She’s a Boy

She’s A Boy is the shocking, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting autobiography of Joe Holliday.

Born a boy but raised a girl, Joe was 25 years old and still living as Joella when he discovered the full truth about his beginnings.

For decades, doctors believed baby boys born without a penis should be classified as girls.

When he was eight, Joe’s plight attracted worldwide media attention – and touched the heart of Princess Diana.

She’s A Boy is Joe’s story; a true survivor who has overcome unthinkable physical and emotional challenges and come out the other side with a firm sense of who he really is.

This is a heartbreaking story of what can happen when the medical field runs amok. Granted what doctors were faced with was outside their ‘norm’ but at some point you have to wonder where did medicine stop and experimenting began. The book is written as the author is sitting down in front of you and recanting his life’s story over a pint.

The first couple of chapters are about his parents and their life leading up to his birth so you get a decent idea of the world he was coming into which might explain some of the parenting decision being made whether or not you’d do the same.

After his birth the story gets detailed about what was going on physically with him as a baby, the surgeries, the outcomes and so forth so if you have a weak stomach beware because it gets gritty. As he begins to describe what his parents endured, the fear of doing the wrong thing and the difficulties they faced trying to keep him alive, you can’t help but feel teary eyed and hurt on their behalf.

When a doctor tells them they should raise him as a girl and makes it sound so simple you can’t help but want to slap the man.

One of my biggest gripes is when they talk about how a chromosome test was done over a decade later at which time he finally found out he was born male from that test and all the other documentation in his file; some of which essentially admitted the only reason they altered his gender was because it was easier on the establishment. Joe is a better person than me because just reading his story makes me detest everyone involved but he seems to have found a measure of forgiveness and peace.

Thank you to Netgalley and Thistle Publishing for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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