We're apparently not yet at a place in our culture where we can talk about gender identity without getting the plumbing talk out of the way immediately, so let's make this short and sweet. Novelist T Cooper (whose Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes is one of the finest novels I've read in the last decade) was born what we still consider to be a "biological" female. He knew from a very young age that he identified as male, so as soon as he was able, he became a man. This doesn't mean that he swapped his vagina out for a penis. In fact, he didn't do that at all. He took hormones. He dressed as a man. He married a woman. He uses men's restrooms. By any account that matters, especially so far as you or I are concerned, T Cooper is a heterosexual man.

But the United States is at the very beginning—still ambling up to the start line, really—when it comes to transgender acceptance. And so the plumbing talk is still necessary, because everyone still seems to think that everyone else's genitals are their business. But after years of trying to avoid the subject, Cooper has finally published a memoir about what his manhood means to him...

(Keep reading.)