I am a white, gay, able-bodied, transgender man from the South. I have lived openly as a trans man for almost a decade now, most of that time spent living between Tennessee and upstate New York.
I came out as a transgender boy at 14 and began my social transition not long after. I began HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) at 16, and at 17, I became the Nashville Youth Poet Laureate with Southern Word. I spent my year-long tenure performing spoken word poetry around Nashville, often speaking about trans and queer issues. I had top surgery (a gender-affirming surgery that many transmasculine people seek out) when I was 18.
I have a Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Wells College. I am also a published poet and young adult author who has written openly about transness, and specifically being a trans man. (Check out my YA novel If I Can Give You That if you haven’t already!)
For my senior thesis, I wrote about representations of transgender characters in young adult literature. I spent many months reading, researching, theorizing, and writing about the history of trans representation in YA.
My debut novel is, in some ways, a response to the gaps in trans literature that I was seeing, and my future works also operate with those gaps in mind.
To learn more about my thoughts around trans representation in media, check out this interview I did on the Coming In podcast.
What I Read For:
I read for transgender characters in both adult fiction and young adult fiction.
I will have a specific focus on trans men and/or transmasculine people, but I am willing to read for more general depictions.
For example, if your book has multiple trans characters of different backgrounds, I believe I could still provide useful feedback, even if some of your characters’ experiences don’t mirror my own.
What I Don’t Read For:
If you are exclusively writing about trans female or transfeminine characters and experiences, I would suggest seeking out a trans female or transfeminine authenticity reader, either in addition to my services or as a replacement.
The same goes for trans characters with other marginalized identities that I do not also have lived experience with. For example, if you are writing trans characters of color, disabled trans characters, trans immigrants, etc, I highly suggest also seeking out authenticity readers who share those identities and experiences, and therefore can more accurately provide feedback. It is up to you if you want to still receive my general feedback, but please know that I cannot speak to those nuances.
I also reserve the right to reject your request for feedback if I believe I am not qualified to provide the necessary critique you’re looking for—but I won’t charge you in that case, and I might be able to point you toward an authenticity reader who I believe is more qualified.
How It Works:
Before I begin reading your work, I will be in touch with you about what specific characters, scenes, etc, you are concerned or uncertain about, in order to get a better sense of what you’re hoping to get out of my authenticity read.
After we’ve discussed, I will read your manuscript with these questions (and any others that you suggest) in mind:
- How does your work portray trans people?
- What stereotypes about trans people are present? Does your work subvert or reinforce negative stereotypes about the trans community?
- What could be added to your work to more authentically portray trans people?
- Is there anything that seems unrealistic/incorrect* about your depiction of trans characters? If so, how can that be edited/re-worked?
*Trans people, like any group, are not a monolith, so I do no mean that I will be looking for “one way to be trans”; however, I will be looking for anything that could be factually wrong—for example, if there is a detail that inaccurately portrays the effects of Testosterone on transmasculine people’s bodies. This is more about the specifics of trans life that many cis people may not always be privy to, than it is about finding “the right way” to portray transness.
There are two main ways I will provide feedback:
- In-line comments – This means I will read your manuscript on Word or Google Docs (whichever you prefer) and leave comments as I go along. I will point out things that could be harmful or things that are working well.
- General feedback – This means I will write out my feedback (1-3 pages), outlining what I think is working and what I think needs to be changed. I will provide examples of things you can change and/or add in order to make your representation of trans people feel more authentic. For any negative stereotypes or harmful depictions I find, I will provide historical and/or social context for why I personally believe it could be harmful.
My rate is $0.005 per word.
You can send me a full manuscript, a half-manuscript, a few scenes, a synopsis, an outline – whatever you’re in need of help with, I will read and provide feedback!
Here are some rates, for reference.
- 5,000 words – $25
- 10,000 words – $50
- 40,000 words – $200
- 60,000 words – $300
- 80,000 words – $400
- 100,000 words – $500
Turn Around Time:
My goal is to have feedback to you within two weeks of receiving your work, but this can vary depending on how many pages you are submitting and how much needs to be changed. I will remain in contact with you and provide updates on my timeline as needed.
Booking Your Authenticity Read:
Ready to send your project my way?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Authenticity Read – [Your Manuscript Title]” including a description/synopsis of your book and what you are in need of help with (specific characters, a few scenes, the whole book, etc).
I will respond within 1-3 business days with any other additional details needed, and then I will provide you with a quote. Payment will be through PayPal. Once we’ve confirmed that I will be reading your work, I will send you an invoice.
For any additional questions, email me at email@example.com or through the contact form on this website.
I can’t wait to work with you!