You know, being a blogger is a real privilege and also a responsibility because authors and publishers are trusting you with work that represents some very personal effort and emotion. Today I review one of those books that falls into that category and am delighted to have been asked by the team at Bookollective if I would like a copy of When Dad Became Joan: Life with My Transgender Father in return for an honest review.
When Dad Became Joan: Life with My Transgender Father
In 1987, Cath Lloyd’s father made the shocking confession that he was a transsexual and wished to become a woman.
Although she wanted to be supportive, Cath didn’t want to lose her dad, and it was hard to accept his decision. In those days, asking for help wasn’t the norm, and gender issues like this were swept under the carpet. Throughout the years of emotional, conflicting and tormenting thought processes, Cath wondered if life was ever going to feel normal again.
We all have a story about coming to terms with change, whether this is transgender reassignment, separation, divorce, loss, grief, illness, disability or living through another trauma. As we live through our story, we do the best we can with the strategies we have at our disposal. Sometimes these are not enough and we have to search long and hard to find alternatives.
That’s where Cath’s book will help you. She shares 7 of the strategies that helped with her family challenges. These can support you too, whatever difficulties you’re facing in your life.
With self-help tools that focus on topics like your values, self-honesty and positivity, you’ll develop a plan of action to support you through the difficult times. This will help you to understand, acknowledge, and accept what needs to happen to move forward and live your new normal. These strategies are those which Cath uses now with her clients as a life style change and stress relief life coach.
My Review of When Dad Became Joan: Life with My Transgender Father
Cath Lloyd’s father is about to become a woman and it impacts on Cath rather more than she would have liked.
Firstly let me say what a bargain When Dad Became Joan is. The reader is getting two books in one as the first part is more of a biography and autobiography as Cath Lloyd describes finding out her father was undergoing gender transitioning and the second is more of a self-help manual as Cath Lloyd outlines her seven strategies for living a happy and fulfilled life. In both sections there are some helpfully motivational quotations that I enjoyed immensely, particularly the final one in the book which I found inspirational.
I have to admit to feeling slightly uncomfortable reading the first section of When Dad Became Joan as it seemed slightly voyeuristic to be enjoying the processes Cath Lloyd describes, because the book is so well written and interesting. I was also slightly ashamed that I have never really considered just how difficult it must be for those undergoing gender transitioning, but have simply blindly and rather unthinkingly accepted those people for who they are. Equally, I hadn’t any previous idea of the real impact on the family and I felt extremely sorry for Cath and for Joan as they tried to adapt to new lives – or, as Cath would put it, a new normal.
I found the style of writing in this first section honest, compelling and engaging. It is also hugely informative, giving scientific and medical detail as well as a personal perspective. I felt quite privileged to have been allowed a glimpse into the lives of Joan and her family, even if I did want to climb into the pages and give Nick a jolly hard shake.
In the second section, 7 Steps to Living Your New Normal, I thought the way Cath Lloyd linked her own experiences with strategies for coping that the reader can use was extremely good. There’s an excellent balance between advice, and the opportunity for the reader to become more self aware and reflective. I loved the way all seven strategies are summarised at the end so that the prompt questions can be used as refreshers really easily. There’s a real confidence that Cath Lloyd practises what she preaches here so that a reader needing such self-help guidance would feel they could trust the advice given.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up When Dad Became Joan, but what I got was a fascinating story of two people. of Cath and Joan, alongside a smashing self-help volume that would be of benefit to any reader to give them coping strategies and a positive outlook on life. When Dad Became Joan is a great book and I highly recommend it.
About Cath Lloyd
Cath is a lifestyle change and stress relief life coach, with a teaching background in adult education spanning over 25 years, with 15 of these working with offenders. This experience thrust her into a very different society which helped her refine her teaching and life coaching skills, whilst keeping her in touch with the real and creative worlds.
She now combines her teaching and life coaching skills with a holistic approach. She loves working with her clients on an individual level to achieve positive and quick results. Cath blends her teaching and coaching skills together in group workshops, courses and events such as ‘Recipe To Success’ and her regular ‘Stress Relief Awareness Days’. These courses are a great way for her clients to gain peer support in a fun, educational and inspiring environment.
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