Mark your calendars! On Thursday, January 24, Paula Overby will present her book and her concept of "Two Sides to Feminism" at ESFL. Here is a new review of her book:

The Transgender Myth, Through the Gender Looking Glass, was written by Paula Overby. This book was inspired by Paula’s legal battle to retain custody of her son in a world of sharply defined gender roles. She set out to break those stereotypes and become her own unique individual. She is Paula, a remarkable woman who took her own path to become the person she is today.
The Transgender Myth is a wonderful book. Paula Overby tells her story of a life most bravely lived. It is very well-written and brings you along a path that was never easy, never ordinary.
She was born a male but never felt comfortable in that role. She was able to carve out her own identity without being bound by societal norms as her childhood was spent in areas of our country that didn’t seem to fear diversity and freedom. As a result, her story is different from any other because she was able to become herself freely.
She was born in 1954 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. At birth she was named Paul Stewart Overby, the second male child of Luverne and Verna Overby. At 16 months she was living in Cincinnati, Ohio and endured a life changing separation from her parents after breaking her right upper femur. She spent six weeks in a hospital with her leg in traction. This separation also formed her ability to thrive in adverse conditions while she maintained her bond with her parents.
Her life was also greatly affected by her time with her Aunt Borgney. Borgney took care of her during the family’s move to Milwaukee and was a major source of encouragement to Paula. Her aunt was an inspiration and had an uplifting way of thinking. Her philosophy of “live until you die” was incorporated into Paula’s life view.
The next move was to a small town in Wisconsin. When they moved into the 3-bedroom rambler in Grafton, Wisconsin, it was to be the real beginning of Paula’s childhood. The neighborhood had two groups of children, divided by age. Paula became very close to the younger children and as this group was predominantly girls, she was drawn in to their jumping rope and hopscotch games. She was able to function in this group without having to draw any sharp demarcation between the societal ideas of male and female.
Her family eventually relocated to New England, a much more tradition bound society, and the culture shock of the new rigidity she experienced was quite a blow. But I feel that her persona had been defined and she was able to survive, and she was able to deal with the problems we all must deal with in this life.
She eventually took her varied experiences and put them forth in a desire to help all people. She is an amazing writer and you will feel drawn along with Paula as she tells of the highs and lows of her existence. There is much to learn and to intrigue and to encourage you to think about our preconceived gender roles that continue to exist in a world that has changed so much.
Review by author Jennifer Ann Smith, January 14, 2019
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