With the increased awareness and social acceptance our community enjoys in todays society, it’s easy to forget that things weren’t always this way. Much of the freedom and acceptance we enjoy has been hard fought and built on the lessons from the lives of role models who have not just had the courage and determination to be themselves, but also to stand up, broadcast and campaign for the moral rights and justice of a largely hidden community.
Caroline Cossey is one such person and “My Story” is the wonderfully written, emotional and uplifting account of her living in the face of considerable adversity. It’s a compelling read, which has recently been re-imagined as an audio-book, brought to life by Katherine Fenton. I bought both versions as part of a deal from the Amazon website, never regretting it for a moment and returning to them often.
Each version of “my story” has a unique special quality. The kindle version is beautifully written, an honest and open account of Caroline’s experience growing up transgender. The Audible version, skilfully read as it is, adds a richness of emotions, which draws you into her most desperate of moments as well as the most joyful of highs. Both will leave an impression on you, hopefully inspiring you to find the same courage and determination of this rare woman, leading to you finding the same belief in yourself.
“My Story” falls neatly into three sections, the first tells of Caroline’s early years growing up and her first tentative steps leading to her transition. The second, tells of the battle for acceptance and the utterly despicable treatment of her by the tabloid press and now defunct “news of the world”. The third, a chapter in it’s own right, tells of her battle with the UK and European courts for the right to be legally recognised and to marry. Punctuated with the key events and her memories of the time, its an inspiring tale of a woman looking to find acceptance and love. The personal way in which Caroline tells her story makes it a difficult book to put down, I frequently found myself welling up or bawling my eyes out uncontrollably. It’s THAT emotional. The moments where Caroline recounts being outed by the tabloid press, losing her father and having her marriage annulled are so poignant and sad, it’s impossible to not be affected. On the newly released audible version, Katherine reads these parts so so well. its a wonderful way to experience Caroline’s story.
It’s no exaggeration to say this is a landmark autobiography for our community. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through what Caroline did, or how she found the strength of character to come out the other side. But come through it she did, and whether you read the kindle or listen to the audio version, when you come to the end, you’ll be cheering for her and wanting her to be hard at work on the next instalment. Best of all, after reading it, you’ll beaming with pride, knowing that such a generous, loving, genuine person exists. A life and a book which our community should celebrate and a book which I would wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommend. I can only hope one day she gets the credit and place in history she deserves for her life’s achievements.
If you would like to download the audible production – you can click here to be taken to the Audible website.
If you would like to download the Kindle E-book – you can click here to be taken to the Amazon website.
You can also catch a video interview Caroline did with the wonderful people at Transgenderzone by clicking here