Karin Bishop Books

Karin Bishop

Both Parties



Mark and Caitlin are Both Par­ties to a remark­able tran­si­tion …

Mark is trans­gen­der. He’s known it his entire life, which has been one of lying—to his moth­er, to his class­mates, and to him­self. Every day that he is a boy is a reminder that his life is wrong, and he must con­tin­ue the lie that he isn’t a girl, and is agony—especially now in high school.

Caitlin arranges par­ties at the start of each school year, to get to know select­ed new kids and to maybe do a lit­tle match­mak­ing. She invites Mark with the spe­cif­ic idea of match­ing him up … to her­self. It’s awk­ward and humil­i­at­ing, but she learns the truth about Mark.

Their lives are told in alter­nat­ing chap­ters, but it’s not a sim­ple sto­ry. Mark only exists at school, while Jen­nifer is around after school and on week­ends. At least there’s ongo­ing treat­ment at a gen­der clin­ic, but the doc­tors want the half-and-half arrange­ment to con­tin­ue on into the next year. Mean­while, Caitlin helps Jen­nifer learn the social roles and rules among teen girls, and Jen­nifer acquires new friends for the first time in her life.

It can’t last. Ten­sion and pres­sure mount as Mark and Jen­nifer each try to bal­ance the oth­er, just to sur­vive. Caitlin has her own prob­lems, too, with her body and her fam­i­ly. Mean­while, life goes on, with shop­ping and par­ties with girl­friends, and with boys pay­ing atten­tion to the girls. But it’s increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to keep up the dai­ly mas­quer­ade as Mark—and it’s only a mat­ter of time before some­one real­izes that Mark is Jennifer …

Here’s what readers have said about “Both Parties”

Ms. Bish­op has aimed this defin­ing sto­ry of a young TG’s jour­ney through tran­si­tion with such emo­tion­al accu­ra­cy that this becomes an excel­lent text for teens who are gen­der non con­form­ing — it also is a great read for friends and fam­i­ly of a TG or even just the curi­ous … A pow­er­ful and pos­i­tive look at being trans …