This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. Maybe it’s a historical novel and the real history in a nonfiction version, or a memoir and a novel, or a fiction book you’ve read and you would like recommendations for background reading. You can be as creative as you like!

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio is a YA story about a teenage athlete who finds out that she is intersex. The author is a surgeon so a lot of the explanations in the book are coming from a medical perspective. That’s good for people who aren’t well versed on what it means to be born with a difference in sexual development.

The book sometimes reads like trying to fit a story around all the education. It was also written in 2015 and may seem a little behind the times to people who have been following discussions on these issues since then. But, it is a good place to start learning.

XOXY by Kimberly M. Zieselman is a memoir of a woman who also finds out as an adult that she was born with XY chromosomes and an insensitivity to testosterone. I thought the best parts of this book were the in depth discussions of the different syndromes seen. I thought the book got weaker when she discussed rather unrelated things like her adoptions and her kids’ lives.

I did get frustrated reading about her family’s lack of understanding of medical issues when she was growing up. It felt like she would talk about what the doctor told them and then in the next breath complain that they didn’t know anything about what the doctor was telling them. She complains bitterly about her primary care doctor not telling her enough information while also complaining that this doctor was trying to push her to listen to discussions about her condition that she didn’t want to have. I kept yelling at her, “You can’t have it both ways!”

So both of these books have weaknesses but if you aren’t familiar with Differences of Sexual Development, these are good places to start your education.

I also recently reviewed Caster Semenya’s new memoir about being an elite athlete at the center of gender controversy.

I’m going to get more in-depth with this topic next week in the Worldview Shapers post that will be about trans and DSD athletes in women’s sports. Stay tuned!

This week’s host is Liz at Adventures in reading, running and working from home