Everett Maroon is a nice, geeky and sometimes-clumsy guy with body issues. Ok, so maybe those issues are more complex than most, but for the readers of “Bumbling Into Body Hair” that works in our favor. Maroon's memoir traces his occasionally fumbling expedition through the landscape of gender awareness and transition with wit, insight and the deft touch of a talented writer. It is not a transgender story so much as a human story, one about embracing change, forging ahead when we're terrified, finding self-respect along the way and surrounding ourselves with people who give us the space and support to be who we are.
Having read a handful of transition-related memoirs, “Bumbling ...” stands out as the most charming and accessible of the lot. To infuse such a weighty subject with this kind of poignancy and humor is a delicate task, which he manages to make seem effortless. (Battling a roll of plastic wrap, not so much.)
Maroon touches on the variety of isms he encounters as perceptions around him change but he does not labor over it. He puts his activism into practice rather than preaching it. Whether it's learning the secrets of the corporate men's room, chatting up strangers in public places like a real-life PSA or navigating the mad maze of the healthcare system, he does so with humanity and aplomb.
The journey of becoming who we've always been is invariably touched with sadness and yet, it is one of hope. In defining ourselves rather than letting other people define us, we come closer to the secret to joy and there is no question that Everett Maroon has achieved that. Joining him on this voyage through the laughter and tears is a rare treat.