BOOK REVIEW: I Am, Therefore, We Are

 From South Africa comes a new publication I Am, Therefore, We Are; a powerful nonfiction expose about being trans on the Eastern Cape in post-apartheid South Africa.

 The book, written and photographed by Kris Lyseggen and her husband Herb Schreier, introduces us to a new transfeminist movement in the Xhosain rural areas and townships of South Africa. Lyseggen and Schreier interviewed, filmed and photographed more than 20 transgender women from various townships, rural areas and cities in 2014 and 2015.

In their own voices, often in what is their second, third, or fourth language, these transgender pioneers share intimate stories about the hardships that permeate their everyday life; incest, sexual violence, HIV, TB and starvation rages through families and friends, tearing people and communities apart.

These transwomen constantly demonstrate through their intelligence, strength, and stubbornness, that they will not cease to fight for the right to live as themselves, remaining incredibly resilient even in one of the most violent places in the world.

 Norweigian-born writer and documentary photographer Kris Lyseggen and her husband Herb Schreier, a child psychologist (MD) from the Bronx, NY, are based in Berkeley, Tuscana and Oslo. Schreier co-authored the book Hurting for Love on Munchausen By Proxy> (Guilford 1993).  Lyseggen’s two previous nonfiction books, The Boy Who Was Not a Lesbian (2013) and The Women of San Quentin (2015), convey the prejudice towards and ignorance of trans issues around the world, exposing the horrendous treatment of transgender women in the U.S. male prison system.