Crossing: a memoir
University of Chicago Press
At the age of 52, after years of cross-dressing, Donald McCloskey decided to cross the gender divide from manhood to womanhood. His new name is Dierdre. "My crossing - change, migration, growing up, self-discovery - took place from 1994 to 1997, beginning in my home in Iowa, then a year in Holland, then back to Iowa, with travels in between. As Donald and then as Dierdre I was and am a professor of economics and of history at the University of Iowa," she recounts in her preface (page xiii). By 1994 he had been married for three decades, had three grown children, and thought he would continue as a crossdresser for the rest of his life. As "Dee," his transvestite persona, he finally called it quits with disguise and decided to undergo the surgery necessary to become a trans woman. "It's hard to pass. You just try it, Dee would say," recalls Dierdre (page 160), "I mean really try to pass as the opposite gender, not just put on a joke dress and a lampshade hat for the Lions picnic. You'll be surprised at how many gender clues there are and how easy it is to get them wrong. Scores of them, natural and unnatural, genetic and socially constructed." Despite the sometimes painfully confessional tone of the "Donald" section of this candid memoir, its second and third sections (when Dee crosses over into Dierdre) are saved from maudlin self-pity and whining self-reproach by the autobiographer's self-satirizing humour. His sense of critical self-detachment is reflected in his use of third-person pronouns to refer to himself. By highlighting the joys as well as the difficulties of "transitioning," McCloskey has crafted a compelling critique of the American mental-health bureaucracy which remains under the illusion that transsexualism is a "gender identity disorder."
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|Grouped Work ID||9458a2f0-7e3e-5e9c-6224-5bc6f0245371|
|Grouping Author||deirdre n mccloskey|
|Grouping Language||English (eng)|
|Last Grouping Update||2022-09-16 09:06:31AM|
|Last Indexed||2022-10-02 22:03:57PM|
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