My daughter Alice was not always called Alice. Until the age of fifteen, she was mostly Jory. On paper, she was Jordan. Often and alternately, she was called He or Him, both Son and Brother. On the hospital nursery wristband, tucked away now in the drawer of treasures beside my bed, she was likewise mislabeled.
Alice spent the first fifteen years of her life hidden away inside a Boy Suit, not unlike an inescapable pair of footie pajamas, which seem perfectly fine and comfortable at first, but grows less so over time. At the age of ten, a single toe poked through. By eleven, the armpits had gotten too tight. When she was twelve the broken zipper’s twisted teeth scraped her here and there, a constant rash of irritations. At thirteen it had grown so uncomfortable and restrictive that Alice secretly set out to shred the whole damn thing.
There are so many ways to tell Alice’s story.
This is but one of them.
“A lovingly told, harrowing story of a mother trying every tactic to save her transgender child. Jules Vilmur’s book will haunt you and humanize people who struggle with complicated gender. I won’t forget Alice’s story. – Everett Maroon, author of Bumbling into Body Hair
“Jules Vilmur takes the wonder, joy, sadness, and terror of careening through a life that suddenly feels out of control and makes great art out of it. This book is a tremendous gift to Alice, and to us.” – Brendan Halpin, author of Donorboy
The Complicated Geography of Alice is a mother’s memoir about raising a transgender child in a family struggling with substance abuse. It probably shouldn’t be laugh-out-loud funny, but it is.