Alex’s Bertie’s debut book, Transmission, is I can honestly say, one of my favourite reads. This is the only book that I’ve read cover to cover, without putting it down. It grasped me in ways that no other book has. I first discovered Alex Bertie when beginning my own transition, his YouTube channel grasped me in exactly the same way. I felt like I wasn’t alone. He made me feel normal. Some days when my own dysphoria seemed to take over, his videos got me through it. When I saw the video that announced this book I was beyond excited, it’s the only book that I’ve ever pre-ordered. However, it isn’t until now that I’ve read it, despite it being out for a good couple of months. That’s because I was expecting it to be a tough read, maybe mentally wearing. How wrong I was.
Alex’s writing is fluid, heart-warming and encouraging. I couldn’t read his words fast enough. His writing was also very relatable, maybe even more so than his videos.
“And that’s the problem: it’s my own skin. I can’t get out of it, I’m stuck there.”
Words have never resonated with me as much as these. Although everyone has their own individual story I understood all of Alex’s experiences and thoughts. Not just because I too am a young transman, but also because of the way he conveys his experiences. There’s no padding, it just is what it is. I admire how he has told his story, I can imagine and know from my own experience that allowing yourself to be vulnerable like that is difficult.
Although Alex’s book is a personal auto-biography, he also gives insight into transgender issues on a wider scale. He mentions social expectation, the processes of hormone treatment, surgery and he even gives a space for his mum to discuss the experience of having a transgender son. His experience with his family is honest, clearly there were issues but he doesn’t just blame, he takes responsibility. I loved that through his writing we get an understanding of his parents understanding him but also his own understanding of his parents and their reaction to his transition. A great video on his channel, TRANSGENDER SON + HIS MUM which he mentions in his book is another way he shows this understanding. I remember showing my mum the video to help her understand me better, and even now she knows who Alex Bertie is.
Once you know who he is he’s hard to forget. His videos had me hooked but his writing is contagious, he inspires me to write more of my own story and he leaves me waiting for another book. Transmission is the most insightful read into the life of a young transgender person in the UK, it definitely has 5 stars from me. I would recommend to anyone, whether transgender or not. This book is both education and heart-warming.
To buy Alex’s book here are the links: