Girl Shock! I dressed as a girl for Halloween but then she took over my life!
Transgender YouTube Host Maria Konner Tells Transformative Journey From Bored Suburban Husband to Dressing In Drag One Halloween to Being a Trans Entertainer in San Francisco to Becoming the Woman He Always Fantasized About in Engrossing New Memoir.
This true story has no labels or judgement of others and their journey of self-discovery and sexuality exploration. Maria Konner takes you on her journey from living a frustrated and bored straight-dude life in the ‘burbs to becoming a fabulous trans entertainer in San Francisco. It all starts after a Halloween costume feels better than anyone could have imagined. What starts as a lark, quickly becomes a lifestyle and all the sordid details of Maria’s transformation leave you cheering for her all the way. Girl Shock! holds nothing back as Maria takes the reader on this thrilling tour of San Francisco’s underground alternative lifestyles scene packed with celebrities, influencers, rock stars, photos, comics, illustrations and all its kinky bits.
Told in a frank and entertaining manner, Maria details her experiences at Diva’s, the legendary trans bar located two blocks from her new apartment. There, she enters into a world of alternative lifestyles, sexual experimentation, crossdressing, and hardcore kink as she tests the boundaries of her sexuality. At the same time, she examines the changing concept of femininity within herself and launches her YouTube series, Under the Golden Gate.
In Girl Shock! Maria discusses her affinity with being a “spiritual hermaphrodite” as well as these very important topics for self-discovery as a transgender person:
• The Homogenous Existence Before: always feeling like you are missing something.
• Checking Out From the Straight World: Fear and shame held Maria back from finding her happiness.
• Labels Are Only for Clothing: stop judging yourself by other people’s need for conformity.
• Trans Dating – there’s an APP for that but it’s still complicated.
• Reverence for the Spiritual Hermaphrodite: This is what this country needs more of!
• The Pronoun Lowdown: Society’s new obsession to define and label.
• America is Better Transgender People in Politics: the more complete masculine and feminine whole person.
• Trans In the Community: To get more people accepting of trans people, be more present in the straight world.
• And so much more …
Maria introduces the reader to the myriad of celebrities, porn stars, actors, activists and politicians who frequent the lifestyle for a true insider’s look at art, music, performance, and humanity. Maria tells stories about:
• Jane Weidlan – from all Girl band The Gogo’s, recently inducted into Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame
• Jello Biafra – Punk Rock legend and lead singer of the “The Dead Kennedy’s”
• Sebastian Keys – Porn star
• Sister Roma – Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – a worldwide order of gay nuns
• Cassandra Cass – Transgendered actress and reality TV star
• Tom Ammiano – Local and CA politician, activist, protégé of Harvey Milk, first gay teacher to come out
• Peaches Christ – SF Drag queen who impersonates Elvira
• Honey Mahogany – RuPaul drag race alumni, trans activist, and running for office.13
Maria Konner packs everything into her memoir. There are cartoons, photos, illustrations, and of course her story.
Is her story unique? No, but how she presents it makes it stand out. She talks about all of her firsts as a girl and sometimes in great detail. (wink) Konner is also funny. She was open to new experiences and life around her and luckily for us she is pretty self-aware.
I feel like I can go to San Francisco and walk her footsteps, but definitely not in heels. Girl Shock is a love affair with the city and with the rainbow community.
Girl Shock reads like you are sitting at the bar listening to someone who hasn’t been back in awhile reminiscing about people and places. Konner is a definite name dropper. “Do you remember so and so…they used to hang outside Divas smoking cigars? Well I gotta story for you….” You listen because it’s entertaining and maybe they will mention a place, person, or experience you are familiar with.
Konner takes us on her journey of self-awareness. It’s funny, cringing, and best of all entertaining. Girl Shock isn’t a shocker, but it is definitely worth a read.
I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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Publisher: Under the Golden Gate Media, 9781736746103, May 10th 2021
Artists: Diego Gomez, Diego Sandoval, and David Lawrence Hawkins
Settings: San Francisco, CA, U.S.