Review: First Lady. From Boyhood to Womanhood. Alison Mau

first lady

The blurb…

An honest, insightful, sometimes brutal but often hilarious account of Elizabeth Roberts, the first New Zealander to undergo full sex-change surgery. Her dramatic story tells of the often torturous transition from the boy Garry, to the woman Elizabeth, but the book is not just about the transsexual experience. It documents the life of a creative, talented and warm-hearted person who had the courage to simply be herself, against all odds. An inspiring tale of determination, dedication and resilience.

Written by Alison Mau

What I thought…

First Lady chronicles the life of Liz Roberts and her journey to become the person she always wanted to be. It’s not an easy ride – Liz works hard to get there! There are screeds of funny anecdotes, showing that Liz has a fantastic sense of humour and an amazing attitude. She is obviously very charismatic too, as people seem to warm to her and want to help her.

That’s not to say that she’s had an easy time of it – at many points, her story is heartbreaking, and Liz appears to deal with it all with a unique combination of determination, grace and humour.

I wrote about Caitlyn Jenner recently, talking a little about how accepted and supported her transition has been in comparison to others. Liz Roberts’ story is a valuable counterbalance to how ‘nice’ the reaction to Caitlyn’s transition has been – a realistic view into the struggle of a woman who has been there, done that, blazed that trail.

I gave ‘First Lady’ 7/10


(Book supplied by Upstart Press)

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