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5.0 out of 5 starsLove, Estrogen, and Excellence
Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2018
The author's narration of her very own Love and Estrogen made my cis white boy heart flutter and swell with queer love and admiration. Do yourself a favor and pick a quiet place and put on some headphones. An intimate reading, such as this, rewards the listener with nuanced audible ques of every warm smile and welled up tearful reminiscence--and there are many. I found myself enraptured and blissfully lost in the poetic nature of her retellings. How can a story be both so artfully worded yet so intimately detailed?! You will cry, often. The authenticity of this book is evident from the quiet opening scenes at the Kinsey Library to the emboldened closing monologues on womanhood and love. Immediately after, I feel like I know something real about her and her journey. About her respect for hot chx sandwiches, her beloved Corey with game, and her growth with this partner and a second puberty. I found myself eagerly sacrificing tears and sobs on the altar of admiration, as if they could help her through her inner battles and embolden her magical and serendipitous love. I'm left with a burning desire to hug and hold onto the next loved one I see and tell them I will always love them and they are as beautiful now as they have ever been. I am literally glowing and will be checking back often for more from this author.
5.0 out of 5 starsI am SO grateful I stumbled across this book!!!
Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2018
I only stumbled across this book on accident. I had never heard of the author, and didn't recognize the book. I perused though, and was snagged by the mention that the author used to be Mormon. I, also, used to be Mormon, and the community is generally close and supportive, and I was intrigued. I expected to find an interesting read, but what I didn't expect was that I'd cry, several times. Not pretty tears, either. More a choked explosion of emotion.
This book was profoundly beautiful. The author's mind, and skill at writing, was both, and I am SO grateful I stumbled across it. My favorite line was this one:
"But I knew then that I had only one life, like I had one scar running between my breasts and one busted heart doing the best it could to pump blood. I felt my own finitude every time I ran my finger down the jagged line of steel and bone that was my new sternum. It would take me four years after that "no" to do it: two to leave Mormonism and finish college, two more in grad school to come to terms with being transgender. But every transition can be traced back to a single act of resistance. That "no" was mine."
If you're curious even a little, take a chance on this book! It was absolutely amazing!!!
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2018
Samantha is funny and romantic, intelligent and coherent. She takes what could be a complex situation and extracts humor and sweetness easily. I had to put the book down to squeal to my wife when Samantha explains how her wife proposed to her. I will say the illustrations are pretty but the animations are superficial. Have no fear reading this on a Kindle device instead of a tablet or phone.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Informative and Inspirational Memoir of LGBT Love and Romance......
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2018
Love and Estrogen is a wonderful and heartwarming memoir and love story written by Samantha Allen. In the summer of 2013, Allen was awarded a fellowship with the Kinsey Institute for sex research and was studying at their library archive at Indiana University, In Bloomington. As a transgender woman, she had began hormone therapy, yet she wasn't entirely comfortable or secure in the transition process. Samantha had hoped to blend in, though she was extremely self-conscious and filled with anxiety about being so visibly transgender: " I felt unfit to be seen. like an amusement park ride under refurbishment, waiting for hormones to finish their construction work." It never occurred to her that someone else might actually be attracted to her, yet this is what happened.
Corey was also studying feminist pornography at the same small library, and as they chatted in the foyer, it was Samantha that casually offered to go out for a bite to eat, and Corey readily accepted. At best, Samantha had hoped to become "The Fascinating Transgender Gal Pal" and enjoy Corey's company, knowing that transgender people were often a subject of great curiosity. The odds of a great love and romance for an LGBT couple under these circumstances seemed so unreal and unlikely, especially under the stress of Samantha's transition, and both women were only in Bloomington temporarily. I found it very informative the way Samantha explained so many things about serious love relationships where one partner is transgender. This is really one of the best honest and forthright books I have read on this subject. Many popular transwomen writer's leave their personal life with their partner's out of their stories. I couldn't help but wonder about the reasons, and assumed their relationship's must have been problematic or difficult. With this story, readers learn that Samantha and Corey's relationship was in many ways like most relationships these days-- everyone wants to be unconditionally loved, accepted and hopefully cherished by their spouse or significant other. Highly recommended - 5*.
5.0 out of 5 starsFinally! A real story about the real process and the accompanying real feelings
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2018
I've been a therapist for over 40 years, committed to providing the best care and treatment to all who come for help. Through these years, I've had probably 15 (plus) concerned, anxious, scared, and, most of all.. hopeful people who have come to me for mental health care and emotional (even spiritual) guidance as they and or a significant other (SO) struggle with the myriad of issues while in various phases of coping with gender identification. Making a complicated story short, this short, but in-depth and deeply revealing vignette by Ms. Allen provides me an ongoing reference as I wind down my own practice but probably continue to try to provide some emergency and/or appropriate referral(s) for persons with issues regarding gender identification...Thank you, Ms. Allen!....Bill Arick