German Diverse Books · Reviews

Review: Inter*Trans*Express* – Ika Elvau

A snapshot of a speeding train.I had read Inter*Trans*Express* a few months ago and really enjoyed the writing style. It’s a collection of poetry, short drama pieces and short stories that illustrate the experiences of an intersex person. I decided to read it again for thıs blog.

It’s #ownvoices for intersex representation.

As I mentioned above, I very much enjoyed the writing style of this book. The poems are similar in style to what I have heard in poetry slams, which give them a very engaging and captivating. There are interesting poetry styles incorporated in a lot of the poems. The short story that caught my attention both the first time and this time is called Schuhgröße (eng. shoe size). I like how shoe size is used as an allegory. Not all of the texts are about experiences that are about being intersex, some of them focus on emotions, other experiences, and feelings.

The layout of the book is beautiful. There are illustrations scattered throughout the book that don’t only give the reader a break but also serve as visual depictions of certain experiences that an intersex person may have.

There is some ableism at the beginning of the book, which wasn’t great. There is also ableism within the different texts, however in most of these case it’s used as a style method to illustrate the discrimination that intersex people face, where they are often described as mentally ill.

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Inter*Trans*Express* is a beautiful book. I enjoyed most of the texts and thought that the layout was visually pleasing. With under 100 small pages, it’s a quick read. If you enjoy reading free verse, poetry, and short texts, I recommend that you read this book. 

This review is part of the German Diverse Books project (#DeutscheDiversityBücher).

Trigger warnings: ableism (not called out and called out), antagonism against intersex people, racism.

4 stars

Have you read Inter*Trans*Express*? Do you enjoy reading poetry and short texts collections?

German blurb

Das Buch verhandelt Kurzgeschichten, Gedichte und Zeichnungen von Alltag und Widerstand als Genderoutlaw. Es beschreibt persönliche Erfahrungen und macht damit Inter*Perspektiven sichtbar. Dem vermeintlichen Expert*innentum und der Pathologisierung seitens der Medizin und Psychologie wird hier eine emanzipatorische Selbstdefinition von Geschlecht außerhalb der Kategorien Mann oder Frau entgegengesetzt.

Noch immer gibt es im deutschsprachigen Raum mit wenigen Ausnahmen kaum Bücher über Intersexualität, in denen Inter* selbst zu Wort kommen – anstelle von vermeintlichen Expert*innen.
Es soll ohne zu viel (Gender)Theorie – aber mit emanzipatorischem Anspruch – klar werden, was es in der Realität bedeutet, in eine Welt der Männer und Frauen geboren zu werden – ohne selbst eines von beiden zu sein.
Manchmal traurig, manchmal wütend, manchmal einfach nur verwirrt oder belustigt von dieser Zwei-Geschlechter Matrix.

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