“Trunky (Transgender Junky): A Memoir of Institutionalization and Southern Hospitality” by Samuel Peterson— A Modern Tragi-Comedy

Peterson, Samuel. “Trunky (Transgender Junky): A Memoir of Institutionalization and Southern Hospitality”, Transgress Press, 2016.

A Modern Tragi-comedy

Amos Lassen

After being sober and spending a good deal of time preparing to become a writer, Trunky is on the threshold of success. However, fate enters his life and he is soon spiraling downward into a state of depression and begins again to use heroin. He ends up in an institution in the South with a very diverse group of “thugs, criminals, white supremacists, professional athletes and business men”. All of then are looking for something they’re afraid of finding. As Trunky journeys from addition to recovery and female to manhood, he finds himself on an unexpected trip into the depths of the human soul and this is where he discovers its fundamental flaws and the redemption that we experience from honest vulnerability that comes when we have the courage to take the deal with it.

Writer Samuel Paterson wonderfully captures the anguish and turmoil that comes with addiction and he gives wise insight into his struggle for redemption and visibility as a man among men. To really understand the devastation of addiction, the struggle for gender authenticity and the culture fostered within a Federal Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Abuse Program, this is a must-read.

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