"A must-read for anyone who is trans or has trans family or friends." --Chase Ross, trans activist and speaker.
Revealing entries from the author's personal journals as well as interviews with his mother, brother, and friends lend remarkable depth to a groundbreaking memoir of change, loss, discovery, pain, and relief.
At the beginning of his physical transition from female to male, then-seventeen-year-old Skylar Kergil posted his first video on YouTube. In the months and years that followed, he recorded weekly update videos about the physical and emotional changes he experienced. Skylar's openness and positivity attracted thousands of viewers, who followed along as his voice deepened and his body changed shape. Through surgeries and recovery, highs and lows, from high school to college to the real world, Skylar welcomed others on his journey.
This is the story of what came before the videos and what happened behind the scenes. From early childhood memories to the changes and confusion brought by adolescence, Skylar reflects on coming of age while struggling to understand his gender. As humorous as it is heartbreaking and as informative as it is entertaining, this memoir provides an intimate look at the experience of transitioning from one gender to another. Skylar opens up about the long path to gaining his family's acceptance and to accepting himself, sharing stories along the way about smaller challenges like choosing a new name and learning to shave without eyebrow mishaps. Before I Had the Words
brings new meaning to the phrase "formative years."
"Every transition is unique. There are choices we all make every day that shape who we become. There is no right way or wrong way. There are no requirements for being transgender. Some people are transgender; until you hear their stories, you may not know what that means to them. I am still learning."
About the Author
Skylar Kergil is a transgender activist, YouTube personality, singer-songwriter, and artist. His videos, which offer an honest and thorough look at the process of gender transition, have educated, uplifted, and inspired thousands. Skylar is a recipient of the Trevor Project Youth Innovator Award and lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.