Image is a stack of multicolored books in front of a peach background next to the words Book Review, because on this page, we like to review books about transgender topics.

Review: Sorted by Jackson Bird

book review Jul 27, 2023

Sorted is a raw and honest exploration of what it looks like to discover one's gender without the knowledge, tools, and guidance to help assist on the journey. It's a beautifully crafted blend of memoir and educational narratives that allows for a wide range of readers.


Image courtesy of Simon and Schuster 


In his book, Bird shares his experience of growing up confused about his gender and the challenges he experienced on his journey to sort out where he fit on the gender spectrum and with his sexuality.


"Growing up in a culture thick with stereotypical gender roles, and battling so much internalized fear of my own deviations from those norms, actually caused me physical anxiety when I saw people openly expressing gender nonconformity" (p.48).


Sorted isn't your typical memoir. Scattered throughout the book are bits of journal entries and memorabilia documenting Bird's journey to discover his authentic self from childhood to young adulthood. Additionally, spread throughout the book is educational material to help the reader better understand what it means to be a transgender person and how to support one.


"It might take a while for you to adjust. You might feel like they're moving too quickly in coming out to people or transitioning . Remember, that they've likely been grappling with their gender for a very long time, and while it's new to you, it's not new to them" (p.196).


Bird takes us through the challenge of first being able to identify both his gender and sexuality after having received mixed messages from the media and the internet about what it meant to be transgender. Then, he leads us through the complications of coming out and the worries of how people would react and what they would think.


"But coming out as transgender? There are still a lot of gaps in people's understanding of what exactly that means. And even if someone is familiar with transgender people, there are still a lot of questions" (p.190).


As you work to learn more about transgender people and what it means to be transgender, Bird's book is an excellent addition to your collection. It's a modern-day coming-of-age story with a deep dive into gender, sexuality, and a side of humor thrown in.


At 284 pages and twenty-seven chapters, Sorted reads between a fiction novel and a non-fiction book. The narrative flows like a fiction novel, but the educational material will slow you down to pay attention. You'll want to read this book with a pen for underlining and notes. Consider this for a book club selection, but give yourselves plenty of time to discuss it. Consider having a transgender person join you to answer any questions that might arise during the conversation.



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