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Tomboy Survival Guide

Written by: Ivan Coyote
Narrated by: Ivan Coyote
Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Stonewall Book Award Honor Book winner

Ivan Coyote is a celebrated storyteller and the author of 10 previous books, including Gender Failure (with Rae Spoon) and One in Every Crowd, a collection for LGBT youth. Tomboy Survival Guide is a funny and moving memoir told in stories, in which Ivan recounts the pleasures and difficulties of growing up a tomboy in Canada's Yukon, and how they learned to embrace their tomboy past while carving out a space for those of us who don't fit neatly into boxes or identities or labels.

Ivan writes movingly about many firsts: the first time they were mistaken for a boy; the first time they purposely discarded their bikini top so they could join the boys at the local swimming pool; and the first time they were chastised for using the women's washroom. Ivan also explores their years as a young butch, dealing with new infatuations and old baggage, and life as a gender-box-defying adult, in which they offer advice to young people while seeking guidance from others. (And for tomboys in training, there are even directions on building your very own unicorn trap.)

Tomboy Survival Guide warmly recounts Ivan's adventures and mishaps as a diffident yet free-spirited tomboy, and maps their journey through treacherous gender landscapes and a maze of labels that don't quite stick, to a place of self-acceptance and an authentic and personal strength. These heartfelt, funny, and moving stories are about the culture of difference - a "guide" to being true to one's self.

©2016 Ivan Coyote (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

my own tomboy self reflected in these words

The feelings, thoughts, circumstances experienced by this author... that reflects some of how I experienced my tomboy youth in a small Canadian town...they gave perfect words/voice to that life. And then to be able to hear how they were strong enough to actualize that person they are, as a mature adult. It was so awesome for me to hear that all expressed by this author. This book gives one strength to do what feels right, to be able to feel comfortable in one's own skin, and life.

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Gratitude

My mother just said “Well they’re amazing! Something about an author who can make you laugh and cry and ache with nostalgia all in the same sentence.”
My mom is 62 and I call her “Ma”. I am a trans man and we’ve had a history, Ma and I. We have plenty of stories that sound similar to the ones in this book, together and individually.
I avoided Ivan’s books for a long time, knowing their storytelling would rub a little too painfully against the raw parts of my shared experiences...bathrooms, f*cking bathrooms.
I’m at a place where I can hear these stories and I am grateful that they have filled me up. I am grateful that I got to share nostalgia, tears, and laughter with my Ma. I got to meet Ivan at a writer’s festival in Ottawa this year (2019) and I’m grateful for that too. They are a very human human. I can’t wait to explore the rest of their work.

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So. Well. Read.

The author reads their words for you as if performed on a stage. Their descriptive narrative is personal, touching, humourous and illuminating. I would recommend it to any and every one.

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lyrical and warm

ivan has a voice, both written and spoken, that warms you to what they are saying. it creeps into your heart and curls up next to the fire. they made me laugh and tear several times, but most notably, they voice stayed in my thoughts throughout the day as I pondered their experiences. though the recording had a few rough spots with minor static or sound hiccups or audible page turns, it's worth sharing and talking about with those around you.

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I want more books by Ivan on audiable please!!

I relished every word. There is something in this book for everyone and everyone should listen. Boy can they tell a story! Edge of my seat with even the simplest of the stories, true Canadian gem.

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This book is a MUST read!!

Ivan's story is so incredibly descriptive! Their writing makes you feel as if they're talking to you. I've learned so much while reading this book. I've laughed and cried at the same exact time.

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  • Alex
  • 2017-08-05

From a self-proclaimed Tomboy

I loved this book! Listened to it all in one day while driving. It's funny in places, touching, and I cried a handful of times. Stories narrated by the author imo can go either way, but Ivan's accent, tone, and performance really added to the book for me. It felt genuine and personal.
It's also so uplifting to read about trans adults, AND trans adults who speak to their families. I spent the entire book either living vicariously through their wonderful life, or relating deeply to their discussion of gender, dysphoria, and navigating the world as a tomboy. I'd recommend this especially to trans young adults, anyone coming out later in life, and parents + friends of trans people looking to learn.

1 person found this helpful

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  • judy
  • 2020-01-13

relatable

This book touches my soul, unlike any other book I've ever read or listened too. I bought a copy so I can re-read and listen to it anytime I need too.

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  • Jacquelynne Koch
  • 2018-10-18

Just Beautiful!!

This book is such an eye opener. My daughter is married to a transgender and when she came out, I supported her no matter what. I knew it had to be hard for them, but I never really knew if that makes sense. The public bathroom situation makes me so sad. Your right, we do have a gender neutral bathroom in our homes. Why can't we have them in public? I guess I'm one of the exceptions, because I always ask what pronoun do they want to use. I ask because I want to make sure I'm calling them what they want, not what I want to call them. I am a member of the Mamma Bear group in my community, because everyone needs to feel like they belong and are loved!!

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  • Cheri L. Beatty
  • 2018-07-26

I am left breathless

I am feeling like I wish it could go on. These stories told with Ivan’s vocal input have taught me so much. This book has educated me from a perspective that I had not anticipated. I cried quite a bit and a lot of it was because I realized I am not quite as educated as I once believed. I have recommended this book to many people—and I will continue to do so!

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  • Lisa R.
  • 2018-05-27

Amazing

This is so far my favorite book of 2018. Ivan reads with such passion and truth.
Thank you!
Lisa

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  • Kristina Warrior Princess
  • 2017-11-13

Funny and Touching Memoir.

I loved the humor and honesty of this book. Ivan has a very personal and vulnerable way of storytelling. "AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY".

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  • Maija
  • 2018-04-20

Listen to the kindness

I get a bit cynical. The world swims in a soup of complicated ideas, thoughts and actions. Sometimes, I just crave simplicity even though I know that this is not possible. Coyote’s book touches on some of the complications of the world but in a way that pares things down. There are also pretty basic things in our world: love, compassion, family and community. This books celebrated these basics within the complications of being human. This book brought me to tears multiple times for the intense displays of kindness. Coyote’s words are beautiful. Their reading is beautiful. It is simply beautiful.