Friday, 3 July 2015


I AM J by Cris Beam                  

 I honestly don't know what possessed me to buy this book to begin with other than perhaps the lack of knowledge that I have when it comes to transgender and transexual individuals. Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there is a sense of common interest in one another within the community that urged me to embark on J's story of self discovery. J, born Jenifer is uncomfortable in his skin. However unlike metaphorical cases of lack of self confidence, J was born in a girls body with the mind and soul of a guy. J hides himself under layers and layers of clothes but understands that fabric won't hide who he really is. He is misunderstood by his immigrant parents and by his best friend Melissa, but theres only one thing on his mind. T. J believes Testosterone is the answer to his troubles. With T he can become who he truly is and give justice to the person that his body lacks in all its entirety. 

I AM J is a book that truly delves in to sexual and gender identity, a topic that should be understood by all. Misconceptions are evident when discussing gender identity but these are banished with every page turn. In I AM J, one can understand the meaning of self discovery with relatable and charismatic characters and a very 'normal' plot line. J is an especially vivid character, and the supporting characters are carefully drawn. Told in third person, the story is believable and effective due to insightful situations, realistic language and convincing dialogue. Beam successfully shines the light to a misunderstood segment of society skilfully. Beam has written easily the best book to date about the complicated condition of being a transexual teen, not only sharing important information that is artfully woven into a plot but also creating in J, a multilayered, absolutely believable character whose pain readers will share.

“I guess it's about what you have to give up to gain something else...Did you always have to give something up for a gain?” 
― Cris BeamI am J

By Alice Map