I am overjoyed to share the cover of my new memoir, Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. My portrait was taken by renown photographer Mark Seliger. It will be released on June 13 by Atria Books, and is available for pre-order now.
Surpassing Certainty is a continuation of my 2014 bestselling memoir Redefining Realness. It centers a young person’s journey to find her voice, her purpose and her place in the world– without a roadmap to guide her. This memoir starts at the dawn of my twenties when I’m finally confident in my form (so much so that I began dancing at a strip club in Honolulu) and negotiating how open I should and could be. Surpassing Certainty finds me in an interesting space as a young adult – one where I am not forthcoming about my trans-ness. In the trans community, we call this living stealth, and this period in my life forced me to take the time I needed to just be me, to learn how to advocate for myself (at home, at college, at work) before becoming an advocate for others.
Surpassing Certainty traces my journey of growing into adulthood and experiencing all the universal growing pains – falling in and out of love for the first time, living away from home, and working towards a career in the highly competitive world of New York magazine publishing.
I’ve spent the last year and a half working on this book.
I first began to explore the idea of writing another memoir during my residency at Hedgebrook in August 2015. I was seated on a chaise lounge in the great meadow on the farm when I found myself revisiting memories from college and graduate school and my first years as a young professional. Those experiences began to string together and form a narrative. I realized that I had another story to tell, one that centered around my twenties – those messy, fun and formative years when I yearned for that dream job (and dream guy) in that dream city.
I gained much of my inspiration from young people across the country who’ve asked me questions about being a first-generation college student, about working in corporate America, about building a career without compromising yourself, about self-care, about love and sex and friendship, and about navigating spaces not necessarily built for our survival.
Working on Surpassing Certainty has given me the rare opportunity of relaying how I “made it,” and in doing so, hopefully it will help others avoid the pitfalls and personal failures I experienced and offer one blueprint for making one’s own way in the world.
Ultimately, I hope this book allows readers who are so often not granted the opportunity of seeing themselves reflected on bookshelves to actually see themselves and nod in affirmation, “Ahhhh, I am not alone. Someone else has been there, and made it out.”