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Woman Incognito: Transsexual without Transition is Transcender Lee’s book about her life as a female in a male body. Unlike most of the transsexuals who have been covered in the media or have written their own books, she has never been interested in changing her body to match her true gender. She does not think she was born in the wrong body. Instead, she believes that a woman in a male body is what she was always supposed to be and considers herself a “non-transition transsexual.”
The book is about two paths Transcender Lee has taken in her life. The first was the path to self-discovery, beginning in her early childhood and continuing until her mid-fifties. She tells of what seemed like a fairly normal “boyhood,” despite a few incidents that, looking back, may have been hints of things to come.
She recalls her descent from high school valedictorian to college dropout from several different schools. She describes her two years at a highly respected private mental hospital where the doctors had no clue about her gender dysphoria. After that experience and after finally getting a couple of college degrees, her life calmed down a little. But she still knew that something was not right.
Finally, with the help of two therapists and the indispensable support of her wife, Transcender Lee discovered her womanhood and started down the second path of her life. She tells what it was like to live as a “woman incognito” until she was ready to reveal her story in this book. She relates how she decided to take on the name Transcender Lee and set out on a mission to transcend boundaries, not only of gender but also of race, religion, class, and sexual orientation.
This book fills an important gap in the existing transgender literature and can expand readers’ understanding of what it means to be transgender or transsexual. It can help people who are struggling with gender issues to understand that, for some of them, non-transition may be a viable option. That option is set in the context of the full range of gender experiences in a chapter called “The Gender Spectrum,” and another chapter is written specifically for parents of transgender children.