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Not so much of a review, as an abridged version.

Knox starts with conundrum of how she describes her living: "It's complicated... like a FB relationship status" and we are straight into 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️
Knox assures us everything is to the best of her memory... hmmm O.K. 😐

She obv consulted lots of trans peeps, but says sorry if she "messed up anywhere" .

Plea to reader to support "historically marginalized folks" and we're off!
Chap 1. Ooh the drama. "She told me in the car" which she recalls "as clearly ... as my children's first breaths" .

Suggested to hubby they have coffee and cinnamon buns. After all, who "can eat a cinnamon bun without cracking a smile?" 🤮
Amanda explains to us that she won't let the person she loved not answer her questions.

Chap. 1 ends on this 'tantalising' cliff hanger!

What ever will happen next?
Chap. 2 - all about Amanda's past, but also "three years before I was born ... there came into the world a baby who was going to face an internal struggle" you can't imagine or understand.

Won't dead name hubby cos it puts trans people at suicide risk (first of many warnings).
Also, should be noted that hubby "was never a boy" and that he was at risk of "conversion therapy - the standard medical treatment" during his childhood.

Major theme in Amanda's book is the importance of the internet. Hubby as kid had "no access to this gift we call the
internet" and had to make do with couple of mentions in psychiatry books, which described him as a deviant with a sexual fetish appaz (the books in question not cited).

Chap 3. Hubby called fag at school and crucially "By 16 was living on the streets of Toronto" (curiously
this homelessness is never explained or alluded to again 🤔).

The Mavis of Mayhem then turns to her own tragic story. Kids at school call her "Zenji ... a hybrid of Beni (well known movie dog) and the word 'zits'" . 🤣🤣

Tough life. And she has acne.

Kids shouted "Zenji!"
at her constantly so Amanda starts "drinking" taking "swigs between classes".

One day group of kids, incl. horrid Sylvie (boo hiss), surround her, douse her thick cotton sweater with *hairspray*. She runs "but they were quicker".

Her back goes "up in flames".

Depression
and alcoholism take over her life (she's 14 dear tweeps) and ends up in rehab (graduates the program Dec 91).

Was expecting a police investigation and a 2 wk stay in burns unit - but what do I know? 🤷‍♀️
Chap 4. Mavis meets hubby May 93, aged 16 and nearly 2 yrs sober.

Hubby studying computer science and had been rejected by housemates after cross-dressing around them.

Mavis describes him as "serious, stone-cold babe" and "guys didn't do it for me, but this felt different" .
3 yrs later she is preggers.

Chap 5. Hubby starts work for local internet service provider. Marry Aug 97.

Ah and then Amanda bumps into one of the girls who set her on fire. Sylvia however is still weally weally horwid and doesn't want to chat!

"Commonality is a helpful
tool in creating connections" Amanda drily explains to us, sadly unaware that the reader has had a WTF moment.

No, Mavis, no! You don't have breezy convos with old school bullies who set you on fire.

Then she reflects, rather too neutrally, that she "had always wondered ...
were they reprimanded?"

Well, yes. Think most peeps would have got the police and school involved - surely her whole back is scarred?

Anyway Amanda takes the opportunity to show how big and kind she is to Sylvie by showing her kindness.

Literally next para she boasts she
(now wait for it) has "imposter syndrome" .

"I can't remember a time when I didn't feel like a giant fraud."

You read our minds Amanda!
Then she uses "he" instead of "she" pronouns to describe hubby (who is on the rise in high tech field).

Due to PCOS they have trouble conceiving child no. 2 (the trans one) and no. 3 comes 3 yrs later.

Mavis starts blogging after child 2.

"What do you call the sage voice of
chaos?". Hence "The Mavis* of Mayhem" was born. A blog about Motherhood.

* ok ok it's Maven really 🤓

Chap 6. Jan 13 - decide to move for "lower provincial taxes" and soon to be trans kid "riddled" with "anxiety and depression" .

"That apple hadn't fallen far from the tree"
Mavis teases us.

In fact, kid screams so loud at night they have to "shut the windows to contain the noise" .

Chap 7.
Eve of Pink Shirt Day Feb 14, takes kids to buy pink shirts to "fight homophobia, transphobia" etc.

Later that night another melodramatic scene unfolds.
Kid sends an email to dad. Hubby says to Amanda "Honey, you need to read this. Right now." 12 yo say he is a "girl trapped in a boy's body".

"What are we going to do?" her spouse asked.

Both go and kiss and hug a sobbing frightened child.
Chap. 8 (fyi there are 28 of these things, soz)

Mavis researches what it means to be trans. Given that this may become a recommended read for parents, this is an esp. imp. chap.

Reassures us she only looks at "well known, established medical sites and reputable LGBTQ orgs"
and also meets a social worker specialising in LGBTQ clients. Also her friend is a sex educator, who advises Amanda to ask her kid what pronouns should be used.

Amanda argues that trans are an "extremely vulnerable population carries high rates of depression, anxiety, self-
harm and suicide" (natch). (Repeat again no statistics or reports are cited at all during the whole book.)

Then Amanda relates her own suicide attempt. Planned it so her brothers and sister wouldn't be "at home without supervision", though chose not to die after all because
nice guy Kevin rang her, and he was bf of a girl called Amelia, who she knew from school.

"Kevin told me his story of struggle and how he had overcome what was the darkest period of his young life."🙄

Back to trans kid crying in bedroom. "My spouse left our daughter's bedroom
about an hour after I did and found me reading an article on medical support options for transgender children".

Kid didn't know how to broach subject with Amanda and dad and therefore "she had asked the internet, and it provided the answers".

See, the internet *is* truth.
Amanda contacts the Childrens Hosptila of East Ontario, whose gender identity specialists advise "following your child's lead ... is critical". Obviously none of these people are named .. cos... well... that may lead to a lawsuit I expect.

She then goes into a rather long
an untruthful spiel that she feels bad because she didn't "immediately" embrace her child's gender as "legitimate and permanent", which simply doesn't square with the story already told to us.

Knox reminds the parents reading her book that they were raised in a "time and a
society that mocked ... and feared trans people" and that the movies they have watched were "chock full of transphobia".

Well I'm the same age as Amanda. Struggling to think of any movies which featured trans people at all. But of course she doesn't name these movies.
Chap 9. We're still in 2014 in the book but Amanda reflects that "Trans youth were not coming out at the rates they are today". Again, no links to any reports to back up this assertion.

Her mom gives her unconditional support, though given Amanda's very troubled teen years
you would expect the relationship with her mom to be a slightly bit more fractious.

Amanda outlines trans political demands - her kid has nowhere to pee at school, and gets access to the staff single stall toilet. She's sad that schoolgirls don't want to share the loos with
her 12 yo son. (Presumably they remind her of the girls who cruelly set her on fire, as a fire metaphor or simile is never far away.)

More self-reflections on Amanda's own transphobia and then recounts an extremely tedious of a sort of clash with a character whom she calls
"Judgemental Mom" (clearly designed to prick at the conscience of readers).

J-Mom makes it clear she doesn't approve of Mavis supporting her trans kid - Alexis. Mavis and Alexis therefore make friends with J-Mom, delighting in her discomfort.

J-Mom obvs reminds her of Sylvia
(boo hiss) and being set on fire. Mavis and Alexis get J-Mom to use Alexis' "chosen name". Mavis informs us that "I made it so she couldn't ignore me without looking like a garbage person". Which isn't judgemental at all, is it?

J-Mom moves away, but Mavis learns that J-Mom
never truly fixed her ways and feels that Judgemental-Mom probably *does* need more re-education after all.

Chap. 10. Blog site more popular. Partner suggests she it as "an advocacy platform". Mavis then posts about having a trans kid but friends say nothing and aren't
supportive (to be contradicted later in the book - did no one proofread?). Mavis v. disappointed with friends.

Also, her mom stops talking to a life long friend who isn't supportive of her new 'granddaughter' because "love always come first". Life long friend is uninvited to
Amanda's sister's wedding "not to be spiteful" (much) as Alexis (the trans kid) is to be a bridesmaid.

Chap. 11. Hormone blockers. Mavis assures the reader these are completely safe and are required because the "trans community has one of the highest rates of suicide".
The high suicide rates are due to "cisgender" people who question the validity of trans people, misgendering, etc.

Mavis says it isn't true that kids desist at a rate of 80% (again she daren't link to the study). She says her kid will tell you parental support "saved her life"
and affirmative support from parent *halves* the suicide risk (again no citations).

Alexis receives diagnosis of gender dysphoria "within a few sessions". Dr impressed "how well she could describe her feelings".

"If you can do one thing for your daughter," a new trans friend
tells her, "get her on puberty blockers as soon as she needs them". Mavis has a brief, and fake, moment of reflection that she is worried about the damage PBs may cause, creating an impression of being inquisitive - it's all smoke and mirrors.

Revelation that Alexis is stage
3 of puberty - nurse says "we've seen a lot of puberty around here", as if puberty is some sort of body snatcher. And then: "Testosterone is sneaky."

Struggles to pay for hormones ($450 a shot p/m).

Mavis makes the TRA case for education in schools, not too subtly.
Alexis is being bullied, and the "Avoiding Alexis Club" formed. (Soz, but 🤣🤣)

Amanda feels that only if girls were taught that not all girls are "born with the same body parts" and is relieved that the govt. has included learning about trans issues at elementary level.
Amanda - only way to foster a truly inclusive society is education on trans matters.

Alexis continues to do badly at school ("I'm worried we're losing her," one of the staff members said with tears in her eyes")

Couldn't find GIF of Joey being Dr Drake Ramore, but -
June '14 take Alexis out of school, on blockers, didn't want to wash because hates sight of own body. They pull Alexis from school to stop suicide attempt.

Chap. 12. Homeschools Alexi and begins blogging about having trans daughter, doing major media gigs (2015).
"Alexis' name and face were now part of a bigger movt: the affirmation of transgender children". Knox pretty much admits here that she absolutely sees it as a political endeavour, though doesn't use that word.

"The media seem to love how statistically average we were."
Chap. 13. Amanda feels fat, goes on diet. Sees improvement in behaviour of Alexis' former school girl friends - amazing what a bit of education can do, isn't it?

Then fam visit Pride and 'daughter' and hubby get their faces painted (it's starting peeps).
Chap. 14. July 2015 hubby (42) admits he is really a woman. Return to dramatic scene in car Amanda cooked up in Chap. 1. Much melodrama abounds. Amanda uses a bad swear to emphasise how shocking is it.

Chap. ends with Amanda lets out a "primal, devastating, hopeless cry".
Chap. 15. Over the page Amanda pulls her shit together instantly and realises her response is transphobia - duh!

All the friends who ignored her trans kids are fully supportive of her AGP husband.
INTERMISSION WHILST I SLEEP TWEEPS - WILL FINISH IT IN THE MORNING.
Chap. 16. MY MARRIAGE IS OVER.
How will she live as a member of the most marginalized groups of people on the planet? Will this destroy her happiness?
Will she or won't she transition?
Hiding it from the kids.
And then, Amanda decides not to seek a divorce because it was a "statistical probability, according to the internet" that her marriage was over, she decided to delay her decision to support hubby's transition.

They discuss what hubby's new name will be whilst they "stood
watching toddlers feed ducks".

I want to be Michelle, he says.
She says "90% of the Michelles I've known have been total bitches". Amanda then goes on to explain she has been punched by a Michelle, another used to eat all her cheese.

(Pls enjoy the humorous repartee)
He teases her about the Michelle thing and then makes a grand theatrical gesture and asks her what she thinks. She says, I don't care and he gives her the finger. And we get how skittish and comfortable they are in each others company.

Amanda vetoes A-names so he choses Zoe
Cue Amanda watching as Zoe has to keep her secret from everyone else and being forced to socialise with men.

Amanda starts flashbacking to all the times when she noticed that hubby was not comfortable around then. And then this incredible admission:

"We ... were watching the
My Little Pony reboot with the kids one weekend.

"This show is good," hubby says "I'm kind of a fan".

Younger kid interjects: "So you're a brony!"

So there are three scenarios here:

1. Amanda doesn't know that MLP is connected to paedophilia and has never word searched
the term 'brony' into internet, which we already know is her most favourite thing in the world.

2. Amanda does know what 'brony' means, but doesn't care, and this is being left as a nod.

3. Did publisher, editors, etc do no proofreading work on this memoir at all? Like really?
Amanda tells more friends that her hubby is AGP and casts up this emotional image from the banks of her imagination - memory! - I mean, memory okay?

"Anyone walking by the Mexican stand that morning would have noticed a group of five women closing ranks around one, their arms
around her shaking shoulders, holding both her hands and telling her things were going to be okay. Love in action."

What an imagination. I mean, memory.

More about hubby having to hide his true self despite having "dark bushy eyebrows and 2 day old stubble" also he "had
loved computers her entire life ... she built systems from spare parts after school" and you "could hide behind a screen; your name and identity could be anything you wanted".

How will Zoe survive now in the high tech male dominated field? Esp. as TW are "one of the least
respected and lowest paid demographics".

Two sentences later: "Employment rates and earnings among trans people are some of the lowest in the country"

Again, no citations for these factoids.

Chap. 17.
Amanda has an internal war, which she describes as the "War of the Two
Amandas" 🤦‍♀️ There is Logical Amanda and Emotional Amanda. It's 2015 - tipping point for trans right.

Logical and Emotional debate their predicament. More arguments with hubby about why he concealed his true self, but it all sounds flat and untrue.

Amanda reveals that
hubby used to spend hours by himself in his self-built "music studio/office in the basement", but that now he is Zoe he is "ever-present".

Enter Emotional Zoe. Emotional Zoe and Emotional Amanda have a feisty heart-to-heart and the chap ends with Zoe throwing her phone after
Amanda tells him it's over.

Chap. 18. They aren't talking, but then they make up and decide to inform the kids they don't have a daddy anymore.

The youngest sobs "into his little hands" but the trans 12 yo had the "wisdom of lived experience" and kid and parent hold hands.
Kids are told to call Zoe "mama". Amanda deals with the fact she is no longer in a "heterosexual relationship".

Amanda tells her parents "I'm not straight" and claims she had "known for a long time" but it was Catholic family members who put her off saying anything. That and
presumably being married to a bloke.

Chap. 19. "The waiting game was eating Zoe alive".

Amanda's most repeated factoid is the suicide risk and delaying transition: "Long wait time have been shown to cause depression and increase suicide rates."

Again no citations.
Zoe gets diagnosed as a "classic" by a gender identity specialist - which means there needs to be no extra delays. "After a few sessions, she referred Zoe to the endocrinologist who would start her on the right medical path".

Summer 2015 Microsoft contact Amanda and Alexis
to be part of a campaign to promote technology affecting positive change. Amanda hides the fact that her hubby is now trans from them. Finally it sounds like a real conundrum for her and the writing suddenly becomes less flat.

"Speaking is like writing on steroids" - we see
Mavis thoroughly enjoy her entry into the world of proper advocacy and influence - meeting with a parent after her talk and realising this.

Chap. 20.
Zoe still in the closet, but the Microsoft thing is still going ahead. Video of Amanda and Alexis released by Microsoft Feb 16
Then a blip in Mavis's timings I think, as previously we were told that Alexis started puberty blockers almost straight away, but now she says Alexis doesn't get "the green light ... from the GI clinic until at least her 14th birthday".

This upsets Alexis as classmates are
developing curves and breasts.

Amanda goes to see her friend Allison and admits "I've thought about dying a few times". Friend gets her to see her Dr asap - starts antidepressants. 3 weeks later of being on them she is back to normal.

Chap. 21. Zoe has a birthday party.
Lots of Zoe's female friends and co-workers come for her "first birthday event". Zoe gets given his grandmother's ring by his mom (bet that pleased any sisters). Zoe months into medical transition and changing paperwork.

Amanda not used the L-word yet, still saying "I am
not straight".

Zoe chooses Michelle as middle name (remember the earlier hilarious convo about that) 🙄

Zoe has official coming out day at work, March 2016 (i.e. 2 months after they all attend her party (?)). Prior to sends email out to 100s of colleagues, same time Mavis
unloads the big news to her blog - "World, Meet My Wife".

Then they both wait in anticipation of the response.

Amanda reflects on hubby's co-workers thus:

"No one would say anything mean ... that could get them in trouble with HR. But some might choose not to respond, not
show any support at all, and she wouldn't know why."

Zoe receives loads of congratulatory emails, Mavis' blog post doing well, but 'haters' lurk.

Chap. 22.
Zoe returns to work, called to a meeting, which is really a secret surprise coming out party. Amanda writes a blog
imaginatively tilted "My Wife Came Out at Work and Her Co-Workers Threw Her a Party" and "walked her readers step by step through all the times Zoe had to reapply her mascara that day due to exceptional kindness".

Daily Mail writes a story on them and deadnames Zoe many times.
Mavis bemoans the fact that "you stop being people when you become a news story" despite the fact she had assiduously built up a media career around herself and her family as just that.

"It looks like Gollum" someone says of Zoe and this upsets Mavis. What would happen if Zoe
saw these types of comments, but also praises the internet as "one of the best platforms we have to create change on a global scale".

Mavis is saddened how many people are "focused" on her sexuality and didn't want to "clarify my sexual orientation because it didn't matter".
Chap. 23. In which some of Zoe's female co-workers are uncomfortable seeing him in the ladies washroom. However, most of them, when he enters the washroom would be "sure to greet her with a smile and a quick chat, as they would with any other familiar female colleague".
The ones initially unhappy, relax after seeing this happy interactions and "Zoe was being accepted into the sisterhood, as it should be".

Hollywood beckons - casting agent from LA asks family to audition for new reality show on US network. So they audition.

Turn it down
when they see the contract and that they would be paid just $10,000 for their participation. So, dear tweeps, Mavis is hungry for fame but not *that* desperation and I feel something like a bit of respect for her.

Chap. 24. But not for long as she again contradicts her story
about when Alexis started puberty blockers, again stating they were started before "natal puberty caused too many changes" and that people always correctly perceive Alexis as a girl.

Zoe continues to transition, voice coaching and gets misgendered at a drive-in coffee place.
More on the evils of misgendering and how upsetting it can be for trans people. Amanda gives advice on how to avoid using pronouns.

Chap. 25. "OUR SOCIETY IS obsessed with trans people's genitals". Mavis won't allow journalists to ask *that* question, esp. not about her kid.
Mavis won't discuss whether or not kid or hubby has had surgery - it's none of your business.

"Some women have penises and some men have vulvas."

As she's said a million times before if trans peeps don't get surgeries "increased risk of suicide" and these need to be "funded"
and made "more accessible".

Remember Mavis saying all of five mins ago she wouldn't discuss surgery? Turn over page Zoe visits a "surgical clinic that specialized in exactly what she is looking for".

Date set 23 May 2017. Mavis notices other patients have an "unmistakable
look of peace" and is so moved she had to "look away" from the "beautiful sight". Amanda said in past she wondered why "anyone would want such a delicate area reworked".

Surgery done - Zoe so happy - has the "unmistakable look of peace".

So beautiful.
Chap. 26 (only two more to go my twits)

They decide to get married again, this time as a lesbian couple. 24th anniversary.

"Here's the reality I denied myself for 40 yrs: I'm gay. A big ol' lesbian. ... I should have figured this out ages ago. The biggest indication was
that I was instantly and solely attracted to girls and women from a young age."

Mavis then relates an incident in which she got caught fooling around with a "female friend" - but was caught by this person's mom and told off.

Is so scared and scarred by this mom telling her
off she never does anything like that again. But she never forgot that day with her friend and "everything about my time with guys afterward felt wrong".

Expresses dismay that society expected her to simply get married and have babies.

And talks about herself in 3rd person:
"Poor Amanda, who developed crushes exclusively on women, fantasized about them ... and if she ever find herself single again, she would only date women."

Love betwn Zoe and her is built on foundation of "long struggle" not because Zoe is "a woman".

Finds Zoe "massively hot"
but is dismayed so many people attack her for saying she is a "lesbian" - knew she'd use the word at some point!

"This type of trans-exclusionary behaviour is extremely dangerous to an already marginalized community. Telling me I'm not a lesbian is another way to invalidate my
wife's gender". And, "Our love threatens them".

Amanda has been known to file complaints to the police when haters cross the line.

Chap. 27.
Amanda and Zoe orders wedding dresses for their big day. Problem is they are both femme-presenting lesbians. Another hilarious convo
as they discuss who should have what dress.

Nov 16 - Another Microsoft event to discuss online advocacy work.

Mavis keynote speaker for IWD - advocates TWAW.

Meets PM Justin Trudeau on day trans rights bill was tabled.

"Alexis + Zoe are happy to live their lives quietly"
Everyone happy to let Mavis be "the writer and storyteller in the family".

One kid tells his "mama" that he is sad he doesn't have a dad anymore - Zoe reassures kid that guys can learn from "strong women" too.

Then a Finnish transwoman and her wife come to visit because of
the "rampant transphobia" but ultimately they leave Canada because "they lost their asylum claim". Devastated by this.(Again no citations, no explanation of what current Finland law is on this.)

However, Mavis happy that she helping the community grow.
Chap. 28.
Final chapter - thank you to all who managed it this far!

Ends on remarriage, August 2017. Zoe wears champagne coloured dress, Amanda wears same colour shoes. Zoe had dreamed about this wedding since forever. "This was Zoe's day."

Zoe did wedding planning when
recovering from surgery.

Amanda reflects on her 3 year journey. But that "Hate is loud and violent, but it still burns out quickly." (Not mine Amanda.) Of course, love will win over all. Gets tattoo with "Lead with Love".

Will only hang up advocacy hat when when her
wife, daughter and family are seen as valid. Until then ... expect more of this shit.

Epilogue.
They adopt Ashley who isn't "LGBTQ" but is an "exceptional ally".
Love grows.
Okay, one final tweet. This book already has seven 5 star reviews on Amazon. One thing I will say is that it was very readable, but only an idiot would fail to notice the glaring contradictions. If Amanda Jette Knox ever does write her real memoir I would be happy to read it.
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