felt the pain. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to get a closer look at the raw emotions and the history of someone who faced discrimination and fought demons and fought to be noticed in a time where being transgender could get you arrested. Someone who was there when AIDS/HIV became a major epidemic, someone who was fighting for her own life, while burying so many friends who lost thei I don't think I can put into words how much this book moved me. I laughed, I cried, I felt the pain. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to get a closer look at the raw emotions and the history of someone who faced discrimination and fought demons and fought to be noticed in a time where being transgender could get you arrested. Someone who was there when AIDS/HIV became a major epidemic, someone who was fighting for her own life, while burying so many friends who lost theirs to this disease. Read this book with an open mind and an open heart, because Alexandra Billings is a human, just like everyone. And a f**king amazing one at that

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    I read the reviews which mentioned this book should have had a better editor, and I was often not-quite-sure where in time I was while reading. That said, I’m a straight, cisgender, suburban white woman and I’m trying hard both to get past class-based grammar bias and to understand those at other places on the gender and sexuality continuums. There are lessons to be learned when message is prioritized over delivery. Alexandra’s life is so far removed from my own experience, it took my breath awa I read the reviews which mentioned this book should have had a better editor, and I was often not-quite-sure where in time I was while reading. That said, I’m a straight, cisgender, suburban white woman and I’m trying hard both to get past class-based grammar bias and to understand those at other places on the gender and sexuality continuums. There are lessons to be learned when message is prioritized over delivery. Alexandra’s life is so far removed from my own experience, it took my breath away sometimes that she’s survived. I’d watched some episodes of Transparent previously and recognized the truth of her character. It was fascinating to learn her real-life backstory.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anita Bilyeu

    Wonderful read Alex lays it all on the line-the good, the bad, the ugly, and the unimaginable. She guides you through her messy, painful, inspiring, and revolutionary journey to live as her authentic self. You feel every word of the raw emotional (and physical) pain she suffered by bullies, boyfriends, family, and herself. Lastly, you get genuine insight to the gay revolution and how far the community has come, and how far the community still needs to go. As an ally mom, I’ll be giving a copy of Wonderful read Alex lays it all on the line-the good, the bad, the ugly, and the unimaginable. She guides you through her messy, painful, inspiring, and revolutionary journey to live as her authentic self. You feel every word of the raw emotional (and physical) pain she suffered by bullies, boyfriends, family, and herself. Lastly, you get genuine insight to the gay revolution and how far the community has come, and how far the community still needs to go. As an ally mom, I’ll be giving a copy of this book to all of my “adopted” LGBTQ+ children.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dollie

    What a fantastic read. This was a free selection from Amazon Prime, I’d never heard of her and my expectations for this book was kind of low. What I found was a story of an extraordinary life told honestly, artfully and with great heart. I I am so glad she survived such tragedy, illness, abuse, poverty and addiction to finally find love, happiness, and purpose. I follow her on IG because I feel invested in her continuing story and she’s just so interesting and funny. If you are seeking to unders What a fantastic read. This was a free selection from Amazon Prime, I’d never heard of her and my expectations for this book was kind of low. What I found was a story of an extraordinary life told honestly, artfully and with great heart. I I am so glad she survived such tragedy, illness, abuse, poverty and addiction to finally find love, happiness, and purpose. I follow her on IG because I feel invested in her continuing story and she’s just so interesting and funny. If you are seeking to understand the trans experience better, I think a this book will enrich your understanding.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Finnoula

    I follow Alex and know of her through my love of the Nancy podcast and now tiktok where she starts all of her videos by saying “hi humans” and making lovely videos with her wife. I enjoy her use of humor in talking about her experiences. Her writing of how it felt when she was stoned was very freaky, it was like you were in your head. If I could give this 10/10 I would but the stars are only 5 lol. Your emails to both Larry Kramer as well as your message to your angels was incredible and I am so I follow Alex and know of her through my love of the Nancy podcast and now tiktok where she starts all of her videos by saying “hi humans” and making lovely videos with her wife. I enjoy her use of humor in talking about her experiences. Her writing of how it felt when she was stoned was very freaky, it was like you were in your head. If I could give this 10/10 I would but the stars are only 5 lol. Your emails to both Larry Kramer as well as your message to your angels was incredible and I am so glad to know you exist

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Fascinating Story I have read one more than one book about transsexuals and find their journey to be full of courage. This one was also and the story of what this woman went through was truly tragic and sometimes difficult to read. I was thrilled at the end to hear her triumphs and happiness had won. I rated the book 3 Stars because I couldn’t do 3 1/2 stars, but also because it was a bit too much, in my opinion, about the sex and drugs. The first 200 pages were almost exclusively about that and Fascinating Story I have read one more than one book about transsexuals and find their journey to be full of courage. This one was also and the story of what this woman went through was truly tragic and sometimes difficult to read. I was thrilled at the end to hear her triumphs and happiness had won. I rated the book 3 Stars because I couldn’t do 3 1/2 stars, but also because it was a bit too much, in my opinion, about the sex and drugs. The first 200 pages were almost exclusively about that and I felt like it was overkill.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Keith Robinson

    This is the first biography I have read that I actually know to be true. Usually I just read the words and trust that they're true. Alexandra Billings account rings true to me because part , a very big part of her story is my story. I didn't imagine when I first started reading that she would go into such detail about her addictions or her failings. This is one of the most honest autobiographies I have read in many years. I can't say I loved it because that would be to have no understanding of t This is the first biography I have read that I actually know to be true. Usually I just read the words and trust that they're true. Alexandra Billings account rings true to me because part , a very big part of her story is my story. I didn't imagine when I first started reading that she would go into such detail about her addictions or her failings. This is one of the most honest autobiographies I have read in many years. I can't say I loved it because that would be to have no understanding of the the truth it contains. I was captured and enrapt.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Griffin

    Wow! I was so interested to read this book, but I wasn't prepared for how compelling, heartbreaking and triumphant Ms. Billings' story would be. Her life has been quite a journey, with no shortage of trials and tribulations, and she's taken us along for the ride with such honesty and openness about both her life and her truth. Girl? GIRL. Bravo to you, thank you for sharing your story. Wow! I was so interested to read this book, but I wasn't prepared for how compelling, heartbreaking and triumphant Ms. Billings' story would be. Her life has been quite a journey, with no shortage of trials and tribulations, and she's taken us along for the ride with such honesty and openness about both her life and her truth. Girl? GIRL. Bravo to you, thank you for sharing your story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    She’s such an inspiration and her heart leaps from the page and into your hands to hold. But at the same time it feels like she’s holding your heart. She is a lost soul on a constant search for…fame, acceptance, family, something…and she finds bits of it along the way (like Dorothy). While her story is unique, her struggles are universal. A real warrior, teacher, artist, and good human. Really enjoyed reading and learning more about her incredible life.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine

    Beautifully Human. Mrs. Billings history was interesting and I did enjoy how it came together in a book. I hope people read this and realize Trans people are just people too. Addiction is a BITCH and well written here. Trying to figure out where you belong happens to us all and that is a major topic of this book. Over all I enjoyed learning about Alex and where she came from and will suggest to others.

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