This month, Books Are Not a Luxury will promote Trunky (Transgender Junky), Samuel Peterson’s memoir about his time spent in a men’s rehab facility in the South. It’s a raw, honest, funny, thoughtful examination of masculinity and the ways that men measure themselves against one another and against an impossible ideal, written by a writer/musician whose work has been included in Gender Outlaws—The Next Generation and who opened for Suicide, the Bush Tetras, and X at DC’s 9:30 Club. The book is a 2017 Lambda Award finalist. To read more about the book and Sam, click here.
Peterson will read from the book tonight in Austin at BookWoman (5501 North Lamar #A-105, Austin, TX 78751) from 7-8:30. He will be joined by Paige Schilt, author of Queer Rock Love.
Schilt recently interviewed Peterson at her website, Queer Rock Love. Here’s an excerpt:
Paige Schilt: I wanted to go back to something you said earlier about being inspired by Burroughs but seeing yourself as kind of a non-misogynist Burroughs. This is one of the things I found fascinating about the book. The narrator, by virtue of his transness, is a very keen observer of misogyny—but not a judgmental observer of misogyny, a very compassionate observer. The character walks this tightrope at times with seeing the seduction of misogyny as well.
I felt like that must be a very scary line to walk as a writer?
Samuel Peterson: I don’t think, as a writer, I really thought about it. I was trying to capture my thoughts in the moment. There were times when I felt the misogyny. I was like “fuck these bitches.” You know, my wife had cast me out. It was pleasurable to surrender to woman-hating. But then, there was a point at which—having done a lot of work on myself (because I need a lot of work, apparently)—I recognized those thoughts for what they are.
And then, having those thoughts mirrored on the outside [by the other men]. It was so clearly violent. It was awful. It really was painful to be around. That sort of trashed my non-feminist fantasies.
I think this is a really common trans-masculine story. When you get in a circle of guys, it’s shocking to find out what men are really saying. And, you know, I’d heard that, from trans guys, and that was a bit of my experience. You know, it’s hard to shock me, but the depth of the violence is shocking.
To read the complete interview, click here.