Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition (Paperback)
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In her unique, generous, and affecting voice, nineteen-year-old Katie Rain Hill shares her personal journey of undergoing gender reassignment. Now with a reading group guide!
Katie Rain Hill realized very young that a serious mistake had been made; she was a girl who had been born in the body of a boy. Suffocating under her peers’ bullying and the mounting pressure to be “normal,” Katie tried to take her life at the age of eight years old. After several other failed attempts, she finally understood that “Katie”—the girl trapped within her—was determined to live.
In this first-person account, Katie reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to the life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager. She reveals the unique challenges she faced while unlearning how to be a boy and shares what it was like to navigate the dating world—and experience heartbreak for the first time—in a body that matched her gender identity.
Told in an unwaveringly honest voice, Rethinking Normal is a coming-of-age story about transcending physical appearances and redefining the parameters of “normalcy” to embody one’s true self.
About the Author
Katie Rain Hill is a student at the University of Tulsa majoring in anthropology and sociology. She wrote this memoir while studying for exams, writing term papers, working part-time as a pharmaceutical technician, and advocating for LGBTQA rights. Rethinking Normal is her first book.
“The writing style is open and straightforward…this is a worthwhile addition, given how few transgender memoirs there are for teens.”
— School Library Journal
“Hill tackles both painful and joyful experiences with a light touch, and background information about gender and physical transition is woven seamlessly into the narrative…Will both educate cisgender readers and strike sparks of recognition in those questioning their own gender identities.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Once I began reading Katie’s bold, beautiful unflinchingly honest memoir, I couldn’t put it down. I felt as if I could reach out and touch her.”
— Susan Kuklin, author and photographer of Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
“In this powerfully honest book, Katie Rain Hill explains it all for you. If her story of growing up transgender in Bible Belt Oklahoma doesn’t touch you, you may be made of stone.”
— Ellen Wittlinger, award-winning author of Parrotfish, Hard Love and Love & Lies.
"Part of what makes Katie’s story so extraordinary is that many of her struggles are entirely ordinary...Being so open—and openly imperfect—makes Katie relatable on a human level, not just as a spokesperson."
— Publishers Weekly
"Katie's memoir is an extraordinary educational tool for anyone who wants to understand more about the transgender experience. Her compelling personal journey and relatable modern voice make her story accessible to readers who have never experienced gender dysphoria, and allow her to casually and efficiently define terms such as sex, gender identity, gender expression, romantic attraction, and sexual attraction, as well as the differences between them."
— Edge Magazine
"Katie’s emotions are raw and gripping, and her fight to be accepted is awe inspiring...[T]his is the perfect title to foster acceptance regardless of age, gender, or orientation."