Releasing in October of this year, Happier as a Woman: Transforming Friendships, Transforming Lives is the story of a woman who found her path after becoming established in a more traditional sense. Martina Giselle Ramirez had first started wearing her mother’s shoes in secret in the second grade, this was still when the world knew her as Martin. Growing up as an adopted Mexican-American in a racially segregated city she had sworn she would not just become another statistic. Her journey would take her from valedictorian to tenured professor with a family. Once she had found her place she finally felt comfortable taking the next step to being her true self.
Martina Giselle Ramirez worked with Alicia Partnoy to bring her story to life and the first chapter of the book shares and details their partnership and connection. The two had co-taught a class together and with Ramirez Partnoy had presented a TEDX Talk on the topic of transgender allyship. Partnoy had also previously written a work focused on her own life and experiences for Cleis Press and with their bond it helped to bring forth a book meant to help other marginalized people see that happiness can be found. The story of Ramirez’s life moves between transcribed interviews between herself and Partnoy that discuss elements of her childhood and beyond and pieces written by Ramirez that share her own reflections on certain topics. Photos are also a large part of Martina’s life and throughout the book their are images that show her family, her friends, and herself and highlight certain elements of her life and transition.
Happier as a Woman shows a story of strength and love. Ramirez found support and was able to be her true self, though there were struggles along the way. While I am not trans myself, this story still resonates as a shows how a major transition in identity can allow you to become your happiest and most fulfilled self. This also shows a powerful woman of color finding her way in life and establishing the narrative she wanted to create for herself no matter what adversity she faced along the way. This book is collected in such a wonderful way and provides readers with a full and complete picture of Ramirez and her world. I would highly recommend this book to readers looking for a powerful story, no matter how they identify. I would also note that this is a book that those struggling with coming out as trans may find helpful and empowering. You can pre-order your copy of Happier as a Woman today.