SELF-ish because sometimes one must be

“SELF-ish” is a powerful, joyous and heart-wrenching book. The courage and determination of Chloe Schwenke pondering the truths about transitioning and facing family, friends and coworkers is captivating.

Whether or not you know transgender people, I have to believe this story shares common themes of fear, self-preservation, sanity, depression and perseverance that transgender people experience. Schwenke has done herself and the community a favor by bringing her thoughts and emotions onto the pages. This permits a look into the mental, physical, psychological, emotional and societal hurdles she and others face.

The book is crafted to simultaneously cover various aspects of Schwenke’s transition. There are sections on friends, coworkers, family, the pre-transitioning thought process and more that permit the reader to almost experience the thoughts and emotions at times. Sometimes an accompanying photo, like one at a family gathering with siblings, reveals new layers of acceptance, denial, love and pain.

One poignant phrase comes near the middle of the book when Schwenke talks about her relationship with her father. Their relationship grew rocky after her revelation, she writes. Sometimes when he was trying to communicate, he’d lapse into her old name and former pronouns. During Schwenke’s final year with her father, “he shared many very personal thoughts and memories in ways that conveyed his acceptance of Chloe and his love for his children — no matter how they were packaged.”

“SELF-ish” is an intimate look not just at one person’s life, but the lives around it, leaving readers to ponder how much more difficult being transgender is than simply being gay or lesbian.

Mark your calendar


Grey Gardens Film Screening with The Marble Faun!!


7p.m. – 10:30p.m. July 19th, 2018


Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room presents the 1975 cult classic “Grey Gardens” to the big screen for a unique viewing experience with cast member Jerry Torre, author of “The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens<”. Watch Big Edie and Little Edie, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, lead their eccentric lives in their mansion in East Hampton, New York. Admission includes film  screening and a complimentary copy of “Marble Faun” VIP guests will enjoy a meet and greet with the authors, an autographed copy of the book and complimentary refreshments.


General Admission $25 / $30 at door

VIP Experience $50 online – $60 at door

Tickets are available at


Trending on

(G) Gay Giant: Una Historia Sobre el Miedo by Gabriel Ebensperger

(G) Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

(LGBT) Princess & Dressmaker by Jen Wang

(F ) How We Get Free by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

(LGBT) Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

(L) My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

(The sequel is coming June 18:

My Solo Exchange Diary)


*(B) Bisexual (F) Feminist (G) Gay (L) Lesbian (T) Trans


Staff pick:

“Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotica” is such an exciting new piece of trans media. Edited by Tobi Hill-Meyer, it’s a gift of 30 sexy, liberating stories — all by trans authors and for a trans audience. Erotica can so often be alienating to us trans readers. This collection serves as a breath of necessary air, acknowledging our realities through truly amazing and healing stories. We deserve this level of contentedness.

— Lu, staff member at PAT @ Giovanni’s Rooms