The First Memoir by a Trans Man from China
Winner of the 2017 Lambda Literary award for Transgender Nonfiction
Born in a rural Chinese village and identified as a girl at birth, Lei Ming, is barely cared for during his childhood. Often lonely, terrified and abused, he learns early to fend for himself and look within for answers, but there he discovers a paradox that threatens to undo him. Although he does not yet know the word “transsexual,” at 16, Ming sets out on a secret mission to find relief. Life Beyond My Body tells the true story of his quest to find answers in a society that is closed-mouthed about men like Ming.
Along the way, Ming finds solace and judgement in the Christian church, loves and loses a woman, begins his physical transition using black market testosterone, is jailed over his identity, and arranges for top surgery without blowing his cover. But ultimately, understanding the true meaning of being a man will require reckoning with God.
Preview Life Beyond My Body
Read the Foreword by Lambda Literary Award-winning author Willy Wilkinson on our blog.
“Chapter 1: Who Can Give a Man His Name?” is available at Transfaith.
“In a publishing landscape that focuses on the stories of white trans people, when trans people are featured at all, Lei Ming’s Life Beyond My Body is a blessing. Its harrowing, honest narrative conveys the vulnerability of growing up trans. Its gripping depiction of overcoming unthinkable situations with faith and determination is a testament to spiritual transcendence and an inspiration to trans people of faith everywhere.”
“This heartfelt narrative describes another culture, another landscape, another site where transness occurs spontaneously, without the ideological interference of feminist theory or LGBT agendas. Allowing an English-speaking/reading audience to witness Lei Ming’s transgender journey, Transgress Press brings us an intriguing gift. Evocative, sensitive, and real. Lei Ming bridges both genders and cultures.”
— Jamison Green, PhD, educator, author of Becoming a Visible Man
“Seemingly destined for a life filled with strife and suffering, Lei Ming shows us how, through sheer tenacity and devotion, one person can overcome insurmountable obstacles and rise ever strong, withstanding the push and pull of family, church and country.”
— Zander Keig, co-editor of Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding
Brotherhood, Family & Themselves and
Letters for My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect
“Life Beyond My Body is a beautifully written account of heartbreak, survival, and liberation — a triumphant journey from cold, bitter hardship to the warm glow of optimism. I found Lei Ming’s tale thoroughly gripping, a precious gift I felt honored to receive from a talented, brave storyteller whose origins lie in the rural landscape of a country at the intersection of ancient ways and modern technology: China.”
— Willy Wilkinson, author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning book
Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency