Letters For My Brothers Giveaway Contest

UPDATE, 09/20/12 – Congratulations to our three winners: Evan Rafuse, Jaye, and Xavier. Enjoy the book!!

TransGuys.com and the editors of Letters For My Brothers, Zander Keig & Megan Rohrer, have teamed up to offer a special giveaway contest in conjunction with our recently published review of the book, Letters For My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect (Wilgefortis, 2011).

You’re invited to enter to win a free copy of this excellent book! Check out our review, then head back to this page to enter the contest.

How to Enter

Entering the contest is easy! Simply post a comment below, giving your past (or future) self some transitional advice. What do you wish you knew about transition back then? Or, what wise words do you want to remember about your transition years from now?

Good luck!

Contest Rules

Registration Deadline: 9/18/12. Drawings will be held on 9/19/12.
Prizes: Three (3) lucky winner(s) will each receive one (1) paperback copy of the book, Letters For My Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect.
Eligibility: Worldwide entries accepted. Entries must be received between 12:00 p.m. PST on 9/4/12 and 11:59:59 p.m. PST 9/18/12 (”Contest Period”). Only one (1) entry per person/email address; entries with duplicate email addresses or multiple entries using different email addresses for a single individual will count as one entry.
Selection of Winners: Winners will be selected by Zander Keig based on their entry comment on or about 9/19/12 (from among eligible entries submitted during the Contest Period). Winners will be notified by e-mail on or about 9/20/12. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.


  • jakob says:

    Ok 18 yr old jakob. Look up the word trangender. Yep, thats you. Now go find a dr and go enjoy your youth in the gender you were ment to be. Future jakob. Never stop having fun. Doesn’t have to be party related, but it does have to be done daily. So go find a playground and swing on the monkey bars.

  • Juz says:

    Younger me: stop worring and over thinking everthing…do not let others lack of understanding and compassion dampen your spirit or dictate who you are… Be True…Be You… Just remember it is your actions that let others know what type of person you are not how you look… act with compassion understanding and respect… Also you are not fat!!

  • Charlie says:

    Dear younger Charlie, People are going to tell you that you aren’t “enough of a woman.” No worries… it will make sense soon. When you come out they’ll then tell you that you’re “not trans*” enough. They’re going to tell you that you have to be on hormones, you have to get this or that surgery, or that you have to wear certain clothes to fit their definition of being transgender. Ignore them, ignore them, IGNORE THEM! No one can tell you how to express your gender. You will lose support of people in your family, past high school peers, and current friends. That’s totally OKAY! You will gain a family of queers at college and they will have your back more than you can ever imagine! Embrace your art, your femme expression, and your time at college. Also, remember that family doesn’t have to share the same blood as you. Love, Charlie.

  • Anthony grider says:

    Dear younger Anthony stop telling your self its wrong to like girls and yes you are ment to wear boys clothes. Its ok that you feel weird in dresses your not ment to wear them …. Dear future Anthony don’t let any one tear you down or try to stop you from bring the best you can keep you’re head up it only gets better from here

  • Liam says:

    Dear future Liam,
    Remember where you came from, remember your roots and who raised you. Don’t forget to be kind to all who cross your path, and make their day. Continue to be the nice guy you are and you will go far.
    Don’t let the silly little things get to you anymore. You are in control of your life, you can be whatever you want.
    I wish the best luck to you.
    Present Liam

  • Eliot says:

    Don’t worry so much. Never stop learning. There’s always something new to discover about yourself and the queer world. Question everything, even your transition. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Zorayda says:

    Dear younger Zorayda, please don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t dress as a boy all the time. You don’t even have to dress as a girl when you get out of high school and start working. People need to understand who you are and respect you. Dear future Zorayda (Zack) Inform yourself of all the information you need to know about transitioning, don’t act like you know what you’re doing because you don’t. The only thing you know for sure is that you are going to be the person that you always wanted to be, the person who was hiding inside your soul and is ready to come out. The only thing you have control of is your feelings and your happiness. Everything else is learned.

  • Ophir says:

    Please don’t forget I’m an uneducated french, sorry for my akward words and sentences!

    “Quelles questions!”

    Since my younger age I suffer from mysterious heavy rheumatics (first the legs, then arms, shoulders and the low of my back) wich ruined my childhood and young adult life socialy and mentaly…….
    I was a tomboy until 15 years old (first boyfriend (leys call him “U”) and starting smoking joints) and then my boyfriend try to girl gender me and i’ve done the same for him, he was very “glam” had more make up than me when we meet (the first concert he saw was Alice Cooper when he turns 5^^) It was a mascarade, we were pushing our desires on each others…. He questioned him once about transitionning has an MtF, I supported him but He wasn’t ready (familly matters and probable loss of bandmates (He’s a drummer) stopped I’m in his questionning)
    But after 8 years of relationship and get wedd I was still unhappy and still suffering from pain in my whole body…. then I burnout and wanted to stop weed, I get in a psychiatric clinic… At the first meeting with the psychologist after 30 minutes of interview, he ask me “don’t you ever consider that being a man trapped in your female body could be the reason you endure so much trouble and pain all your life?”
    Then and here’s the beginning of questionning what was obvious but not conscient when I was child…..
    First I denied, then anger came, bargain, then much more depressed as usual and finaly I accept after reconsidering fact of my past with a new point of view!
    In fact I was enduring the 5 steps of loss and grief of the person I thougt I was.
    Now that I know who I am my mysterious diseases healed !

    We’ve broke up with my partner but we’re still friends!
    I still <3 "U"……but has a sister!

    All my apologies for my ugly english^^

  • Oliver says:

    There’s lots of different types of men, that includes trans men too. You won’t have to fit in any more post-transition than you felt you had to pre-transition. T might change how others see you, but it won’t change who you are.
    Also packing is awesome, I don’t care if your other trans friends stopped doing it when they started passing you should keep doing it as long as it makes you happy (and for heavens sake, please wash it more often)

  • sonam ben says:

    Hang in there…..it gets better….trust your own path.

  • Nikolai says:

    Dear Past Nikolai,
    Don’t ever let someone you love dictate how you live your life. Dan might seem like a great guy now, but when you get the courage to come out, you’ll realize how much time you wasted with him. Don’t give up on your dreams because of someone telling you that you’ll never be loved for who you really are. That’s a lie, and you know it. You also need to put down the pills, kid. The mental ward’s no fun, especially when the doctors treat you like an animal because of your differences. Keep your head up high, man. Love yourself. Let yourself fall in love with the right person. Her name’s Brittany. She’ll support you through thick and thin.
    I love you, and I know you’ll be proud of yourself when you’re older.
    Nikolai of 2012

  • Olex says:

    Dear 14 year old Olex,

    Many years from now someone will say, “Trasition doesn’t make things better. It just makes them different.”

    It’s a random comment that will be a turning point in your social transition and so many fantastic things will come out of it.

    Also, please start watching Dr. Who before you turn 30.

    It gets different,

  • Evan Rafuse says:

    Dear younger Evan,

    You thought you’d destroy the lives of so many who love you. You thought you would lose friends, lose career, lose family. You thought you would be beaten up, rejected, lost and without love. You thought if you started transition you would change into someone not you, that you would end up trying too hard to be someone you thought was you. For 40 years you ran from yourself and you would have kept running unless love stopped you. Looking back now, 10 mths back. You not only have gained everything you thought you’d lose but you also gained happiness. Your brain now recognizes your body and people say you have changed for the better. Though dysphoria and doubt still gnaw at you sometimes and you think at age 40 that you will never get a career, that you will always struggle for pennies…. but it only ever was fear that kept you back from your dreams, fear that kept you back from being who you are and fear that will keep you back from moving forward in the future. You have beaten many fears and love still surrounds you because you never lost the essence of Erin. People love you for who you are not for how you look. Though alignment is important, it is your heart and soul that don’t change. Though you still wrestle with doubt and fears and you often think God is disgusted by what you’ve done, look around at the the things you’ve been blessed with in life and hang on. When difficulty comes knocking, hang on. Becoming Evan is a lesson well learned.

  • Tarald says:

    To my younger self:
    Yes, it is possible to be a gay transman, and it is all right.
    No, to transition is not equivalent to giving in to patriarchy.
    Yes, you will have sex post-transition – if you make an effort to get some.
    No, you won’t become a woman by giving birth. You’ll just realize that you are a man, and get a wonderful daughter.
    The sooner you get this, the better the outcome (because here in Norway, you can’t get help after you turn 30).

  • Edward Norman says:

    OK Ed, Get in that time machine & go back tio when you were 24 years old & had money to burn. Now, talk to your gay friends about the way you feel — like God has a real wry sense of humor by sticking you in the wrong body, because the idea of getting pregnant or wearing make-up & dresses makes you want to puke. How you in awful trouble when you were 4 & 5 for clipping a clothespin to the fly of your jeans, & the horrendous arguments you still have with your mom about you are a boy & she says you’re a girl. Then when you argue with her further she says “prove it” — dirty pool Mom. And I bet one of them will tell you about transgendered people; it might even be Dave, who is attracted to you even though he’s gay & that doesn’t make sense to him (& you are also attracted to him, the only man you have ever found interesting). And ask Doc to send you for counseling, start your transitioning in your mid 20’s instead of mid 40’s. Don’t be afraid of what people with think, whether your friends & family will shun you, because all that matters is you being happy and oving your body, which you hate right now and that’s why you’ve had weight problems most of your life. Once you start, you’ll like yourself and lose that weight; you’re asthma won’t be as bad, you won’t develop type-2 diabetes, you won’t have so much back pain after that idiot hits you in 2003 (BTW, stay in the right lane on July 9th, screw the lottery ticket). By the time you’re in your mid-30’s you can be at least 90% through with your transition. Ask questions, no fear, don’t worry that you’ll be a gay man instyead of a straight female. You’ll be happy & that is priceless. Be the fire breathing dragon, be the warrior you were born to be. Don’t waste 20 years of your life being afraid to ask a question. There are no “do-overs” in life – you only get one shot at this. Now, get busy and go find your true self.

  • Justin Thorsell says:

    Justin, you won’t be alone. You will have and experience more love than you could ever thought imaginable. Happiness finds you. Keep going.

  • Juz says:

    p.s. younger Juz… Stay Away From Drugs… they are not your friend and alcoholics do not I repeate DO NOT make suitble partners…And for godsake open your mouth and talk freely with your therapist thats what she is there for…Just imagine how freeing it would have felt years ago instead of 12 months ago!!.. and once again You are so NOT fat…

  • Scott Xavier says:

    In being ready for a relationship while dealing with transitioning, I have got to love myself and my body/soul unconditionally to attract someone who would treat me lovingly and is worthy of the energy of my love. I cannot put my life on hold until I can afford surgery. I cannot resist loving myself until the body matches my internal gender as that would waste time and produce an internal struggle that is not necessary. The correct body parts will enhance my sense of self but they will not make me someone I am not already.

  • Jaye says:

    Confidence… it’s the one thing.
    Don’t look to others for confirmation of the person you already know you are… that will come with time (and testosterone). In their ignorance, and sometime stubbornness they will call you ‘she’… don’t flinch, don’t respond… have absolute confidence in yourself! Much easier to say than do, I know…
    Eventually there will come a time when you can’t remember te last ‘she’ you had thrown at you… or when those stubborn people hanging on to it will look like the complete fools they are acting.
    Transition isn’t necessarrily easy, you need confidence to deal with all the medical professionals,to know what you want and how to ask for it. Same goes for dealing with others in your life, but that confidence in who you are and that you deserve to be comfortable and happy in your own skin will go a long way to helping others see the real you!
    Good luck!

  • Leroy says:

    To younger me: It’s okay that your journey is different from other people, it’s okay that you didn’t exhibit cognizance right from a young age that you are a boy. There isn’t a checklist in transitioning. We all have different experiences and encounters. Don’t let others tell you who you are. There are no hard and fast rules to transitioning, please bear that in mind.

  • James says:

    Don’t be afraid. Yes, it’s going to hurt, but putting this off isn’t going to help. You are stronger than you realize. Speaking of strength, start working out now. And stretch out… Shin splints are a bitch.

  • Kenny says:

    Dear Younger me: Speak up. Speak up, be Brave and go for what you want (not what others want for you)! You wanted to go to the LGBT club in middle school, Go! You wanted to bind in HS, look it up and figure out how to make that happen. Either way you’re going to do so in your first few years of college. Please wear what you want to wear and don’t let anyone change that for you. It will save a lot of awkwardness, trust. You are who you are and you should do as you want, ’cause you can not hide. Not even now. Even though you may loose some people along the way, there will always be a circle that will have your back. Stay true to yourself lil buddy, We’re gunna Soar <3

  • Xavier says:

    Dear Xavier,

    Looking back now and thinking of all the nights you spent crying yourself to sleep, all the times you skipped pass the mirror just to avoid your reflection and the moments you broke down when you couldn’t peel yourself away – it was painful but it has taught you valuable lessons on love that I now implement into my everyday life. I’ve become a better person for having endured the pain you couldn’t escape.

    I see you cowering beneath your covers when the day tells you its time to begin and I want so badly to let you know that its okay. A lot of people may not understand you, but you do, and the better your understanding of yourself, the better quality of friends you’ll acquire to complement those traits. So don’t be afraid to let people know who you truly are. They’ll either love you or not. If they don’t, your world will not crumble. And for those who do, you’ll learn the meaning of the phrase, “meant to be.” Your friends then will be the same friends I have now.

    When I look back and see you shivering in fear as you consider talking to someone about your feelings, I would have told you long ago to listen to your heart and take the path YOU knew would make you most happy – and your family would have spoken those exact words to you. Your family loves you despite all of the things you’re afraid of, the things that make you YOU. The things that makes your family and friends love you. Not all of them will immediately understand, but they just want you to be happy and support you either way.

    But most of all, I want to thank you for holding on. Had you not held on, I wouldn’t be here right now and experiencing life this way. I wouldn’t be the man I am today had you not stood strongly in your manhood yesterday. Albeit with trembling knees and an air of shame, but YOU DID IT. You actually did it and I am so glad you held on. You kept telling yourself, “just wait, your day will come.” And you stuck by that belief and placed trust in yourself in order to achieve it.

    So remember all those nights you spent praying to God to be a boy? You thought there was never an answer, but in all actuality, you got it. You always were. You just needed to trust and believe in yourself.

    And finally, I love you. You were much stronger than you realized, even at your weakest. See you in the future. I’ll be here, despite your thinking that you’ll never make it.

  • aaron says:

    Don’t focus on the fact that it took you 40 years to set Aaron free. Now that he is, let him soar!

  • Shaun LaDue says:

    I have decided to go on my journey later in life than most, and I am proud of my younger brothers for taking their steps earlier in life than me. I didn’t know that changing or re-genderizing my body was possible – I thought is was just something I thought up in my fantasy. When I first started thinking and researching I wanted it all. Now I am waiting for T and top surgery. So for the future, change is possible, and living in BC makes being trans easier and that I can appreciate. These early steps into transitioning are fraught with confusion; things like filling out forms is it illegal to say I am male on a form this early in my transition? Can I use my preferred name on forms before my name change has been legally completed? Then there is the ever present question of public restrooms, which one do I use? I haven’t mastered the STP yet so standing in the guys can and using an urinal is out of the question, in fact I am still kinda shy going into a male public restroom by myself. I often use the handicapped restroom, its easier, or I wait. Then there is the rude questions of what was my name and what’s in my pants? As for my birth name, my response is “I forget.” as for the rude question of what exactly to I have in my pants? “Nobody’s business but mine and my lover’s.” Then the question of sexual orientation, I give the answer of, “Bisexual or pansexual” basically telling people its none of their damn business. I do this with grace and patience because people are curious, but I would rather they read a book then pry into my personal space. As for “passing” some days I do care more than other days. It feels good when someone says, “Excuse me, sir.” or something like that, acknowledging me as a guy and other days I wish bi-gender language didn’t exist — its so limiting and is really exclusive. Not everyone fits in, and at the moment I don’t fit in. And maybe I won’t fit in. And for me that is okay, but for many of my younger brothers who are transitioning fitting in is really important and I really wish I had words of wisdom other than don’t give a f*ck what others think, it only matters what you think and feel about yourself. After all you have to live with yourself 24/7. Transitioning is for us older guys a second puberty and a second chance — that is kinda cool. Shaun

  • Malkiel says:

    To myself present past & future
    In light of all the gains & loses, with all the unannounced changes that occur daily now since finally being able to live life on the fluid edge, there is one constant to always remember: I am ALWAYS being supported by a loving God & manifesting universe, I am part of a wonderful tapestry story helping the earth to evolve into a better place, and being true to myself brings a deep inner peace that nothing can ever rock again. Finally, I am back home within myself after a very long journey away!

  • Theo says:

    Dear Theo (2004),

    You were right. When you were small you just knew with all your heart and soul that you’d grow up to be a man, a Dad. You will, you do. You just need a little help from something called “testosterone” because your body isn’t making enough of it.

    Think back to when you were small. Recapture that certainty and that hope. Believe. You can do this. It will be hard. I mean, a second puberty straight after your first? Yeah, really hard. But you’ll get through it. Really, you will.

    You will get to the point where you barely notice that you’re not like other guys. You just get up in the morning and put your penis on with your underwear, pull a binding vest over your head, get the rest of your clothes on and walk out into a world where most of the people you meet treat you just like any other guy cos that’s exactly what you are. You get there eventually.

    Try not to let your parents feel like they have any choice or control in this – they will try to leverage it and try to stop you. I let mine obstruct me more than necessary. There is no “good” or “right” way to tell them that you’re not quite who they thought and there’s not much you can do to make it “easier” for them. Eventually they will accept you because they know they cannot change you.

    Each step you take in your transition will feel strange and awkward at first. Don’t mistake this for thinking that the step is “wrong for you” – it may not be. Give each thing a chance and if you don’t like it try something else. Don’t do too many steps at once. I know it feels desperately urgent but really you’ve all the time in the world to figure out who you are and who you want to be.

    Last tip: find your people. Find other trans people of all genders, find other men who like what you like, find people who “get” you.

    Theo, I know life’s been pretty shit for you. I was there! I know the shit has messed your head around and that you’ll be dealing with it for years and years to come. I also know that you’re going to be okay. It hurts. Growing up from who you are now will really really hurt sometimes but you’re going to be okay. And happy. And loved. Life will get fucking awesome for you. Really, it will.

    So, do one thing for me will you Theo? Put down the painkillers and go to bed before you take that overdose, okay? Done? Good. Goodnight Theo, see you in a few years time.

    Love you mate,
    Theo (2012)

  • Saer M says:

    16-year-old Saer-

    Don’t give up on your mom. It’ll take her a few months, but she means well. Enough. She loves you. Yeah, it’s scary, but she’s the only one you have. Your home will always be your safe space, regardless of what you do, who you are, or how you present yourself.

    Oh, and you really should punch that guy. I know you don’t, but you really should. You don’t deserve to hear that shit against you.

    And to 15-year-old Saer-

    Don’t. Give. Up. Your mom might not realize it, but that one mention of you suspecting you’re trans* will be forgotten. She won’t remember, and it’ll make it easier to come out later if she remembers this.

    Just remember to do it for your sister. You’re 15 years her elder, and she’ll look up to you. Be someone she can be proud of. Be someone worth her love.

    -17-year-old Saer.

  • Skye says:

    Dear Skye,

    You’re just starting out on this long journey to manhood. Don’t worry about what other people think… You are a 19 year old pagan transman from Maine whose in a committed, polyamorous relationship. You’re weird! Don’t try to be normal. Just be the man that you are. And if other people don’t like it, than that is their problem, not yours. Don’t take the looks your “friends” give you when you come out to heart. Embrace yourself. Practice some radical self love! These are your college years, the best years of your life! Immerse yourself in learning, friendship, and self discovery. Think of your future self whenever you feel lost. You see him as a confident, successful, caring man. You will ALWAYS have the potential to be that man. Right now, in this very moment, you can decide that that is who you are. Embrace who you truly are, and remember this above everything else: How you feel can never be wrong.

    Your Potential

  • Daniel says:

    Dear Daniel,

    I know that people are making fun of you and how you look, but they are few in your life. You will make friends that will respect you and help you through the hard times. Keep looking up to your dad, even though he can’t understand why you fight him tooth and nail to learn how to do carpenter work and work on the cars with him. Don’t worry about learning how to be a boy for you are one already. What you need to learn, outside of what you know inside, will be taught to you when you need to know it. Relax and enjoy the ride. Even the days when it seems like T and top surgery seems like something that will never happen, it will. For you have a great life full of adventure and fun along side a beautiful woman that loves you totally and complete for who you are. So stop struggling. Know that your life now is amazing so everything you went through was totally worth it because it made you stronger.

    Take care bro,

  • Jordyn says:

    Dear Young Jordyn,

    You already know that you’re different from everyone else in your life. Just not in the way you think it is right now. What you need to do is learn how to tell people what you’re feeling. You’re so angry and sad. It’s been that way as long as you can remember. Go to mom, go to mimi, tell them you don’t feel like a girl. Guys to you are this enigma, but I know you feel connected to them. I know you want what they have. So, just say something, please. Or write it down because you’re better at that. Don’t worry about thinking it through so much, and being completely sure. I’ve done that. The reason you hate yourself is because you’re not a boy. But you can be one, even though it seems impossible. You’re not a traitor. You’re not betraying your feminist upbringing. Trust me. Listen to your heart because your brain is whispering all his secrets down there. I’m 20 now (Yeah, you actually live that long.) And I’m going to start T in a few months. We do so many things late, so many. This is one we should’ve gotten a jump on, like our schoolwork. We would’ve had a much happier childhood. Our life is just beginning, so I guess it wasn’t too late. Don’t let it happen again.

    Future Jordyn

    PS: Mom still gives us a Klingon middle name after we tell her. There’s no escape. Get used to K’Ratak.

  • Zander Keig says:

    So many great responses!!

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with the readers. You are all mentoring your brothers!!

  • Casey Liam says:

    My advice…. Remember G-D loves you! Trans or not… this advice would have saved me from years of self loathing.

  • Aaron says:

    I would tell myself that people will surprise you and passing will be easier than you expect – don’t try, just be. The novelty, wonder, and sheer joy won’t wear off.

  • JD Delgado says:

    JD, at age 30(2005), when you come out as trans to your “best friend” and she tells you that she doesn’t think you should do it and to just think about it, don’t climb back in the closet for 5 years! The moment you start realizing your feelings of being a boy (age 12) GO WITH IT! Fight to be who you know you are inside and out. Those who really love you will support you all the way! You’ll meet somone in 2009 who will be the very best supporter and true best friend you could ever ask for, so hang in there!

  • W says:

    your life won’t always be about gender Always and FOREVER. it just feels that way in the beginning.

  • Ophir says:

    If think I forgot my advice in my comment (and I don’t know how to delete the first one to post it again and complete)… So here it his the end of my comment, time is a friend and it will give you answers to questions you don’t consciently ask, don’t try to go faster than him and it gets better!

  • Zack says:

    Love yourself! Be happy just the way you are and don’t project others opinions on to yourself. See this life as the gift it is and don’t let it become a burden.

  • Zander Keig says:

    Thank you to all who entered the contest!! Your sage advice to your pre-transition self provides valuable info for your brothers.

    The contest has now ended.

    I will select the three lucky winners today and they will be contacted tomorrow (or soon thereafter).

Comments are closed.