Q&A: Author Noelle Howey

How do you friends and family feel about the book? Are they supportive?

Noelle Howey

My parents are 100 percent supportive. They really thought the book was important in giving a face to what has so far been a string of really juvenile depictions of transgendered people (like you see on Jerry Springer). We felt that when you can make a caricature of somebody, like a transgendered person, then it is so much easier to discriminate against them or to think that their problems don't relate to yours.

The only people I worried about in writing the book were ex-boyfriends. But at least one of them I heard from — and he has been really supportive (his virginity got outed in the book!)

Micah asks:

If you had to give one piece of advice to a young person struggling to cope with and love a transgender parent, what would that advice be?

Noelle Howey

Try to have as much patience with your parents as you would like them to have with you. For most people, coming out is a form of adolescence; it mirrors puberty in almost every particular. If you can accept the fact that your parent is going to change and is going to have some phases — some of which you will find hysterically funny or just plain weird — and if you try to have a sense of humor about it, it'll be much less painful.

I think the hardest part is just dealing with the fact that a parent is changing. Everyone expects their parents to remain the same. Of course they won't, and they don't. The only difference with this is that the change is much more visible; it's much more external, so that other people will react to it and make their own value judgments. I've found dealing with others' reactions can often be harder than dealing with the actual transgender issue.

Thank you all for asking questions. I hope people have found the book entertaining — and most of all funny.

Moderator

Thanks to Noelle Howey — and to all those who joined the chat.

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