BOOK REVIEW: First Year Out by Sabrina Symington

January 22, 2018

First Year Out

A Transition Story

Sabrina Symington

This intimate graphic novel with its warmly illustrated and humorous drawings follows Lily, as she transitions to her true self. It’s an honest story of the day to day experiences of transition, from the extraordinary to the mundane, depicted with humour, fortitude and intuition.  Depicting her experiences from coming out right through to gender reassignment surgery, Lily’s story provides vital candid advice on the social, emotional and medical aspects of transitioning and will empower anyone questioning their gender.

The illustrations and pastel colour scheme works well to promote a feeling of presence and believably in the characters. There was a few times when I thought the explanations and set up’s for Lily to question and educate curious (or hostile) characters could have been more deftly and naturally handled but overall the narrative works well enough. Dodging nothing and allowing us real understanding of the changes and adjustments needed on a regular basis this books is an utterly charming journey into a new life which allowed the reader –tans or  cis ally- to gain understanding whilst connecting with a protagonist who is likable, everyday but utterly themselves at every step of the way.

Based on the author’s experiences, from laser hair removal and coming out to her parents, through to dating, voice training and gender reassignment surgery, this intimate and witty book is a testament to being who you are and a celebration of gender diversity.

Author  Symington is an illustrator, graphic novelist and blogger from Vancouver who publishes a cool web comic Life of Bria.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers continue to produce a seriously interesting and engaging range of books that make a difference and it’s well worth a peruse of their books lists if you’re not already familiar with this excellent British publishing house.

Out Now


For more info or to buy the book see the publishers website here