Books·Canadian

I'm Afraid of Men

Shraya delivers an important record of the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya has reason to be afraid. Throughout her life she's endured acts of cruelty and aggression for being too feminine as a boy and not feminine enough as a girl. In order to survive childhood, she had to learn to convincingly perform masculinity. As an adult, she makes daily compromises to steel herself against everything from verbal attacks to heartbreak.

Now, with raw honesty, Shraya delivers an important record of the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia, releasing trauma from a body that has always refused to assimilate. I'm Afraid of Men is a journey from camouflage to a riot of colour and a blueprint for how we might cherish all that makes us different and conquer all that makes us afraid. (From Penguin Canada)

From the book

I'm afraid of men because it was men who taught me fear.

I'm afraid of men because it was men who taught me to fear the word girl by turning it into a weapon they used to hurt me. I'm afraid of men because it was men who taught me to hate and eventually destroy my femininity. I'm afraid of men because it was men who taught me to fear the extraordinary parts of myself.

My fear was so acute that it took almost two decades to undo the damage of rejecting my femininity, to salvage and reclaim my girlhood. Even now, after coming out as a trans girl, I am more afraid than ever. This fear governs many of the choices I make, from the beginning of my day to the end.


From I'm Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya ©2018. Published by Penguin Canada.

Interviews with Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shray on her extended essay I'm Afraid of Men 16:27
It's being described as essential reading for everyone. Tonight in Toronto, artist and author Vivek Shraya launches her new book, "I'm Afraid of Men." In it, Vivek shares her experiences as a trans woman, and tackles toxic masculinity, homophobia and misogyny. 7:49

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