Named a Best Book by: The Globe and Mail, Indigo, Out Magazine, Audible, CBC, Apple, Quill & Quire, Kirkus Reviews, Brooklyn Public Library, Writers’ Trust of Canada, Autostraddle, Bitch, and BookRiot.
Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award, Transgender Nonfiction
Nominated for the 2019 Forest of Reading Evergreen Award
Winner of the 2018 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design – Prose Non-Fiction
"Cultural rocket fuel." --Vanity Fair
"Emotional and painful but also layered with humour, I'm Afraid of Men will widen your lens on gender and challenge you to do better. This challenge is a necessary one--one we must all take up. It is a gift to dive into Vivek's heart and mind." --Rupi Kaur, bestselling author of The Sun and Her Flowers and Milk and Honey
A trans artist explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl--and how we might reimagine gender for the twenty-first century.
Vivek Shraya has reason to be afraid. Throughout her life she's endured acts of cruelty and aggression for being too feminine as a boy and not feminine enough as a girl. In order to survive childhood, she had to learn to convincingly perform masculinity. As an adult, she makes daily compromises to steel herself against everything from verbal attacks to heartbreak.
Now, with raw honesty, Shraya delivers an important record of the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia, releasing trauma from a body that has always refused to assimilate. I'm Afraid of Men is a journey from camouflage to a riot of colour and a blueprint for how we might cherish all that makes us different and conquer all that makes us afraid.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The power of masculinity can be as toxic as it is intoxicating. Artist Vivek Shraya struggled against assumptions all her life: As a boy, she was accused of being too feminine, but after transitioning, some told her she wasn’t nearly feminine enough. The lessons she learned are heart-wrenching, brutally direct, and illuminating. Shraya’s deeply personal story breaks down walls, helping us better understand the day-to-day complexities of her life. With every sentence, this powerful essay highlights what it actually means to be a good man.
This book should be read by everyone. It highlights the impacts of sexism, transphobia, homophobia, and racism, as well as the discrimination arising from the intersectionality of different subordinated identities. Importantly, it gives us all a look into ourselves and our behaviour to see how we, too, uphold stereotypes and ideologies.