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Before I Had the Words

On Being a Transgender Young Adult
Narrated by: Skylar Kergil
Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

At the beginning of his physical transition from female to male, then-17-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.  

Before I Had the Words 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.   

Revealing entries from the author’s personal journals as well as interviews with members of his family lend remarkable depth to Skylar’s story. A groundbreaking chronicle of change, loss, discovery, pain, and relief, Before I Had the Words brings new meaning to the phrase “formative years”.

©2017 Skylar Kergil (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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allow Skylar to educate you

An interesting, personal and readable account of one trans man's journey.
Skylar is very clear through that this is his journey and his alone. I think his point that trans folk are not a homogenous group is so relevant and important.
There is a tendency among cis folk to assume all trans experiences are the same, all lives similar and all sensibilities identical. What a ridiculous thing to think! No other group is assume to have identical members, not even identical twins!
I found Skylar's telling of his experiences to be open, honest and revealing. He talks about how he experienced and processed life both before and after transition. I felt particularly moved by his slow realization of what he was feeling, and of what it actually meant. It must be so scary and confusing to not have the words or concepts for how you are feeling, and not know you are not alone. Both Skylar and I hope that that is now different for trans kids, or at least some of them.

I also really loved the fact that he knows that just because he is okay with discussing some aspects of his life does not mean all trans folk are, or that even he, as a fellow trans person, has the right to ask questions. Cis people need to learn that respect.

Interesting book That taught me a thing or two. Amazing young man is this Skylar.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-19

waterworks

the interviews at the end were beautiful. I'm so happy your family and people closest to you see you the way you always saw yourself. thank you for existing and for fighting to live authentically, for pushing through the heartaches and suffering, and sharing about your growing pains and gains. you are a beautiful man.

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  • Tinas
  • 13-06-19

Years to come

Skylar Kergil shares the fear, pain, and frustration people who are transgender go through before, during, and, sometimes after they finally begin living life as their true self. His strength and courage have been a great source of support to many other young people who are in the throes of discovering their true self. It has been an honor to have Skylar's YouTube videos play in our home for many years in the past and I hope his videos will continue to play in homes for years to come.