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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Trans people in Britain today have become a culture war ‘issue’. Despite making up less than one per cent of the country’s population, they are the subjects of a toxic and increasingly polarized ‘debate’ which generates reliable controversy for newspapers and talk shows. This media frenzy conceals a simple fact: that we are having the wrong conversation, a conversation in which trans people themselves are reduced to a talking point and denied a meaningful voice.

In this powerful new book, Shon Faye reclaims the idea of the ‘transgender issue’ to uncover the reality of what it means to be trans in a transphobic society. In doing so, she provides a compelling, wide-ranging analysis of trans lives from youth to old age, exploring work, family, housing, healthcare, the prison system and trans participation in the LGBTQ+ and feminist communities, in contemporary Britain and beyond.

The Transgender Issue is a landmark work that signals the beginning of a new, healthier conversation about trans life. It is a manifesto for change, and a call for justice and solidarity between all marginalized people and minorities. Trans liberation, as Faye sees it, goes to the root of what our society is and what it could be; it offers the possibility of a more just, free and joyful world for all of us.

© Shon Faye 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • Few books are as urgent as Shon Faye’s debut … The analysis is thorough and heartbreaking … it’s a highly fact-based book backed up with statistics and case studies, but she manages to write it in a hugely emotive and powerful way … Faye has hope for the future – and maybe so should we.

    Independent
  • Faye puts forward a powerful case not of what separates us but what brings us together. Above all, her book is a cry for compassion for an embattled community and a plea to be treated with dignity and fairness. It is, surely, the very least anyone can do.

    The Guardian
  • I am profoundly grateful that [this book] exists … A book such as this one, in which a trans person has the opportunity to speak clearly and compellingly on their own terms, is a vitally needed antidote … One book cannot, of course, outweigh such a continual outpouring of animosity. Nevertheless, as drops in the bucket go, this book is an important and weighty one.

    The Observer
  • Enter Shon Faye. The journalist and former lawyer might have gathered a following on Twitter for her wry humor, but her first book offers a cold, hard, and, most importantly, convincing look into the facts surrounding trans rights both past and present, as well as a moving and impressively comprehensive overview of trans life in Britain today. Leavened by Faye’s sharp, sparkling writing styleThe Transgender Issue is a vital resource for readers outside of the U.K. to understand just what is happening there in terms of trans rights – and how to bring about a long-overdue change to the conversation.

    Vogue
  • A detailed overview of the systemic violence and discrimination trans people face in Britain today … [Faye is] sanguine, relaxed, and funny while eloquently delivering complex philosophical arguments which, as she explains them, sound so obvious that you wonder why you’ve never thought of them beforeThe Transgender Issue is fundamentally not a culture-war book. It operates outside the narrow coverage of trans people in the mainstream, and lays bare the inarguable facts of being trans: that’s it’s rare, that it’s misunderstood, that society makes it dangerous.

    New Statesman
  • A welcome contribution to the trans debate … Faye has written a clear and concise analysis of the presenting issues for trans people today.

    Evening Standard

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